The Developmental group includes 6 core faculty members and 4 affiliated faculty members conducting research in a wide range of topic areas. Our core faculty emphasizes cognitive and behavioral development in infants, older children, adolescents, and adults. The area has a strong research orientation; all of our core faculty have a history of NSERC-supported research programs. The area also has a traditionof applying our research findings to real-world problems. Reflecting this orientation, our research is conducted not only on campus, but also in hospitals, schools, daycares, in children’s homes, and in clinical settings.
Prospective Graduate Students
Our past graduate students have found career success in academia as well in the community. With the recent addition of two new faculty members, our already active graduate program is looking to expand. Our model of graduate training connects each student with a faculty member to serve as a primary supervisor throughout their program of study. As such, if you are interested in pursuing graduate studies in Developmental Psychology, we would encourage you to read more about the research interests of our faculty (provided below and on their personal webpages) and contact the appropriate faculty member for more information.
Dr. Adams’ primary research interest is visual development in humans, especially within the first 4-5 postnatal years. His work spans both experimental and clinical disciplines, with a particular emphasis on projects that attempt to bridge the gap between basic science (namely developmental psychophysics and neuroscience) and clinical medicine (namely pediatric optometry and ophthalmology).
Dr. Courage’s primary research interests are in the development of human vision (e.g., visual acuity, contrast sensitivity), visual information processing (e.g., attention, learning), and memory (e.g., recognition; autobiographical memory) in infants and very young children. She is currently examining the impact of television and video material on infants’ and toddlers’ attention, play and social interaction.
Dr. Drover is interested in the normal/abnormal development of vision across the lifespan along with the maturation of the neural mechanisms that mediate visual function. His research concerns the development of stereopsis (i.e., depth perception), visual acuity, refractive error, contrast sensitivity, and vernier acuity, as well as visual deficits that place children at risk for amblyopia (“lazy eye”). He also has a separate program of research investigating the early nutritional requirements for optimal visual and cognitive development.
Dr. Hallett is the lead researcher of the Research Centre for the Development of Mathematical Cognition. His research investigates mathematical cognition in both children and adults, with a current focus on the understanding of fractions and the varying roles of conceptual and procedural knowledge in solving mathematical problems. Dr. Hallett also has research projects in non-mathematical topics such as identity development and epistemological understanding
Dr. Peterson’s research interests focus on memory and on language. For memory, Dr. Peterson’s research team has been studying children's eyewitness memory for stressful events, namely injuries serious enough to require hospital emergency room treatment. This line of investigation concerns the different factors in how children remember these events, how we can tell when children are telling the truth, and the forensic implications of this research. Dr. Peterson also studies infantile amnesia, or the age of people’s earliest memory, and the factors that affect when and what gets remembered years later. For language, Dr. Peterson and her colleagues have been studying children's autobiographical narratives, or stories about personal experience. They have also been looking at how children acquire narrative skills, and how narrative skills and memory interact.