For most of us, everyday actions such as using a fork and walking across the room are quite simple—so simple, in fact, that we hardly ever think about them even though we perform such actions many times daily. However, even seemingly simple actions require complex psychological operations such as planning, problem-solving, and learning.
As a developmental psychologist, I am interested in the relationship between cognitive, perceptual, and motor skills that allow children and adults to plan and execute goal-directed actions. Currently, my students and I are conducting three distinct, but related, lines of research. In the first line of work, we are examining the perceptual basis for goal-directed actions: What types of information are available for goal-directed actions, and how do we learn to gather and use relevant perceptual information for different types of actions? In the second line of work, we are investigating the role of different learning mechanism in the development of goal-directed actions. Finally, in the third line of work, we are asking how children acquire useful problem-solving strategies to cope with challenges to goal-directed actions.
- Ph.D., New York University, 2006
- M.A., New York University, 2004
- B.A., Rutgers University, 2001
- "Imagining a way out of the gravity bias: Preschoolers can visualize the solution to a spatial problem"
Child Development, 82, 744-750, May 2011
- "Infants’ perception of affordances of slopes under high and low friction conditions"
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 36, 797-811, August 2010
- "One sound or two? Object-related negativity indexes echo perception"
Perception & Psychophysics, 70, 1558-1570, November 2008
PI on a grant titled "The Origins of Education: The Students’ Contribution to the Learning Process" from the Spencer Foundation, 2011