download full list of researchers


J. Lawrence Aber, PhD

New York University

Applied Psychiatry

Aber, an internationally recognized scholar for his research on children and poverty. His work, which centers on social, emotional, motivational, and behavioral development of high-risk children and youth, integrates basic and applied research with public policy. Aber has examined the effects of family and neighborhood poverty, exposure to violence, abuse and neglect, and parental psychopathology on child and youth development. In addition, he has studied the effectiveness of programs and policies, including welfare-to-work programs, comprehensive service programs, and violence prevention programs. Frequently invited to testify before Congress, Aber has authored or co-authored more than 100 articles and book chapters, edited several ground-breaking volumes on child development, and served as the principal investigator on more than 20 externally funded projects. Lawrence Aber’s research interests focus on: the social, emotional, motivational, behavioral and academic development of high-risk children and youth, including infants/toddlers of depressed parents, abused/neglected and poor/disadvantaged preschool and school-aged children, and children and adolescents in areas of concentrated poverty and armed conflict; parent development; program and policy implications of developmental research with high risk children and youth; the relationship between neighborhood and family environments and individual development; conceptual models for the relationship between risk and protective factors and developmental outcomes; developmental approaches to the design and evaluation of preventive interventions; and the evaluation and impact of social policies toward children and families.

J. Lawrence Aber, PhD

Nameera Akhtar, PhD

University of California, Santa Cruz

Development Psychology

Professor Akhtar’s interests are in early cognitive and language development; in particular, how social and cognitive developments play a role in young children’s understanding and use of language. Infants’ and toddlers’ social-cognitive understanding, and their motivation to connect with others, are seen as fundamental to language development.

Nameera Akhtar, PhD | Child Development Lab

Heidelise Als, PhD

Harvard Medical School


Dr. Heidelise Als is a researcher and clinician who has focused her life research on the behavioral organization of the newborn infant, especially the preterm and high risk infant. From neurobehavioral and neurophysiological studies performed by our group and others, it is clear that the preterm infant at school age emerges as significantly more at risk for attention deficit disorder, lower IQ, difficulties in social-emotional functioning and self-regulation, and increased need for specialized school services. These differences may be attributable at least in part to the difference in sensory experience of the immature nervous system when cared for outside the uterus before term. The hypothesis that we have derived from these findings is that environmental input may lead to altered pathway development due to unexpected and overwhelming sensory experience, which in turn may lead to deviant developmental functioning, especially of cortical association areas. Dr. Als is the author of the APIB (Assessment of Preterm Infants’ Behavior) and the originator of the Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program (NIDCAP), an individualized, behaviorally-based developmental care model which is changing Newborn Intensive Care Units (NICUs) around the world.

Heidelise Als, PhD | Profile

Daniel R. Anderson, PhD

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Cognitive Development & Learning, Educational Media

In the UMass Amherst College of Social and Behavioral Sciences’ psychology department, Daniel R. Anderson has made it his life’s work to answer such questions as they relate to infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers. “My research,” he says, “focuses particularly on the cognitive and educational aspects of children and television. My past research focused on older preschool children and guided my advice on a generation of television programs on PBS, Nickelodeon and Disney. These days, besides studying toddler understanding of television, I also am looking at the effects of adult background television on infant and toddler behavior, brain activation during TV viewing, and the relationship between watching television and diet.” Widely published, Anderson receives significant grants from government research agencies, private foundations, and industry every year. Anderson frequently consults on the development of children’s television programs and other electronic media, including videos and websites, offering expertise on program design, research and strategic planning. His cutting edge investigations bring to the fore information that impacts households across America.

Daniel R. Anderson, PhD

Patricia J. Bauer, PhD

Emory University


Patricia Bauer received her Ph.D. from Miami University in 1985 and was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, San Diego from 1985 to 1989. She was on the faculty of the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota from 1989 to 2005. After two years in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University, she joined the faculty of Emory University in 2007. She serves as Senior Associate Dean for Research in Emory College, and is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Psychology. Her research focuses on the development of memory from infancy through childhood, with special emphasis on the determinants of remembering and forgetting; and links between social, cognitive, and neural developments and age-related changes in autobiographical or personal memory.

Patricia J. Bauer, PhD | Bauer Memory Development Lab

Clancy Blair, PhD

New York University

Cognitive Psychology

Clancy Blair is a developmental psychologist who studies self-regulation in young children. His primary interest concerns the development of cognitive abilities referred to as executive functions and the ways in which these aspects of cognition are important for school readiness and early school achievement. He is also interested in the development and evaluation of preschool and elementary school curricula designed to promote executive functions as a means of preventing school failure.

Clancy Blair, PhD | NYU Neuroscience and Education Lab

T. Berry Brazelton, MD

Harvard Medical School

Professor of Pediatrics, Emeritus

Thomas Berry Brazelton is a noted pediatrician and author in the United States. He is one of the world’s foremost authorities on pediatrics and child development. Author of over 200 scholarly papers, he has also written more than 30 books on pediatrics, child development, and parenting. Translated into more than 20 languages, these include the now classic Infants and Mothers, and the bestselling Touchpoints series. His groundbreaking Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) is now used worldwide in research and in clinical interventions to facilitate parent-infant interactions and understanding. The NBAS has inspired numerous infant assessment tools and hundreds of publications. It continues to transform our understanding and shaping of care-giving environments. Major hospitals throughout the world use the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS). Many parents know him as the host of a cable television program What Every Baby Knows, and as author of a syndicated newspaper column. Brazelton has written more than two hundred scholarly papers and twenty four books. He is America’s most celebrated and influential baby doctor since Benjamin Spock.

T. Berry Brazelton, MD | Brazelton Touchpoints Center | The Brazelton Institute

Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, PhD

Columbia University

Child Development and Education

Professor Brooks-Gunn is a nationally-renowned scholar and expert whose research centers on family and community influences on the development of children and youth. She is interested in factors that contribute to both positive and negative outcomes (and changes in well-being) across childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, with a particular focus on key social and biological transitions (in schooling, family structure and dynamics, parenthood, and puberty, sexual onset, and pregnancy) over the life course. Brooks-Gunn has also designed and evaluated interventions aimed at enhancing the well-being of children living in poverty and associated conditions. She has published over 500 articles and chapters, written 4 books, edited 13 volumes, and been the recipient of numerous major awards and honors. Brooks-Gunn’s research has significantly shaped our understanding of child development and the influence of parents, schools and contextual factors. Interests include: Child and family policy and programs; Early childhood interventions and education; Adolescent transitions and development; Neighborhoods, communities and poverty; Growing up female; Design implementation and analyses of large, national, long-term follow-up studies of children, youth, and families (current studies include: Fragile Families, Child Well-Being Study, Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, Early Head Start).

Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, PhD | Full Bio

Maureen A. Callanan, PhD

University of California, Santa Cruz


Maureen Callanan’s research focuses on cognitive and language development in preschool children, exploring how children come to understand the world through everyday conversations with parents. One focus is on how children learn word meanings in conversation. Another focus is on how children’s theories develop within parent-child conversations at home and in children’s museums.

Maureen A. Callanan, PhD

Joseph J. Campos, PhD

University of California, Berkeley


This lab is perhaps best known for its work on emotional development. It pioneered in studies of the development of fear, anger, happiness, emotional communication, and social referencing. Some of its best-known work has used the well-known “Visual Cliff,” an apparatus that gives infants the illusion of approaching a drop-off. Using tests on the Visual Cliff, the lab has demonstrated that human beings are not born with an innate fear of heights, but rather acquire this fear during pivotal stages in infancy. The lab is also known for using the Visual Cliff to demonstrate the phenomenon of Social Referencing, by showing that infants will sometimes venture into the illusory drop-off, and other times avoid the cliff completely depending upon the emotion being displayed by their mothers.

Joseph J. Campos, PhD | Institute of Human Development | Infant Lab Studies

Geoffrey Canada

Harlem Children’s Zone

In his 20-plus years with Harlem Children’s Zone, Inc., Geoffrey Canada has become nationally recognized for his pioneering work helping children and families in Harlem and as a passionate advocate for education reform. Since 1990, Mr. Canada has been the President and Chief Executive Officer for Harlem Children’s Zone, which The New York Times Magazine called “one of the most ambitious social experiments of our time.” In October 2005, Mr. Canada was named one of “America’s Best Leaders” by U.S. News and World Report. In 1997, the agency launched the Harlem Children’s Zone Project, which targets a specific geographic area in Central Harlem with a comprehensive range of services. The Zone Project today covers 100 blocks and aims to serve over 10,000 children by 2011. The New York Times Magazine said the Zone Project “combines educational, social and medical services. It starts at birth and follows children to college. It meshes those services into an interlocking web, and then it drops that web over an entire neighborhood….The objective is to create a safety net woven so tightly that children in the neighborhood just can’t slip through.”

Geoffrey Canada | President and Chief Executive Officer Harlem Children’s Zone

Mary (Maya) Carlson, PhD

Harvard Medical School

Associate Professor of Neuroscience in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Co-Principal Investigator, Child Care Quality
The Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods
Harvard School of Public Health

Mary (Maya) Carlson, PhD

Stephanie Carlson, PhD

New York University

Cognitive development, executive function

She investigates basic developmental processes in executive function, theory of mind, and symbolism/pretend play. She is particularly interested in how these skills interrelate in the preschool period, their brain bases, their relevance for school readiness, and socio-cultural influences on their development.

Stephanie Carlson, PhD | Carlson Child Development Lab

Suzanne C. Carothers, PhD

New York University

Early Childhood Education

Suzanne C. Carothers is a Professor in The Steinhardt School of Education, Department of Teaching and Learning at New York University. Prior to assuming this position, she was a Professor at The City College of The City University of New York in the Department of Education, the Elementary Education Program. In her former position as the Adult Literacy Program Director in the Office of the Mayor of the City of New York, Dr. Carothers coordinated the New York City Adult Literacy Initiative, a ground breaking effort which is in the forefront of the movement to provide literacy instruction and services for adults with limited reading, writing and English speaking skills. Dr. Carothers has done extensive teacher training and staff development work in a variety of settings for more than 25 years. Her work has included developing early childhood curriculum materials, conducting process writing workshops and giving papers and presentations on educational and women’s issues. As a teacher of early childhood, Dr. Carothers taught three-year-olds for several years at the Bank Street School for Children of the Bank Street College of Education.

Suzanne C. Carothers, PhD | Faculty profile

Stanislas Dehaene, PhD

College of France

Experimental Cognitive Psychology

Stanislas Dehaene, Ph.D., directs the INSERM-CEA Cognitive Neuroimaging unit, located near Paris, and is the author of The Number Sense (1999) and Reading in the Brain (2009), both broadly acclaimed and translated. In 2005, at the age of 40, he was elected to the French Academy of Sciences and as a professor of the Collège de France in Paris, which created a new chair of Experimental Cognitive Psychology for him. Dehaene has received several international prizes, including the James S. McDonnell centennial fellowship, the Louis D foundation prize, and the Heineken Prize for Cognitive Science. A March, 2008 profile in The New Yorker (“Numbers Guy”) called him “one of the world’s foremost researchers,” “completely pioneering,” and “a scanning virtuoso” in the field of numerical cognition.

Stanislas Dehaene, PhD | INSERM-CEA Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit | The New Yorker

Judy S. DeLoache, PhD

University of Virginia

Cognitive Development

My primary area of research is early cognitive development, especially the development of symbolic functioning. There is no domain of development more important than mastery of the various symbols and symbol systems used for communication. My research has focused on the origins of children’s understanding of symbolic artifacts, such as pictures, models, and replica objects. I have proposed that the exploitation of symbolic objects requires dual representation: One must perceive and mentally represent both the object itself and, at the same time, one must represent the relation between the object and what it stands for. Achieving dual representation is a formidable challenge for very young children. Symbol-referent relations that seem simple and obvious to adults are neither simple nor obvious to young children, in large part because they focus too much on the object itself to the neglect of its relation to its referent.

