Information about the Brain and Cognitive Development Lab.


A child playing with a dollhouseThe Brain and Cognitive Development Lab. We study cognitive development from infancy to adulthood using brain and behavioral measures. Our research addresses two broad questions about cognitive development:

  1. What basic perceptual and cognitive abilities are we born with?
  2. How do we use these basic abilities to form uniquely human knowledge?

Our current methods of research consists of using electroencephalography to passively record changes in brain activity from the scalp, near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to measure neurovascular changes associated with brain activity from the scalp, we measure behavior (reaction time, looking time, accuracy, etc.) to better understand how development unfolds and how it relates to brain activity, and we use training studies to understand the role of practice or experience in cognitive development.

We currently have three areas of focus. We are studying early quantitative abilities, more specifically we want to know how do early developing abilities to approximate, compare, and remember quantities influence later numerical and math development. We are interested in early social-cognitive abilities and figuring out how we come to understand the goals, intentions, and thoughts of others. Finally, we are studying how young brains can early brain organization inform theories of conceptual development and the role of experience in the functional organization of the brain.

Our Principal Investigator is Daniel C. Hyde.

Check out our website here to learn how to get involved!