Home / Research / Labs / Embodied Games Lab (Johnson-Glenberg) - Cognitive Science Affiliate

Future of Education for Virtual and Augmented Reality (FEVAR) 

She is also the Chair of the Future of Education for Virtual and Augmented Reality (FEVAR) meetup. This is an XR interest group that gathers once a month on the Tempe campus. To register go to https://fevar.eventbrite.com/

This special interest group brings together people from across Arizona State University with a common interest in the potential for enhancing education and training through Virtual and Augmented Reality (commonly called XR). The group connects participants with new opportunities, shares knowledge and serves to create transdisciplinary partnerships in research.

Chair: Dr. Mina C. Johnson Glenberg

Steering Committee: Ariel Anbar, Charles Kazilek, and Philippos Savvides If you are interested in joining us, please register here:

Sign me up!

Scheduled Group Meetings:

January 17, 2019 - 4pm - Dr. Philippos Savvides

Previous Meetings, 2018 
(Note meetings now at: Physical Sciences Building, Wing F (PSF) – Student Success Center on first floor.  Tempe Campus Time 4PM to 5ish.)

Previous Meetings, 2017

Embodied Games Lab (Johnson-Glenberg) - Cognitive Science Affiliate


Games for learning and health, STEM education, cognitive change, Virtual Reality (VR) therapies during hospital stays,  Nutrition science, Efficacy related to XR experiences

Lab Research Area:

Embodied Games Lab (Johnson-Glenberg)

At the Embodied Games for Learning lab, we use the latest in sensor technologies, including augmented (AR) and virtual realities (VR), to affect cognitive and behavioral change.

We have created several award-winning games and simulations.

We are always looking for motivated undergraduates and graduates to join the lab.

As a team, we both design and assess educational content in various environments including: laboratories, formal settings (e.g., high schools), and informal institutions (e.g., museums).

Current projects include:

  • Rolling out an AR application to help with resource allocation for those fighting the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Developing immersive VR exercises for patients in conjunction with CONHI and The Mayo Clinic
  • Finishing up an NSF grant to create a game-based knowledge assessment for the IMAX movie Amazon Adventure (released 2017)
  • The game topic is natural selection
  • Assessing the efficacy of PC and VR-based games. This includes designing and running randomized control trials, as well as publishing results
  • Creating a 360 video course for Girl Scouts AZ so they can earn patches  
  • Creating and overseeing a year-long “Emerging Tech” course for underserved High Schools

The Director, Dr. Johnson-Glenberg, has a history of entrepreneurship and she mentors students who have an interest in technology transfer. Her ASU spinout company website is www.embodied-games.com.

The lab’s latest publication on how to use embodied gesture and hand controls in immersive VR can be found here: Immersive VR and Education: Embodied Design Principles That Include Gesture and Hand Controls  –  Frontiers in Robotics and AI


Please consider joining the lab for credit as PSY399 92294 or 499-92297.

Mina Johnson GlenbergMina Johnson-Glenberg works in two arenas: academia and industry. After graduating with a doctorate in cognitive psychology, she went on to work as a research scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She moved to Arizona State University in 2009. She has been the principal investigator, or co-PI, on more than $8 million in funding from various private and public grants, including National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and the Gates Foundation. She was also an associate professor at Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands from 2016-2017. Her current research focuses on STEM education, using games and mixed or virtual realities.

Dr. Johnson-Glenberg is an entrepreneur who has started three companies. The first, called the NeuronFarm, was funded with multiple Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grants. Its flagship product was one of the first text comprehension training apps on the market using deep learning and AI for feedback. She then co-founded an ASU startup called SMALLab. Her current company, Embodied Games LLC, creates STEM content for lifelong learners using state-of-the-art augmented and virtual realities meshed with motion capture.

Current Undergraduates

Seated in back left to right.

Don Balanzat, Richardo Nieland, Andrew Carnes, Mina Johnson-Glenberg, Joey Mamola,

Standing in front - Xavier Apostal, Vanessa Ly, Man Su, Elena Kalina, Hannah Bartolomea (missing - Jude Rayan).



M.C. Johnson-Glenberg, (2018).  Immersive VR and education: Embodied design principles that include gesture and hand controls.  Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 5, 81. Open source https://doi.org/10.3389/frobt.2018.00081

Poppelaars, A., Scholten, H., Granic, I, Veling, H.,  Johnson-Glenberg, M.C., &  Luijten, M.  (2018). When winning is losing: A randomized controlled trial testing a video game to train food-specific inhibitory control. Appetite, 129, 143-154. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2018.06.039. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195666317317592)

Hermans, R.C. J, van den Broek, N., Nederkoorn, C., Otten, R., Ruiter, E.L.M., & Johnson-Glenberg, M. C. (2018). Feed the Alien! The effects of a nutrition instruction game on children’s nutritional knowledge and food intake. Games for Health Journal, 7, 3, 164-174. 

