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Mina Johnson

Research Professional
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 1104

Mina Johnson 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 over a dozen private and public grants, including National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and the Gates Foundation. She recently returned to the U.S. after a tenured position at Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. She publishes under the name Mina C. Johnson-Glenberg and her current research focuses on S.T.E.M. education, using games, mixed reality or virtual reality (XR).

Johnson 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. Her current company, Embodied Games LLC, creates S.T.E.M. content for lifelong learners using state-of-the-art augmented and virtual reality meshed with motion capture. Experience the team's latest game on natural selection, inlcuding a VR version in the Oculus Rift and Go at

  • Ph.D., Cognitive Psychology, University of Colorado-Boulder 1998
  • M.A., Cognitive Psychology, University of Colorado, Boulder 1996
  • B.A., Film and Video Production/German, University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany 1983
  • Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio 1980-84            

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



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. (


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 virtual realities: Results and principles for content design. In  Liu, D., Dede, C., Huang, R ., &  Richards J. (Eds). Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Realities in Education.

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.

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 Psychology  


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.

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.  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.


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


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.

Research Activity: 
Fall 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
PSY 399Supervised Research
HON 492Honors Directed Study
PSY 498Pro-Seminar
PSY 499Individualized Instruction
SHS 592Research
PSY 598Special Topics
Spring 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
PSY 399Supervised Research
PSY 499Individualized Instruction
Fall 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
PSY 399Supervised Research
PSY 499Individualized Instruction
PSY 598Special Topics
DCI 598Special Topics
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
PSY 399Supervised Research
PSY 499Individualized Instruction
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
PSY 399Supervised Research
PSY 499Individualized Instruction
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
PSY 399Supervised Research
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
PSY 399Supervised Research
PSY 499Individualized Instruction
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
PSY 399Supervised Research
PSY 499Individualized Instruction