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Mary O’Malley is a Psychology PhD student looking at ways to reduce spatial disorientation for older adults with memory difficulties (supervised by Dr Jan Wiener, Prof. Anthea Innes and Dr Mariela Gaete Reyes).

Using a mixed method approach, Mary is currently running a series of qualitative and quantitative studies to further understand which aspects (e.g. landmarks, floor layout, signage) of communal living environments (e.g. retirement settings, care-homes) are most important in facilitating successful orientation, and how these can be appropriately positioned within the environment. The findings from these studies could help the development and maintenance of communal living environments as well as feed into dementia friendly design principles.

Journal Articles


Profile of Teaching PG

  • Applied Dementia Studies (MSc): Introductory Lecture to the Psychology of Dementia

Profile of Teaching UG

  • Psychology (BSc) - delivering seminars and marking of year 1 and 2 units.

Invited Lectures

  • BUDI Masterclass: Technology and Dementia

Public Engagement & Outreach Activities

  • Talk Titled: Finding your way: understanding how environments can influence navigational abilities. Café Scientifique, Bournemouth, UK
  • Talk Titled: "Virtual Care Homes – Developing Dementia Friendly Environments" at BUDI Open Meeting. 10th May 2016. Bournemouth, UK
  • Talk Titled: "Reducing spatial disorientation for older adults with memory difficulties: understanding how environments can be improved to support orientation" at the BUDI Research Seminars. 24th November 2015. Bournemouth, UK
  • Talk titled: "Creating dementia friendly environments: how to support successful orientation for people with dementia" at ARCC Sensing the Place – Experiences & Wayfinding in a Changing Climate. 27th April 2016. London, UK
  • Workshop titled: BUDI Wayfinding Workshop - An overview of existing dementia friendly design guidelines and research surrounding orientation and dementia. ESRC Festival of Social Sciences. Bournemouth, UK

Conference Presentations

  • 1st Interdisciplinary Navigation Symposium (iNAV), How do we get there? The effects of cognitive ageing on map reading abilities., 26 June 2016, Bad Gastein, Austria
  • Alzheimer's Disease International, The Orientation Experiences and Design Preferences of Residents Living in a Retirement Development, 21 April 2016, Budapest Hungary
  • International Conference on Spatial Cognition: Space and Situated Cognition (ICSC), Reducing spatial disorientation for older adults with memory difficulties: Towards dementia friendly architecture, 7 September 2015, Rome, Italy
  • Conference of Experimental Psychologists (TeaP), How to find a shortcut within a city? Mental Walk vs. Mental Model, 30 March 2014, Giessen, Germany
  • Conference of Experimental Psychologists (TeaP), Do you still know how to get there? The effects of cognitive ageing on route memory., 8 March 2015, Hildesheim, Germany


  • BSc (Hons) in Psychology with a Professional Placement (Cardiff University, 2013)
The data on this page was last updated at 04:07 on April 27, 2017.