About Our Research > The Labs
Development Laboratories at UVa consist of two individual labs.
Each lab operates as a separate unit, but they both address questions
about cognitive, language, and social development. Clicking on an
individual lab’s name below will open up a new window with
more details about that lab’s research.
Child Language & Learning Lab, directed by Dr.
Vikram Jaswal, studies how learning language changes the way children
Early Development Lab, directed by Dr. Angeline
Lillard, studies the role that pretending plays in children’s
lives and investigates best practices in schooling.
We are excited that two new labs will be joining us in Fall 2014!
The Early Social
& Brain Development Lab, directed by Dr. Tobias
Grossmann, studies the early emergence of the social and affective competencies that enable infants to interact with others. By using non-invasive and child-friendly methods such as electroencephalography (EEG), functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) and eye-tracking technology, we examine changes in infant brain function while important developmental milestones are achieved. We study these processes across a range of situations in which infants can glean social and emotional information from various different sources such as faces, voices, or motion.
The Social & Moral Development
Lab, directed by Dr. Amrisha Vaish,
studies how young children perceive and respond to their
social worlds. The main focus of our research is the
development of social abilities that are essential to
becoming moral and cooperative people. These include
social emotions (such as sympathy and guilt), cognitions
(such as the ability to evaluate moral actions and
intentions), and behaviors (such as helping and sharing).
We also study the development of more basic social and
cognitive skills, such as when and how infants understand
the emotions, desires, and actions of others.
To carry out our research,
we rely on the support of local families, who volunteer about 30
minutes of their time to participate in one of our studies. You
can learn what a typical visit is like, get answers to frequently
asked questions, and register your family by clicking on the links
The Labs | A
Typical Visit | FAQ | Register