Judy S. DeLoache, PhD | Child Study Center

Adele Diamond, PhD

University of British Columbia

Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

Prof. Diamond’s lab integrates developmental, cognitive science, neuroscience, and molecular genetic methods to study prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the most complex cognitive abilities (‘executive functions’ [EFs]) that rely on PFC and interrelated brain regions. EFs include being able to ‘think outside the box’ and see things from other perspectives (cognitive flexibility), mentally relating different ideas and facts to one another (working memory), and giving a considered response rather than an impulsive one, resisting temptations, and staying focused (inhibitory control, including selective attention). These abilities are crucial for problem-solving, creativity, and reasoning, and for success in all life’s aspects.

Adele Diamond, PhD | Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

Arne Duncan

U.S. Secretary of Education

Former CEO, Chicago Public Schools

Arne Duncan is the ninth U.S. secretary of education. He has served in this post since his confirmation by the U.S. Senate on Jan. 20, 2009, following his nomination by President Barack Obama.

Arne Duncan

Carol S. Dweck, PhD

Stanford University


Her work bridges developmental psychology, social psychology, and personality psychology, and examines the self-conceptions (or mindsets) people use to structure the self and guide their behavior. Her research looks at the origins of these mindsets, their role in motivation and self-regulation, and their impact on achievement and interpersonal processes.

Carol S. Dweck, PhD | Mindset

Felton J. Earls, MD

Harvard Medical School

Social Medicine

Professor of Child Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School. Professor of Human Behavior and Development. Scientific Director, Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods. Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Earls was principal investigator of a large-scale epidemiological project examining the causes and consequences of children’s exposure to community and family violence. This project was situated in the city of Chicago, where a team of researchers studied the physical health, educational and occupational achievement, and social relationships of children from birth to adulthood. Detailed attention was given to the social and physical characteristics of the neighborhoods in which they lived. The project represents one of the largest and most comprehensive studies of child and youth development ever undertaken. (FULL RESEARCH DESCRIPTION)

Felton J. Earls, MD | Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods

Maurice J. Elias, PhD

Rutgers University

Clinical Psychology

“As a professor in the Psychology Department at Rutgers University, I’m focusing on development of positive, constructive life paths for children and youth and the organization of opportunities to allow this to happen in equitable ways. I am the director of the Rutgers Social-Emotional Learning Lab and principal investigator for its Developing Safe and Civil Schools initiative. Also academic director of Rutgers’s Civic Engagement and Service Education Partnerships program, coordinator of the university’s internship program in applied, school, and community psychology, president of the Society for Community Research and Action and the American Psychological Association’s Division of Community Psychology, and a founding member of the Leadership Team for the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).”

Maurice J. Elias, PhD | The Rutgers Social-Emotional Learning Lab | Blog and related links

Anne Fernald, PhD

Stanford University

Developmental Psychology

Early development of communication and language. Using online measures of spoken language understanding, we investigate the development of speed and efficiency in children’s early comprehension in relation to their emerging lexical and grammatical competence. In addition to our ongoing research with English-learning children at our Stanford campus lab, in have recently established a new lab in East Palo Alto. Here we are exploring early bilingual development with Latino infants and young children learning Spanish as well as English.

Anne Fernald, PhD | The Center for Infant Studies

Kurt Fischer, PhD

Harvard University


Fischer studies cognitive and emotional development and learning from birth through adulthood, combining analysis of the commonalities across people with the diversity of pathways of learning and development. His work focuses on the organization of behavior and the ways it changes, especially with development, learning, emotion, and culture. In dynamic skill theory, he provides a single framework to analyze how organismic and environmental factors contribute to the rich variety of developmental change and learning across and within people. His research includes students’ learning and problem solving, brain development, concepts of self in relationships, cultural contributions to social-cognitive development, early reading skills, emotions, child abuse, and brain development. One product of his research is a single scale for measuring learning, teaching, and curriculum across domains, which is being used to assess and coordinate key aspects of pedagogy and assessment in schools.

Kurt Fischer, PhD | Mind, Brain, and Education Program

Kelly Fisher, PhD

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Kelly is a passionate specialist in the science of learning, program development, and evaluation. She draws upon multiple scientific disciplines—developmental science, cognitive science, industrial-organizational psychology, health, culture, education, and public policy—to develop and evaluate educational programs for vulnerable populations. She also co-founded and direct research for Global Abilities Foundation

Kelly Fisher, PhD | SRCD/AAAS Executive Branch Fellow

Nathan A. Fox, PhD

University of Maryland

Human development

Infant and Child Temperament; Development of emotion and emotion regulation; Human Developmental Neuroscience; Development of social cognition; Infant social cognition. Areas of Student Supervision: Infant cognitive/social development; Developmental Psychopathology; Human Developmental Neuroscience.

Nathan A. Fox, PhD | Child Development Lab

Martin F. Gardiner, PhD

Brown University

Human development

Martin F. Gardiner, PhD, Visiting Research Associate, Center for the Study of Human Development, Brown University; Director of Research, The Music School, RI; co-author of “Learning improved by arts training” (1996, Nature), “Music, Learning and Behavior: A Case for Mental Stretching” (2000, Journal for Learning Through Music), and “The Human Ecology of Music” (2002, Encyclopedia of Human Ecology). Areas of Expertise:Impact of arts training on learning and cognitive, emotional & social development, Brain research, Music and learning, Biophysics and biology (physiology, neurology), Applied statistics, Artificial intelligence. Other Areas of Interest: he is interested in the interactions between arts training, learning, and development for their own sake and also for the window this can provide on more general issues of learning and development, and brain mechanisms and brain changes underlying learning and development.

Martin F. Gardiner, PhD | The Music School, Providence

Michael S. Gazzaniga, PhD

University of California, Santa Barbara


Michael Gazzaniga is a Professor of Psychology and the Director for the SAGE Center for the Study of Mind at the University of California Santa Barbara. He oversees an extensive and broad research program investigating how the brain enables the mind. Over the course of several decades, a major focus of his research has been an extensive study of patients that have undergone split-brain surgery that have revealed lateralization of functions across the cerebral hemispheres. In addition to his position in Santa Barbara, Professor Gazzaniga is also the Director of the Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience, and President of the Cognitive Neuroscience Institute. Dr. Gazzaniga conducts research on how the brain enables mind. Special patient populations are used in a variety of methodologies including visual psychophysics, brain imaging and anatomy.

