Co-Director of the Learning Research Institute
Professor Ph.D., Univesity of Nebraska - Lincoln Human Development; General Experimental Psychology Cognitive Development
PSYC 640: Advanced Research Methods
PSYC 311: Experimental Psychology
Research and Teaching Interests
Visual Word Recognition and the Development of Skilled-Reading
The overall goal of my research program in this area is to identify the nature of visual word recognition processes in adults and then apply this knowledge in an attempt to better understand how these same processes develop in less-skilled readers. The specific goals of this research program are to (a) better understand the cognitive processes that underlie visual word recognition in both skilled and less-skilled readers, (b) examine how visual word recognition processes change as reading skill/age increases, (c) develop a model of reading acquisition that can account for changes in lexical processing as reading skill improves, and (d) apply my research findings to reading instruction in the classroom.
Development of Executive Functions and Memory Processes in Children
With this line of research, I am interested in better understanding how the development of various central executive functions including inhibition, attention, and working memory affects the development of cognitive control in children. Cognitive control is a critical cognitive function that is used often in everyday activities such as inhibiting highly automatic responses, using various forms of information to control thought and action, and planning. In order to examine the development of cognitive control in children, I am currently adapting a highly-specified, neurobiologically-based theoretical framework (context processing) that has been proposed in the adult literature. Along with my collaborator Tom Lorsbach at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, we are currently conducted a set of experiments to examine whether this framework can be applied to cognitive control in children.