Our research focuses on how children develop the skills that allow them to seek goal-directed behaviors, especially in the face of internal and external distractions.

Under the umbrella term cognitive control, we study how and when children develop the abilities to:

  • focus on relevant information while ignoring distractions

  • maintain and manipulate information in their minds

  • resist automatic responses that conflict with their goals

  • switch flexibly between relevant rules

  • monitor the outcomes of their actions, especially when they make errors

We study cognitive control development as it is embedded in households and classrooms, within the broader context of children’s socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.

Broadly, our research program aims to:

  • characterize the neurodevelopmental and behavioral changes in cognitive control in early childhood;

  • elucidate the mechanisms through which children’s early experiences contribute to cognitive control development;

  • delineate the interplay between cognitive control skills and academic development.

To address these aims, our research group uses a multi-method approach that combines:

behavioral assessments

electroencephalogram / event-related potentials (EEG/ERP)

naturalistic observations