Application for Cognitive Development Lab
Overview of the lab: The Cognitive Development Lab at UConn is headed by Dr. Adam Sheya and supervised by Shireena McGee (Developmental PhD student), Ashley Dhaim (CESPA PhD Student), and Amanda Mankovich (Developmental PhD Student). The studies in the lab involve concepts such as learning, coordination, reasoning and problem solving development. The following studies are currently being conducted in the lab:
Adult Puzzle Study (Ashley Dhaim): When solving a puzzle with multiple solutions, how are people transitioning from finding one solution path to another? Using motion tracking and eye tracking, participants are encouraged to explore the dynamics of a soma cube and find unique solutions to it.
Mastermind & Problem Solving Study (Shireena McGee): How do the cognitive dynamics of learning change over development? Using a task similar to the game Mastermind, we aim to understand how different forms of instruction differentially effect learning as well as the development of reasoning and problem solving skills.
Postural Control Study (Ashley Dhaim): In a novel video game task, motion tracking of one's posture is used to control a virtual object to complete a task. Participants do this task alone and together. We are exploring how participants learn the task and then adapt to the task with another person over a large age range of development. This study is being conducted with adults and children (5-10 years-old)
Adult-Infant Coordination Study (Amanda Mankovich): At any point in development, social connectedness is important for child cognitive growth. However, child perception, thought, and action dramatically differ from the adult's point of view. I study how moment-to-moment interactions alter how kids (12, 15, and 18 months old) explore, attend to, and utilize social contexts.
Parent-Toddler Exploration and Language Study (Amanda Mankovich): The nature of object play dramatically changes during the second and third years of life, coinciding with the onset of language production. However, what this transition could mean for language development is unclear. This research investigates the process through which children (both typical and with Autism Spectrum Disorder) continuously adapt their exploratory behaviors in consideration of parental demands, resulting in optimal moments for language acquisition.
Overview of lab responsibilities Fall 2019 (3 credit course, 9 hour per/wk dedication):
attend bi-weekly meetings, read and engage with related research articles, be trained on methodologies such as eye-tracking and motion-tracking, meticulous coding in excel and other software programs, scripted data collection with people of all ages (infants to adults), tentative travel to data collection locations such as Connecticut Science Museum in Hartford.
*****PLEASE SUBMIT APPLICATIONS BY FRIDAY MARCH 8th at 5 PM.*****
You will receive a follow up email on or before Friday March 8th detailing your interview status. Interviews will be held the week of March 11-15th. Decisions will be sent the week of March 18th.