Michael S. Gazzaniga, PhD | Personal Web Page

Rochel Gelman, PhD

Rutgers University

Cognitive Psychology

“Ongoing research in my lab includes: (1) Studies of both verbal and nonverbal representations of number and arithmetic in young and older individuals. Various methods are brought to bear on these topics, including psychophysical and interviews with adults and children; (2) Classification and inference designs for studying preschoolers’ knowledge about the animate-inanimate distinction and machines; (3) The role of causal information on the perception and interpretation of the trajectories of different kinds of entities; and (4) Both brief and long training studies. As regards the latter, we have been involved in developing learning paths that foster math and science learning in preschool and high school. I also have students and collaborators studying the developmental course of learning about quantifiers and numerals; counting systems in different cultures; and the nature of inputs for learning verbs.”

Rochel Gelman, PhD | The Gelman Lab

Herbert P. Ginsburg, PhD

Columbia University

Psychology and Education

Herbert P. Ginsburg, Ph.D., is the Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Psychology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Ginsberg is particularly interested in the development of mathematical thinking in young children and disadvantaged populations, as well as the assessment of cognitive function. Toward this end, he develops mathematics curricula and storybooks for young children, tests of mathematical thinking, and video workshops to enhance teachers’ understanding of students’ learning of mathematics. He has written, with Sylvia Opper, a widely used introduction to Piaget’s theory, as well as an introduction to clinical interviewing, Entering the Child’s Mind.

Herbert P. Ginsburg, PhD

Susan Goldin-Meadow, PhD

University of Chicago


Susan Goldin-Meadow is the Bearsdley Ruml Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Psychology and Committee on Human Development at the University of Chicago. A year spent at the Piagetian Institute in Geneva while an undergraduate at Smith College piqued her interest in the relationship between language and thought, interests she continued to pursue in her doctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania (Ph.D. 1975). At Penn and in collaboration with Lila Gleitman and Heidi Feldman, she began her studies exploring whether children who lack a (usable) model for language can nevertheless create a language with their hands. She has found that deaf children whose profound hearing losses prevent them from learning the speech than surrounds them, and whose hearing parents have not exposed them to sign, invent gesture systems which are structured in language-like ways. This interest in how the manual modality can serve the needs of communication and thinking led to her current work on the gestures that accompany speech in hearing individuals. She has found that gesture can convey substantive information – information that is often not expressed in the speech it accompanies. Gesture can thus reveal secrets of the mind to those who pay attention.

Susan Goldin-Meadow, PhD | The Goldin-Meadow Laboratory

Roberta M. Golinkoff, PhD

University of Delaware

Psychology and Linguistics

Roberta Michnick Golinkoff holds the H. Rodney Sharp Chair in the School of Education at the University of Delaware and is also a member of the Departments of Psychology and Linguistics. She directs the Infant Language Project, whose goal it is to understand how children tackle the amazing feat of learning language. She has also started another line of research on the benefits of play. Although “play” has recently become a 4-letter word, the research suggests exactly the opposite: Children learn best through play and when their learning is embedded in a playful context.

Roberta M. Golinkoff, PhD | Infant Language Project

Alison Gopnik, DPhil

University of California, Berkeley

Psychology and Philosophy

Her research explores how young children come to know about the world around them. The work is informed by the “theory theory” — the idea that children develop and change intuitive theories of the world in much the way that scientists do. Most recently, they have been concentrating on young children’s causal knowledge and causal learning across domains,, including physical, biological and psychological knowledge. In collaboration with computer scientists, they are using the Bayes Net formalism to help explain how children are able to learn causal structure from patterns of data, and we have demonstrated that young children have much more powerful causal learning mechanisms than was previously supposed.

Alison Gopnik, DPhil | Institute of Cognitive Science | TED

John Gottman, PhD

University of Washington


World renowned for his work on marital stability and divorce prediction, John Gottman has conducted 40 years of breakthrough research with thousands of couples. The Gottman Institute, The Relationship Research Institute, Gottman Method Couples Therapy, and Dr. Gottman’s numerous best-selling books have all stemmed from Dr. Gottman’s 35-year career as a research scientist whose methods and standards are as rigorous as those used by medical science. The data generated by Dr. Gottman’s research offer a scientifically-based glimpse into the anatomy of marriage and couples relationships – but most importantly they provide us with factual, objective information that has contributed to the development of tools, methods, programs, products, and services dedicated to helping couples build stronger, happier relationships.

John Gottman, PhD | The Gottman Institute

Megan R. Gunnar, PhD

University of Minnesota

Child Development

Dr. Megan R. Gunnar, from the University of Minnesota, is a Regents Professor and Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Child Development at the Institute of Child Development. She has spent her career studying how infants and young children respond to potentially stressful situations. With her students, she has documented the powerful role that relationships play in regulating stress physiology in young children and the impact that early deprivation has on neurobehavioral development. She is the Director of the Institute of Child Development and the Associate Director of the Center for Neurobehavioral Development at the University of Minnesota. She is a fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research’s program on Experienced- based Brain and Biological Development and a core member of Harvard’s National Scientific Council on the Developing Child.

Megan R. Gunnar, PhD | Human Developmental Psychobiology Lab

J. Kiley Hamlin, PhD

University of British Columbia

Developmental Psychology

Her research focuses on the role of evaluative processes in our everyday cognitions about the world. In particular, she examines our tendency to judge individuals’ actions as good or bad, as deserving of reward or punishment, and as morally praiseworthy or blameworthy. In addition, she asks whether and how these social and moral evaluations influence our understanding of others’ future acts, their mental states, and their underlying personalities. She examines these questions using preverbal infants and young toddlers, in order to study the foundational origins of these processes before complex cognitive abilities (such as language and inhibitory control) fully develop, and prior to the influences of cultural norms and values.

J. Kiley Hamlin, PhD | Centre for Infant Cognition

Kathryn A. Hirsh-Pasek, PhD

Temple University


Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, of Temple University is a prolific research psychologist. She is an expert in how to help children develop into smart and well-adjusted adults. Passionate about sharing their science, Kathy and her colleague Roberta Michnick Golinkoff write books for parents and practitioners and talk about child development and education all over the world.

