Brain and Cognitive Development Lab

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


Brain and Cognitive Development Lab

Dept. of Psychology

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

157 Psychology Building

603 East Daniel St.

Champaign, IL  61820


Early quantitative abilities

How do early developing abilities to approximate, compare, and remember quantities influence later numerical and math development? 

Early social-cognitive abilities

How do we come to understand the goals, intentions, and thoughts of others?

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?

Conceptual organization and specialization

How can early brain organization inform theories of conceptual development? What is the role of experience in the functional organization of the brain?



All these methods have undergone rigorous testing and are safe to use with infants, children, and adults.


We use electroencephalography to passively record changes in brain activity from the scalp.


We use near-infrared spectroscopy to measure neurovascular changes associated with brain activity from the scalp.

Behavioral measurements

We use measures of behavior (reaction time, looking time, accuracy, etc.) to better understand how development unfolds and how it relates to brain activity. 

Training Studies

We use brief training procedures to understanding the role of practice or experience in cognitive development.

© Brain and Cognitive Development Lab 2012