Developmental

  1. Cognitive
  2. Developmental

Berenbaum, Sheri

  1. Ph.D., 1977, University of California, Berkeley
sab31@psu.edu

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Sheri Berenbaum is interested in social and cognitive development, primarily from a neuroscience perspective. Current work focuses on prenatal sex hormone effects on gender development, genetic influences on pubertal development and on the association between pubertal timing and behavior, and the neural substrates of individual differences in cognitive abilities. A goal is to understand the ways in which biological predispositions and the childhood social environment work together to produce individual differences in social behavior and cognition.

Buss, Kristin

  1. PhD, 2000, University of Wisconsin-Madison
kab37@psu.edu

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Kristin Buss is interested in emotional development and temperamental variation from birth through early childhood. Her work spans multiple areas of research within social development, psychobiology, and neuroscience. Her current work is focused on the development of risk for adjustment problems, such as anxiety symptoms in toddlers with fearful temperaments. This work has demonstrated significant effects for types of situations where children show fear as well as their physiological stress reactivity.

Gilmore, Rick

  1. Ph.D., 1997, Carnegie Mellon University
rogilmore@psu.edu

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Rick Gilmore's research asks three questions: What are the representations underlying spatial perception and action? How are these representations instantiated in the brain? How do they develop, and why? The developmental cognitive neuroscience approach he takes to these questions combines insights from behavioral studies, biological experiments, and computational models. The ultimate aim is a unified, biologically and computationally plausible, account of the development of spatial perception and action early in life.

Liben, Lynn

  1. Ph.D., 1972, The University of Michigan
liben@psu.edu

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Lynn Liben is interested in both cognitive and social development, and in their interface. Current work in cognitive development focuses on children's growing ability to understand graphic representations, including maps, satellite imagery, photographs, and drawings. For example, in a collaborative grant with geographers, astronauts, earth scientists, educators, and other members of the psychology department, she is studying the use of various scientific visualization tools (e.g., Geographic Information Systems software) with children and adults. Also under study are the origins and amelioration of sex differences in spatial skills. Work in social development focuses on gender and racial stereotypes, with particular interest in the ways in which cognitive processes play a role in understanding and modifying these stereotypes.

Nelson, Keith

  1. Ph.D., 1970, Yale University
k1n@psu.edu

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Keith Nelson's interests concern cognitive developmental theory. His research involves children's acquisition and use of language and art. He also works with microcomputer-multimedia applications in educational research aimed at improving communication, art, and thinking in normal and handicapped children. Another facet of theorizing deals with the ways that cognition, emotion, and motivation are intertwined in children's learning.

Witherspoon, Dawn

  1. Ph.D., 2008, New York University
dpw14@psu.edu

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Dawn Witherspoon is interested in how context shapes adolescent development. Her work focuses on neighborhood, school, and family factors that affect adolescents’ socioemotional and academic adjustment. In addition, she examines how race, ethnicity, and other cultural attributes interact with contextual characteristics to influence adolescent outcomes. Her current work examines adolescent development from middle to high school to understand how aspects of the residential neighborhood, school, and family contexts are related to adolescents’ academic adjustment and beliefs as well as their deviant behaviors. A goal of her research is to elucidate the development of urban and rural adolescents, with particular attention to contextual supports.

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