Kathryn A. Hirsh-Pasek, PhD

Elena Hoicka, PhD

The University of Sheffield


Her research examines how children come to understand conventional and factual wrongness through mistakes, jokes, pretending, and deception. This is important to (1) learning, (2) intention understanding, and (3) innovation in cultural evolution. Her research on learning focuses on how young children incorporate novel information into their knowledge base. As well as this her research also uses wrongness as a tool to consider whether young children understand the meaning behind intentions.

Elena Hoicka, PhD

Carollee Howes, PhD

University of California, Los Angeles

developmental psychology and social development

Teaching and research interests are in the area of social development. One line of research is on development of peer social interaction skills and friendships. Recent studies concern the formation and maintenance of friendships in children under three years and the development of the ability to communicate with friends about pretend play. A second line of research is on the long-term effects of infant and toddler day care.

Carollee Howes, PhD

Janellen Huttenlocher, PhD

University of Chicago

cognitive development

Professor Huttenlocher conducts research on various aspects of cognitive development: quantitative development, the development of spatial understanding, and the development of language. She is particularly interested in the role of the child’s environment in the development of cognitive skills. She has also conducted research on conceptual representation and memory, including the role of concepts in people’s memories of events.

Janellen Huttenlocher, PhD

Jerome Kagan, PhD

Harvard University

developmental psychology

Dr. Kagan is an Emeritus Professor of Psychology. He has studied children and their development for over 45 years. Some of his more significant discoveries include: (1) a child’s personality in the first 4 to 5 years of life only weakly predicts his personality as an adult, (2) the universal appearance of a sense of self and of right and wrong during the second year, (3) the development of morality, and (4) the influence of a child’s temperamental biases on personality development. He has also written on the role of culture and history in shaping the beliefs and emotions of a community.

Jerome Kagan, PhD | Overview

Frank C. Keil, PhD

Yale University

Psychology, Linguistics

Work in the Cognition and Development lab most broadly is concerned with questions of how children and adults construct causal interpretations of the world around them and how those interpretations compare to other ways of tracking information. This orientation leads naturally to questions of how adults and children cognitively reduce the enormous causal complexity of the world to more manageable forms and what distortions of that information occur as it is necessarily simplified.

Frank C. Keil, PhD | Yale Cognition and Development Lab

David Klahr, PhD

Carnegie Mellon University

cognitive development and educational psychology

Dr. Klahr’s most recent research has investigated the cognitive processes that support children’s understanding of the fundamental principles underlying scientific thinking. This work includes both basic research with pre-school children and more applied classroom studies of how to improve the teaching of experimental science in elementary school. He has worked in a wide variety of schools in the Pittsburgh region, focusing on the relative effectiveness of different instructional methods for teaching children how to design and interpret simple experiments.

David Klahr, PhD | Program For Interdisciplinary Education Research (PIER)

Patricia K. Kuhl, PhD

University of Washington

Speech and Hearing Sciences

Dr. Patricia K. Kuhl is the Bezos Family Foundation Endowed Chair for Early Childhood Learning, Co-Director of the UW Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences, Director of the NSF-funded Science of Learning Center, and Professor of Speech and Hearing Sciences. She is internationally recognized for her research on early language and brain development, and studies that show how young children learn. Dr. Kuhl’s work has played a major role in demonstrating how early exposure to language alters the brain. It has implications for critical periods in development, for bilingual education and reading readiness, for developmental disabilities involving language, and for research on computer understanding of speech.

Patricia K. Kuhl, PhD | Co-Director, Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences | Endowed Chair, Bezos Family Foundation

J. Ronald Lally, EdD

WestEd Center for Child & Family Studies

J. Ronald Lally, Ed.D. is Co-director of WestEd Center for Child & Family Studies located in Sausalito, California. An expert on early development, Dr. Lally has been a director of the work of WestEd’s Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC) since 1985. Dr. Lally, is one of the founders and a board member of Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families. For the last forty years, working with state and federal governments, he has charted the direction of services for infants and toddlers in the United States and abroad. Dr. Lally is also a father and grandfather. Frustrated by US policies that fall short of what babies need, he has launched the For Our Babies Campaign to raise public awareness and garner support for a better beginning for babies in the United States.

For Our Babies | WestEd Center for Child & Family Studies

Susan Levine, PhD

University of Chicago

developmental psychology

Susan Levine is a professor in the Department of Psychology where she serves as chair of the developmental psychology program. She is also a core faculty member on the newly formed Committee on Education at the University of Chicago. She received her B.S. at Simmons College and her Ph.D. at M.I.T. Dr. Levine’s research examines how variations in home and school input affect the cognitive development of children, including language, spatial and mathematical skills. She also examines plasticity of language and cognitive skills following early brain injury. If you yourself have suffered a brain injury, then it it might worthwhile you check out someone like these lawyers, particularly if the brain injury isn’t your fault. There is no point you suffering in silence, and further a brain injury isn’t the end of everything there are many treatments out there that are there to help you.

Susan Levine, PhD | Levine Lab

Alicia F. Lieberman, PhD

University of California, San Francisco


Dr. Lieberman is the Irving B. Harris Endowed Chair in Infant Mental Health and Vice Chair for Academic Affairs at the UCSF Department of Psychiatry, and Director of the Child Trauma Research Program. Their mission is to develop, evaluate, implement, and disseminate effective treatment and service interventions for children aged birth through five who witness or directly experience violence in their homes or communities; the death of a loved one; or life-threatening accidents, illnesses, or disasters. She is a clinical consultant with the San Francisco Human Services Agency. She is active in major national organizations involved with mental health in infancy and early childhood.

Alicia F. Lieberman, PhD | Child Trauma Research Program

Kristi Lockhart, PhD

Yale University


Kristi Lockhart is an associate research scientist and lecturer at Yale University. She received her graduate degrees from Stanford University and University of Pennsylvania. A licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Lockhart specializes in working with children and families, with a specific interest in depression and other severe mental disorders. Her research focuses on children’s social-cognitive development, specifically children’s understanding of social convention and their beliefs about the origins and stability of traits. More recently, she has been investigating children’s understanding of cheating.

Interview: Kristi Lockhart – Associate Research Scientist, Yale Psychology Department | Yale Cognition & Development Lab

Karen L. Mapp, Ed.D.

Harvard Graduate School of Education


Karen L. Mapp, Ed.D., is a senior lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and the faculty director of the Education Policy and Management master’s program. Over the past 20 years, Mapp’s research and practice focus has been on the cultivation of partnerships among families, community members, and educators that support student achievement and school improvement.