Johnson-Glenberg, M. C. (2017). Embodied education in mixed and mediated realities: Principles for content design. Chapter in D. Liu, C. Dede, and R. Richards (Eds.), Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Realities in Education. Series: New Frontiers of Educational Research, Springer, Verlag. ISBN 978-981-10-5490-7.

Johnson-Glenberg, M. C., & Megowan-Romanowicz, C. (2017). Embodied science and mixed reality: How gesture and motion capture affect physics education. Cognitive Research: Practices and Implications. 2, 24. 10.1186/s41235-017-0060-9. https://cognitiveresearchjournal.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s41235-017-0060-9

Badilla, M.G., Johnson-Glenberg, M. C., Galindo, J., Revuelta, F., & Pedrera, I. (2017, June).  Promoting nutrition with videogames as a support of science education curriculum. International Workshop on Gamification and Games for Learning. Gamilearn 2017, Tenerife, Spain.

Johnson-Glenberg, M. C. Birchfield, D., Megowan-Romanowicz, C. & Savio-Ramos, C. (2016). Effects of embodied learning and digital platform on the retention of physics content: Centripetal force. Frontiers in Psychologyhttp://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01819  OpenSource.

Johnson-Glenberg, M. C., Birchfield, D., Megowan-Romanowicz, C., & Snow, E. L. (2015).  If the gear fits, spin it! Embodied education and in-game assessments. International Journal of Gaming and Computer-based Simulations. 7, 4.

Johnson-Glenberg, M.C., Savio-Ramos, C., & Henry, H. (2014).  “Alien Health”: A Nutrition Instruction Exergame using the Kinect Sensor. Games for Health Journal. Open Access. http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1089/g4h.2013.0094

Johnson-Glenberg, M. C., Savio-Ramos, C.,  Perkins, K.K., Moore, E.B., Robb Lindgren, R., Clark, D., Brady, C., Sengupta, P., Martinez-Garza, M., Killingsworth, S., Adams, D.,  Gaydos, M., Barany, A., & Squire, K. (2014).   Science Sims and Games: Best Design Practices and Fave Flops.  Proceedings from the International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS): Learning and becoming in practice, Boulder, CO. 3, 1201-1202. June 2014.

Johnson-Glenberg, M. C. (2014).  Embodied Cognition for Education. In Denis, P. (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Educational Theory and Philosophy. Sage Publications.

Johnson-Glenberg, M. C., Birchfield, D. A., Tolentino, L., & Koziupa, T. (2013).Collaborative Embodied Learning in Mixed Reality Motion-Capture Environments: Two Science Studies. Journal of Educational Psychology. 106, 1, 86-104. doi: 10.1037/a0034008

Lindgren, R. & Johnson-Glenberg, M. C. (2013).  Emboldened by Embodiment: Six Precepts regarding the Future of  Embodied Learning and Mixed Reality Technologies. Educational Researcher. 42, 8, 445- 452.  doi: 10.3102/0013189X13511661

Johnson-Glenberg. M. C., &  Hekler, E. (2013). Alien health game: An embodied, exergame to instruct in nutrition and MyPlate. Games for Health Journal: Research, Development, and Clinical Applications, 2, 6,  354-361. http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/g4h.2013.0057.  doi: 10.1089/g4h.2013.0057.

Johnson-Glenberg, M. C., & the EGL Lab Group. (2013). Using motion sensing for learning: A serious nutrition game.  In  R. Shumaker (Ed.): Human Computers and Interactions International  VAMR/HCII 2013, Part II, LNCS 8022, 380–389. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Johnson-Glenberg, M.C. (2012).  What is Learning in a Mixed Reality Environment and What Does an “Embodied Lesson” mean. November, 2012.  ARIELSig, Special Augmented Reality Group at AERA. Supernews.

Cohen, T., Portiz, P., Kahol, K., MacKenzie, J. Olson, C., Johnson-Glenberg, M., & Patel, V. (2012). Avatar–Based Simulation in the Evaluation of Diagnosis & Management of Mental Health. Disorders in Primary Care. Journal of Biomedical Informatics. doi: 10.1016/j.jbi.2012.07.009

Abrahamson, D., Black, J. B., DeLiema, D. J., Enyedy, N., Hoyer, D., Fadjo, C. L., Gutiérrez, J. F., Martin, H. T., Petrick, C. J., Steen, F. F., Trninic, D. Johnson-Glenberg, M. C.  (2012). In D. Abrahamson (Chair & Organizer). You’re it! Body, action, and object in STEM learning. Proceedings of the International Conference of the Learning Sciences: Future of Learning (ICLS) (Vol. 1, pp. 283-290). Sydney: University of Sydney / ISLS.

