Playing games with children in study
 Students in lab

Research Interests

Headed by faculty members Yvette Harris and Vrinda Kalia, the developmental program is focused on understanding how environmental exposures (e.g., family environment, culture) shape development across the individual’s lifespan. Dr. Harris examines the environmental antecedents of cognitive, intellectual, and academic development in children of various ethnic backgrounds from preschool through adolescence. Much of her research focuses on the cognitive development of African American children. Dr. Kalia examines the relation between cognitive control and emotion control. She is interested in the contextual forces (i.e. language environment, stress) that shape the development of cognition overall, and emotion regulation and executive processes in particular.


The developmental labs are unique, in the department, because we conduct our studies both in the lab and in the ‘field’ (e.g. children’s homes, schools). The developmental laboratories are located in the Psychology Building, with ample space for behavioral experiments. We use a combination of physiological (fNIRS, EEG) and behavioral data for our studies. 

Join Us

We encourage our students to collaborate widely with others in the department. Graduate students in the developmental program work closely with their primary research advisor as well as other faculty in the department, graduate students, and undergraduate students. Students interested in joining either of the developmental labs should apply to the Brain, Cognitive, and Developmental Science program.