Karen L. Mapp, Ed.D. | Lecturer on Education

Andrew N. Meltzoff, PhD

University of Washington

Infant and Child Development

Dr. Andrew N. Meltzoff holds the Job and Gertrud Tamaki Endowed Chair and is the Co-Director of the University of Washington Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences. A graduate of Harvard University, with a PhD from Oxford University, he is an internationally renowned expert on infant and child development. His discoveries about infant imitation have revolutionized our understanding of early cognition, personality, and brain development. His research on social-emotional development and children’s understanding of other people has helped shape policy and practice.
Andrew N. Meltzoff, PhD | Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences

Walter Mischel, PhD

Columbia University

personality theory and social psychology

Professor Mischel’s research interests focus on: a) personality structure, process, and development, and b) self regulation (aka willpower). His groundbreaking study on delayed gratification is known as “the marshmallow test.”

Walter Mischel, PhD | Walter Mischel Marshmallow Test | DON’T! The secret of self-control. (from the New Yorker)

Charles A. Nelson III, PhD

Harvard Medical School

developmental cognitive neuroscience

Nelson’s research interests are broadly concerned with developmental cognitive neuroscience, an interdisciplinary field concerned with the intersection of brain and cognitive development. His specific interests are concerned with the effects of early experience on brain and behavioral development, particularly the effects of early biological insults and early psychosocial adversity. Nelson studies both typically developing children and children at risk for neurodevelopmental disorders (particularly autism), and he employs behavioral, electrophysiological (ERP), and metabolic (fNIRS and MRI) tools in his research.

Charles A. Nelson III, PhD | Faculty Spotlight

Rochelle Newman, PhD

University of Maryland

Neuroscience and Cognitive Science

“I am the Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, and for the Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science. I am also an Associate Director of the Maryland Language Science Center. In 2013, I was honored with the BSOS Outstanding Graduate Advisor award. My research focuses on speech perception and language acquisition. More specifically, I am interested in how the brain recognizes words from fluent speech, especially in the context of noise, and how this ability changes with development.”

Rochelle Newman, PhD | Language Development & Perception Laboratories

Robert C. Pianta, PhD

University of Virginia

Novartis Professor of Education

Robert C. Pianta is Dean of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. He also holds positions as the Novartis Professor of Education, Founding Director of the Curry School’s Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL), Professor of Psychology at the UVa College of Arts & Sciences, and Director of the National Center for Research in Early Childhood Education. Pianta’s research and policy interests focus on teacher-student interactions and relationships and on the improvement of teachers’ contributions to students’ learning and development. He is the author of more than 250 articles, 50 book chapters, and 10 books, and has been a principal investigator on research and training grants totaling over $55 million. He served as the editor of the Journal of School Psychology from 1999 to 2007. Among other research measures and instruments, Pianta is the creator of an observational assessment of teacher-student interactions known as the Classroom Assessment Scoring System™ or CLASS, with versions for use with infants through twelfth grade students, all of which have been shown to capture features of teacher-student interactions that contribute to learning and development. CLASS is used by every Head Start program in the country, affecting 50,000 teachers and over half a million students.

Robert C. Pianta, PhD | Classroom Assessment Scoring System™ (CLASS)

Karen J. Pittman

The Forum for Youth Investment | Impact Strategies, Inc.

Sociology and Youth Development

Karen has made a career of starting organizations and initiatives that promote youth development – including the Forum for Youth Investment, which she co-founded with Merita Irby in 1998. A sociologist and recognized leader in youth development, Karen started her career at the Urban Institute, conducting studies on social services for children and families. She later moved to the Children’s Defense Fund, launching its adolescent pregnancy prevention initiatives and helping to create its adolescent policy agenda. In 1990 she became a vice president at the Academy for Educational Development, where she founded and directed the Center for Youth Development and Policy Research and its spin-off, the National Training Institute for Community Youth Work.

Karen J. Pittman

Michael Posner, PhD

University of Oregon

Cognitive Neuroscience

Michael Posner is Professor Emeritus at the University of Oregon and Adjunct Professor at the Weill Medical College in New York (Sackler Institute). He is currently engaged in a project with Mary K. Rothbart to understand the development of brain networks underlying attention. This work explores the interaction of genes and experience in normal and atypical development. Posner studied the role of attention in high-level human tasks such as visual search, reading, and number processing. More recently he investigated the development of attentional networks in infants and young children.

Michael Posner, PhD | Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology

Geetha B. Ramani, PhD

University of Maryland

Educational Psychology

Dr. Ramani’s research focuses on understanding how children’s social interactions influence their cognitive development, mainly in the areas of mathematics, problem solving, and planning. Specifically, Dr. Ramani examines how children learn early math and problem-solving skills through play and informal learning activities, such as playing with board games and blocks. She also investigates how parent-child interactions, parental beliefs, and the early home environment can contribute to children’s development in these areas. Dr. Ramani is also interested in the development and correlates of peer cooperation in young children. Together, Dr. Ramani’s work focuses on the benefits and unique processes of learning through cooperation and joint play with adults and peers, and their importance for educational practices with young children.

Geetha B. Ramani, PhDHuman Development and Quantitative Methodology (HDQM) | The Early Childhood Interaction Lab

Craig T. Ramey, PhD

Virginia Tech

Carillon School of Medicine and Research

Dr. Ramey specializes in the study of factors affecting children’s health and the development of intelligence, social competence, and academic achievement. Over the past 40 year he and his wife, Sharon Ramey, have conducted multidisciplinary longitudinal research with more than 100,000 children in over 40 states.
Ramey is the founding director of several frequently cited early intervention programs including the Abecedarian Project, Project CARE, the Infant Health and Development Program, and currently serves as the chief science officer for the statewide preschool educational program for PreK children in Louisiana. Currently Dr. Ramey is helping to launch a long-term longitudinal study of brain development known as the Roanoke Brain Study. Dr. Ramey is the author of more than 250 publications including five books. He frequently consults with federal and state government, as well as private foundations and agencies, and the news media.