Johnson-Glenberg, M. C., Birchfield, D., Koziupa, T., Savio-Ramos, C. & Cruse , J. (July, 2012). Seeing It versus Doing It: Lessons from Mixed Reality STEM Education. Proceedings of the International Conference for the Learning Sciences (ICLS), 2, Sydney, Australia.

Johnson Glenberg, M.,C. & Cruse, J. (June, 2012). Serious Games in Technology-enabled Embodied Learning Environments: Two Games for Health with the Kinect. Proceedings from Games Learning and Society (GLS). Madison, WI.

Johnson-Glenberg, M. C. & the EGL Group (Embodied Games for Learning).  (April, 2012). Learning in the K-12 Classroom: a Taxonomy. Symposium and Proceedings from the Annual Conference of the American Education Research Association (AERA), Vancouver, British Columbia.

Johnson-Glenberg, M. C., Koziupa, T., Birchfield, D. & Li, K., (2011). Games for Learning in Embodied Mixed-Reality Environments: Principles and Results. Proceedings for Games, Learning, and Society Conference, Madison, WI.

Johnson-Glenberg, M. C., Birchfield, D., Savvides, P., & Megowan-Romanowicz, C. (2011). Semi-virtual Embodied Learning – Real World STEM Assessment. In L. Annetta & S. Bronack (eds.) Serious Educational Game Assessment: Practical Methods and Models for Educational Games, Simulations and Virtual Worlds.  pp. 241-258. Rotterdam: Sense Publications. 

Birchfield, D., & Johnson-Glenberg,  M. C. (2010). A next gen Interface for embodied learning: SMALLab and the geological layer cake. International Journal of Gaming and Computer-mediated Simulation, 2, 1, 49-58.

Johnson-Glenberg, M. C.  (2010). Embedded Formative e-Assessment: Who Benefits, Who Falters? Educational Media International, 47, 2, 153-171.

Birchfield, D., Campana, E., Hatton, S., Johnson-Glenberg, M., Kelliher, A., Olson, L., Martinez, C.  Savvides, P. & Tolentino, L. (2009).  Embodied and mediated learning in SMALLab: A student-centered mixed-reality environment. ACM SIGGRAPH Emerging Technologies, SIGGRAPH.

Johnson-Glenberg, M. C., Birchfield, D., & Uysal, S. (2009). SMALLab: Virtual Geology Studies using Embodied Learning with Motion, Sound, and Graphics.  Educational Media International, 46, 4, 267-280.  

Johnson-Glenberg, M. C., Birchfield, D., Megowan-Romanowicz, C., Tolentino, L., &  Martinez, C. (2009).  Embodied Games, Next Gen Interfaces, and Assessment of High School Physics.   International Journal of Learning and Media,1, 2. Access at http://ijlm.net/node/12813

Tolentino, L., Birchfield, D., Megowan-Romanowicz, C., Johnson-Glenberg, M. C., Kelliher, A., & Martinez, C. (2009). Teaching and learning in the mixed-reality science classroom. Journal of Science Education and Technology. 18, 6, 501-517. doi: 10.1007/s10956-009-9166

Buckley, S., & Johnson-Glenberg, M. C. (2008). Increasing literacy learning for individuals with Down syndrome and fragile X syndrome. In S.F. Warren & M.E. Fey (Series Eds.) & J.E. Roberts, R.S. Chapman, & S.F. Warren (Vol. Eds.), Communication and language intervention series: Speech and language development and intervention in Down syndrome and fragile X syndrome (pp. 233-254). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

Johnson-Glenberg, M. C. (2007b). Web-based Reading Comprehension Instruction: Three studies of 3D-Readers. In D. McNamara (ed.) Reading Comprehension Strategies: Theory, Interventions, and Technologies.  Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Publishers.

Johnson-Glenberg, M. C. (2005).  Web-based training of metacognitive strategies for text comprehension: Focus on poor comprehenders. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal.  18:1 - 33, 755-786.

Johnson-Glenberg, M. C., & Chapman, R. S.  (2004).  Predictors of parent-child linguistic tuning and label requests during play: A comparison between children who are typically developing and individuals with Down syndrome. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities Research, 48, 3, 225-238.

Johnson-Glenberg, M. C.  (2000).  Training reading comprehension in adequate decoders/poor comprehenders: Verbal vs. visual strategies. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92, 4, 772-782.