Our graduate program focuses on training students to become independent scientists in developmental psychology.
The faculty in this area study how experience and maturation contribute to changes in our mental, physical, and social capabilities, often with a focus on changes in cognitive processes such as learning, attention, perception, and representation. Our approach places a strong emphasis on identifying the psychological, biological, and environmental mechanisms that provide causal explanations for change over developmental time.
The program also involves the Carnegie Mellon University Children’s School, a laboratory school that facilitates developmental research with children between the ages of 3 and 5.
These faculty routinely train Developmental Psychology students:
Thomas S. Baker University Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience
Behrmann's research program is on understanding the psychological and neural bases of visual cognition, with particular emphasis on the recognition of faces, words and common objects. The research involves a multimodal approach using psychophysics, functional MRI and EEG and different populations including normal and brain-damaged adults and children.
Ronald J. and Mary Ann Zdrojkowski Professor of Developmental Neuroscience, Associate Professor of Psychology, and Chair, Departmental Committee on Diversity and Inclusion
We study the developmental, evolutionary, and cultural origins of logic and mathematics using fMRI and behavioral methods with children and adults, comparative studies with non-human primates, and cross-cultural research in the Amazon. Our studies test the kinds of computations that are shared among primates, their developmental trajectory, and what makes the human brain unique.
Director, Children's School and Professor of Psychology (Teaching)
My work aims to utilize theories and research in the learning sciences to improve education, for young children at the Children’s School where I am the Director, for undergraduates in the Dietrich College where I am the Associate Dean for Educational Affairs, and for graduate students in the Program for Interdisciplinary Education Research (PIER) where I teach one of the core courses and serve on dissertation committees.
Associate Professor of Psychology
I study development of attention regulation, role of attention in learning in formal and informal settings, and development of higher-order cognition including semantic memory and reasoning. On-going projects in the lab examine how children sustain attention to dynamic events, the role children’s developing attention regulation plays during reading, and learning-driven changes in semantic memory in ecologically-valid settings.
Chair, Departmental Strategic Planning Committee and Professor of Psychology and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition
Our research in auditory cognitive neuroscience has a developmental component in its examination of how children learn about the structure of sound in the world. This is important for spoken language learning, and for how speech communication interacts with developing literacy in school-age children.
Walter van Dyke Bingham Professor of Cognitive Development and Education Science, Emeritus
I study the development of scientific thinking in children. Specific projects range from basic studies of the development of curiosity and question-asking skills, to more applied investigations of the construction of adaptive, intelligent programs that can guide students through the process of designing and evaluating experiments in a variety of domains.
Teresa Heinz Professor of Cognitive Psychology and Professor of Psychology
I have created the crosslinguistic multimodal TalkBank database system for the study of spoken language interactions in children, adults, bilinguals, language learners, and a variety of language disorders. My Competition Model for first and second language learning relies on concepts and data from usage-based linguistics, embodied cognition, and neuroemergentism.
Associate Professor of Psychology
I study various aspects of infant perception and cognition using behavioral methods and computational modeling. I apply information-processing and evolutionary psychology approaches to examine how infants learn about causality, categorization, induction, cues to animacy, labels, and fear.
Director of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor of Psychology
I study learning, with a particular focus on language learning and how infants and adults take advantage of probabilistic information in the input to discover phonological, lexical, and syntactic patterns. I am interested in both the effects of learning - such as how adults process input differently from infants - and also the mechanisms underlying learning, and have ongoing projects exploring both of these questions.
Assistant Professor of Psychology
How do we learn to use language to communicate with other people? My lab studies the processes by which children develop from wordless infants to sophisticated speakers of their native language. We use a combination of experimental methods, analyses of large-scale observational data, and computational models to build theories of how children's basic learning mechanisms operate over the language they hear to produce native language mastery.