Craig T. Ramey, PhD | Community Voices Talk (VIDEO)

Mitchel Resnick, PhD

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research

Mitchel Resnick, LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research and head of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, explores how new technologies can engage people in creative learning experiences. Resnick’s research group developed the “programmable brick” technology that inspired the LEGO Mindstorms robotics kit. He co-founded the Computer Clubhouse project, a worldwide network of after-school centers where youth from low-income communities learn to express themselves creatively with new technologies. Resnick’s group also developed Scratch, an online community where children program and share interactive stories, games, and animations.

Mitchel Resnick, PhD | MIT Media Lab | Lifelong Kindergarden

Sharon A. Ritchie, PhD

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Early Childhood Education

Sharon Ritchie, EdD, is the Principal Investigator of the FirstSchool initiative, a national effort to develop innovative schools and schooling practices that focus on development and learning for 3-8 year olds with an emphasis on African American, Latino, and low income children and their families. She has taught children ages 3 years old to graduate students, worked in special, regular, and gifted education, and played multiple roles on local, state, and national levels. She was on the UCLA faculty preparing elementary educators for 11 years. She is the first author of the Snapshot, a time sampling measure of children’s experiences in their school day.

Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center

Bethany Rittle-Johnson, PhD

Vanderbilt University

Psychology and Human Development

Professor Rittle-Johnson’s research focuses on understanding how knowledge change occurs. Her specific interests are in how children learn problem-solving procedures and key concepts in domains such as mathematics. For example, what roles do spatial diagrams or generating explanations have in promoting learning of concepts and procedures? This research bridges between psychological theory and educational practice, and Professor Rittle-Johnson also collaborates with teachers, cognitive scientists, and computer scientists to apply and test her research in educational settings.

Bethany Rittle-Johnson, PhD | Children’s Learning Lab

Jenny R. Saffran, PhD

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Communication and Cognitive Sciences Group

“How do infants learn about their worlds? We study how infants learn about the auditory world, particularly the beginnings of language acquisition and music perception. One line of research presently being pursued in the Saffran lab concerns the problem of word segmentation. As adult listeners, we perceive word boundaries when listening to a familiar language. However, these boundaries disappear when we hear a foreign language. This is because speakers do not consistently pause between words.”

Jenny R. Saffran, PhD | Infant Learning Lab

Rebecca Saxe, PhD

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cognitive Neuroscience

“Externally observable components of human actions carry only a tiny fraction of the information that matters. Human observers are vastly more interested in perceiving or inferring the mental states – the beliefs, desires and intentions – that lie behind the observable shell. If a person checks her watch, is she uncertain about the time, late for an appointment, or bored with the conversation? If a person shoots his friend on a hunting trip, did he intend revenge or just mistake his friend for a partridge? The mechanism people use to infer and reason about another person’s states of mind is called a ‘Theory of Mind’ (ToM). One of the most striking discoveries of recent human cognitive neuroscience – made in our lab, and others – is that there is a group of brain regions in human cortex that selectively and specifically underlie ToM. Excitingly, most questions about these brain regions remain open.”

Rebecca Saxe, PhD | Saxelab

Laura Schulz, PhD

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cognitive Sciences

“The infrastructure of human cognition — our commonsense understanding of the physical and social world — is constructed during early childhood. I study the representations and learning mechanisms that underlie this feat. My research looks at 1) how children infer the concepts and causal relations that enable them to engage in accurate prediction, explanation, and intervention; 2) the factors that support curiosity and exploration, allowing children to engage in effective discovery and 3) how the social-communicative context (e.g., demonstrating evidence, explaining events, disagreeing about hypotheses) affects children’s learning.”

Laura Schulz, PhD | Early Childhood Cognition Lab

Lawrence J. Schweinhart, PhD

HighScope Educational Research Foundation

Dr. Schweinhart, president of the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation, made early contributions to the early childhood filed by directing the HighScope Perry Preschool study that has followed a group of preschool children for over 40 years. The research has demonstrated the positive effects of a high quality preschool program on the lives of children. The landmark longitudinal study establishing the extraordinary human and financial potential of high-quality early childhood programs; and the High/Scope Preschool Curriculum Comparison Study — which provides long-term evidence that child-initiated learning activities are central to high-quality early childhood programs.

Lawrence J. Schweinhart, PhD

Jack P. Shonkoff, MD

Harvard University | Center on the Developing Child

Child Health and Development

Dr. Shonkoff, a pediatrician, is an expert on early childhood research, service delivery, and social policy. He was Principal Investigator of the Early Intervention Collaborative Study, Co-Editor of the classic “Handbook of Early Childhood Intervention, Chair of the Board on Children,” Youth, and Families of the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, and Chair of the IOM/NRC Committee that produced the landmark report entitled “From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development.” Dr. Shonkoff has been very influential in negotiating the boundaries among scholarship, policy, and practice focused on young children and their families.

Jack P. Shonkoff, MD | Center on the Developing Child | Zero to Three

Daniel J. Siegel, MD

University of California, Los Angeles

pediatrics and clinical psychiatry

Daniel J. Siegel received his medical degree from Harvard University and completed his postgraduate medical education at UCLA with training in pediatrics and child, adolescent and adult psychiatry. He served as a National Institute of Mental Health Research Fellow at UCLA, studying family interactions with an emphasis on how attachment experiences influence emotions, behavior, autobiographical memory and narrative.

Daniel J. Siegel, MD Website | Biography

Robert S. Siegler, PhD

Carnegie Mellon University

Cognitive Psychology

Dr. Siegler’s research focuses on the development of problem solving and reasoning in general and on the more specific topics of how children learn mathematics and how theoretical understanding of mathematical development can be applied to improving the learning of preschoolers from low-income backgrounds.

Robert S. Siegler, PhD | Robert S. Siegler, PhD (further info)

Catherine Elizabeth Snow, PhD

Harvard University

educational psychology

Catherine E. Snow, Henry Lee Shattuck Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, carries out research on first- and second-language acquisition, and literacy development in monolingual and bilingual children. She chaired the committee that produced the National Research Council Report, “Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children” (1998), and the study group that produced “Reading for Understanding: Toward an R&D Program in Reading Comprehension” (2002). She is a former president of the American Educational Research Association and a member of the National Academy of Education. Her research focuses on the social-interactive origins of language and literacy skills, the ways in which oral language skills relate to literacy learning, the literacy development of English-Language Learners, and implications of research on language and literacy development for teacher preparation.

