Cognitive Development Lab

2-5 Year Olds (Preschooler) Studies

Research Interests?
As a parent you know first-hand that children show many sophisticated behaviors. They can group objects together into more abstract categories (e.g., furniture, things that fly, etc.), and they can predict properties of new things. If they learn that their cat likes fish, they would expect other cats to like fish too.

These generalization abilities help children learn and act, and they are at the heart of abstract thinking. Recent research suggests that, in many situations, generalization depends on selective attention – the ability to focus on some aspects of the situation and ignore others. Research has also shown that many preschool children miss this ability.

We are currently conducting a study in which we would like to offer “attentional training” – a set of games that will allow the child to develop selective attention skill. We expect that successful attention training will also result in improved abstract thinking. Additionally, we are interested in determining how children understand basic scientific, linguistic and mathematical concepts and how they use them in their reasoning about the world.  We are interested in trying out new methods for improving children’s understanding of these concepts.

To learn more about our current projects, please click here.

For answers to frequently asked questions, please click here.

For research results, please click here.

How can you Participate?
If you would like to participate, please contact our lab. We conduct studies with preschool age children at our Ohio State University lab, as well as at over 80 participating Columbus area preschools and child care centers. Parking at our lab is free and you will be able to park right next to the entrance. It is important to note that permission slips and study information for studies conducted at preschools and child care centers are distributed and collected at participating facilities. In those studies, children participate at their center during their regularly scheduled hours. If you would like to find out if your child’s preschool or child care center is participating in our research, please contact us. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

How to Contact Us?
Phone: (614) 688-3970
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