How do we develop reasoning, self-regulating minds?
Young children seem to live in the moment and to be driven by impulses, but with age they show dramatic improvements in their abilities to reflect, reason, and self-regulate. What changes? Decades of research have illuminated the neurocognitive substrates supporting these abilities. However, the mind doesn’t develop in isolation; it develops in a rich sociocultural context that influences it in myriad ways. The goal of my research is to understand how. My work brings together core topics in developmental psychology that have traditionally been studied in isolation: social cognition, language and conceptual development, and executive processes. A key principle underlying my approach is that advances in knowledge are most likely when development is studied in context and with consideration of how systems interact and influence one another across time.
I am funded by an individual NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (sponsor: Yuko Munakata), and am conducting my research in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado – Boulder. I completed my Ph.D. in developmental psychology at the Institute of Child Development in Minnesota, my B.A. in psychology at York University in Toronto, and also studied philosophy at the University of Toronto.