Catherine Elizabeth Snow, PhD | Catherine E. Snow, PhD, on Language and Literacy Development

Elizabeth S. Spelke, PhD

Harvard University | Laboratory for Developmental Studies

cognitive psychology

Starting in the 1980s, she carried out experiments on infants and young children to test their cognitive faculties. She has suggested that human beings have a large array of innate mental abilities. In recent years, she had an important role in the debate on cognitive differences between men and women. She defends the position that there is no scientific evidence of any significant disparity in the intellectual faculties of males and females.

Elizabeth S. Spelke, PhD | Elizabeth Spelke’s New Yorker Profile

Daniel N. Stern, MD

University of Geneva | Cornell University

Infant Development

For more than thirty years he has worked in research and practice as well in developmental psychology and psychodynamic psychotherapy. In his research he dedicated his time to the observation of infants and to clinical reconstruction of early experiences. His efforts continue to contribute to currently existing developmental theories. He was well known as an expert researcher of early affective mother-child bonding. Research and discoveries on the field of affective bonding was one of his leading activities. Before his death, Daniel N. Stern was an honorary professor in Psychology at the University of Geneva, adjunct professor in the department of Psychiatry at the Cornell University Medical School and a lecturer at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research.

Daniel N. Stern, MD | Obituary

Dorothy Strickland, PhD

Rutgers University | National Institute for Early Education Research

Dr. Strickland was formerly the Arthur I. Gates Professor of Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. A former classroom teacher, reading consultant and learning disabilities specialist, she is a past president of both the International Reading Association (IRA) and its Reading Hall of Fame. She was the l998 recipient of the National Council of Teachers of English Award as Outstanding Educator in the Language Arts and the 1994 NCTE Rewey Belle Inglis Award as Outstanding Woman in the Teaching of English. She has numerous publications in the field of reading/language arts. Her latest publications are Teaching Phonics Today, Beginning Reading and Writing, and Supporting Struggling Readers and Writers.

Dorothy Strickland, PhD | Author Bio

Ross A. Thompson, PhD

University of California, Davis

Developmental Psychology

Dr. Thompson’s work focuses on early personality and socioemotional development in the context of close relationships, an interest that contributes to the cross-disciplinary field of developmental relational science. This interest takes his work in two directions. First, his research explores the influence of relational processes on emotional growth, conscience development, emotion regulation, and self-understanding. Recent studies have examined, for example, how the content and structure of early parent-child discourse shapes young children’s developing representations of emotion, morality, and self. Second, he has worked on the applications of developmental relational science to public policy problems concerning children and families, such as school readiness and its development, early childhood mental health policy, and research ethics.

Ross A. Thompson, PhD | Social & Emotional Development Lab

Edward Z. Tronick, PhD

University of Massachusetts, Boston

Developmental Psychology

Dr. Ed Tronick’s research goals include understanding the nature of the process of normal and abnormal developmental processes that are embedded in the emotional and social exchanges of infants and young children and their caregivers. Dr. Tronick is a world class researcher and teacher recognized internationally for his work on the neurobehavioral and social emotional development of infants and young children, parenting in the U.S. and other cultures, and infant-parent mental health. He has coauthored or authored more than 150 scientific papers and chapters.

Edward Z. Tronick, PhD

Georgene L. Troseth, PhD

Vanderbilt University

Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience

Professor Troseth’s research focuses on young children’s symbolic development, including their understanding of symbolic artifacts (e.g., pictures, video images, scale models) and of the intent to symbolize. In the general area of knowledge representation, Troseth is specifically interested in children’s representations of the mental states – the intentions, beliefs, desires, and knowledge – of other people.

Georgene L. Troseth, PhD

Samuel S.-H. Wang, Ph.D.

Princeton University

Molecular Biology

The Wang laboratory does basic research in several areas: (1) information processing in the cerebellum, including its contributions to motor learning; (2) cerebellar roles in cognitive and affective function and autism spectrum disorder; (3) the improvement of tools for awake, in vivo optical imaging; and (4) synaptic learning rules throughout the brain. They rely on advanced methods for the optical control and imaging of brain activity. Research interests are represented both by published papers and by more recent work. (For Sam Wang’s public writings, see For Presidential polling meta-analysis see the Princeton Election Consortium.)

Wang Research Lab | Welcome To Your Brain

Whitney Weikum, PhD

University of British Columbia

Neuroscience and Psychology

“The acquisition of language is one of the most mysterious and exciting achievements of early childhood. The focus of research in our Centre is to describe the events in infancy that prepare the child for this remarkable event, and to attempt to explain the developmental mechanisms that make it possible.”

Whitney Weikum, PhD | Infant Studies Centre

Janet F. Werker, PhD

University of British Columbia

Developmental, Cognitive Science

“My research focuses on understanding the roots of language acquisition, by studying speech perception in infancy, the mechanisms by which native speech sound categories are acquired, and how speech perception supports early word learning.”

Janet F. Werker, PhD | Infant Studies Centre

Amanda L. Woodward, PhD

The University of Chicago

Infant Cognition

Her research investigates infant social cognition and early language development including the understanding of goal-directed actions, agency, theory of mind, and learning from social partners.

Amanda L. Woodward, PhD | Infant Learning and Development Laboratory

Karen Wynn, PhD

Yale University

Cognitive Science

“My research investigates the core mental mechanisms through which we interpret (and impose structure upon) incoming information, and which enable us to reason about and act upon the world. In the Infant Lab, my students and I study infants and young toddlers, as a means of tapping the core architecture of the human mind as it exists prior to extensive influences of language, culture, education, and experience. We are examining both initial structures – what humans are born with – and also how these initial structures develop over time, with input and experience.”

Karen Wynn, PhD | The Infant Cognition Center

Philip David Zelazo, PhD

University of Minnesota

Executive Function

“Our research focuses on the development and neural bases of executive function (the conscious regulation of thought, action, and emotion) in children, adolescents, and adults. Specific topics studied include the development of working memory and planned action in infancy, the effect of mindfulness meditation on cognition and emotion, and the way in which children’s emotional reactions can influence their problem solving.”

Philip David Zelazo, PhD | Zelazo Lab