My work has examined the impact of three influences on early cognitive development: infant language comprehension abilities, infant sleep habits, and developmental disabilities that co-occur with structural damage to regions of the brain implicated in higher-level cognitive processes. In this last line of work, I study infants and children with Down syndrome as well as those who have been affected by early iron deficiency. Together, this program of research places memory development in context, with theoretical and practical implications. Theoretically, examining contextual influences on memory in infancy and childhood allows for a more nuanced understanding of how cognitive development proceeds. In terms of practical application, my work is important for understanding the cognitive abilities of individuals with developmental disabilities as well as means to facilitate improved functional outcomes more broadly.
Memory development in infancy and early childhood; individual differences in long-term memory in infancy; the impact of early nutrition on development