Dr. Jesse Sargent

man smiling

Dr. Jesse Sargent

Associate Professor of Psychology

Office: CEMC 109-E
Phone: 843-661-1634


Jesse Sargent earned his B.A. from the University of Vermont in 1991 and his Ph.D. from George Washington University in 2009.  After a three year post-doctoral fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis, he joined the faculty at Francis Marion in the fall of 2012.

Dr. Sargent is an experimental cognitive psychologist who studies memory and the brain.  His focus is on spatial cognition.  He is interested in how humans organize, store and manipulate mental representations of spatial locations on both larger, environmental scales (e.g. where is the library?) and smaller, figural scales (e.g., where was that file on my desktop?).  Dr. Sargent’s lab collects behavioral and electrophysiological data from younger and older adults in order to understand how our brains segment and group visuospatial information, and how those processes affect memory capacity as we age.

Each semester, a small group of students (around 7, +/- 2) participate in Dr. Sargent’s lab.  Research articles are discussed in weekly lab meetings and research assistants are trained to run participants in ongoing behavioral and electroencephalography (EEG) studies.  Data are examined and interpreted with an eye towards designing subsequent experiments and shaping the future of the research program.  Independent, student research projects are also possible for highly motivated students.  Students interested in gaining research experience in cognitive neuroscience are encouraged to talk with Dr. Sargent.

Research Interests

  • Spatial cognition and memory
  • Event segmentation
  • Cognitive aging
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)

Selected/Recent Publications

Sargent, J., Zacks, J., Hambrick, Z. & Lin, N. (2019). Event memory uniquely predicts memory for large scale space. Memory & Cognition, 47(2), 212-228.

Richmond, L. L., Sargent, J. Q., Flores, S. & Zacks, J. M. (2018). Age differences in spatial memory for mediated environments. Psychology and Aging, 33(6), 892-903.

Bailey, H. R., Kurby, C. A., Sargent, J. Q., & Zacks, J. M. (2017). Attentional focus affects how events are segmented and updated in narrative reading. Memory & Cognition. 45(6), 940-955. DOI: 10.3758/s13421-017-0707-2

Eisenberg, M. L., Sargent, J. Q., & Zacks, J. M. (2016). Posttraumatic Stress and the Comprehension of Everyday Activity. Collabra, 2(1):11, 1-10. DOI:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/collabra.43

Sargent, J., Zacks, J. M., Hambrick, D. Z., Zacks, R. T., Kurby, C. A., Bailey, H. R., Eisenberg, M. L., & Beck, T. (2013). Event Segmentation uniquely predicts event memory. Cognition, 129, 241-255.

Sargent, J., Dopkins, S., Philbeck, J., & Chichka, D. (2010). Chunking in spatial memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 36, 576-589.

Sargent, J., Dopkins, S., Philbeck, J. & Modarres, R. (2008). Spatial memory during progressive disorientation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 34, 602-615.