Skip to content

Psychology in the News

Greg Reynolds receives NSF grant

Congratulations to Greg Reynolds, who received a 3-year $536,139 NSF grant titled, “Visual attention and categorization in infancy”.  His funded project will advance scientific understanding of early cognitive development over the first year of life.  The project is funded from February 2018 through January 2021.

Here is a brief description of the funded study:

Categorization is critically important for making sense of the world in an efficient and functional manner. Infants demonstrate increasing specificity in their ability to categorize across the first year after birth. Discovering how human infants develop the ability to categorize is important for advancing scientific knowledge regarding early cognitive development. This project has three major aims that will be addressed in two experiments testing infants at 6, 9, or 12 months of age. Aim 1 is to determine the effects of attention on infant categorization of faces and objects. This will be done through the use of a multi-level approach including simultaneous measures of heart rate changes that are associated with attention, and electroencephalogram (EEG) measures of attention and categorization. Aim 2 is to determine the effects of learning conditions on infant attention and categorization. This will be done by varying the initial learning conditions infants are exposed to prior to EEG testing. Aim 3 is to use computational modeling of the EEG to determine areas of the brain involved in categorization in infancy. Addressing these aims will advance scientific knowledge regarding the role of attention in infant categorization and areas of the brain involved in categorization at different ages in infancy. Findings from this project will provide insight into long-standing theoretical debates regarding the development of categorization and the basic nature of categorization throughout the life-span. In addition to enhancing scientific knowledge regarding early cognitive development, this project will have a broader impact by providing many important training opportunities. Several graduate and undergraduate students will be trained in developmental cognitive neuroscience which will increase the participation of underrepresented groups in STEM fields.

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.