We are a developmental psychology lab interested in the impact of the social and language environment on early neurocognitive development. Our ultimate goal is to understand how to best support caregivers and create environments that foster optimal child development.
Stress, Home Environment, Language & Learning (SHELL) Study
Understanding how the early home environment impacts trajectories of language and cognitive development is crucial for identifying early risk and resilience factors associated with later school readiness. This study examines how caregiver stress and the home language environment influence early language and memory skills during the first two years of life. We are currently recruiting infants 0-3 months - families will receive $30-$60 for participating and reimbursement for transportation costs.
Háblame Bebé is an educational phone application that aims to empower Hispanic parents and caregivers to engage with their cultural identities, to feel pride in being Hispanic and in speaking Spanish, and to promote bilingualism. This app seeks to change conceptions of bilingualism and promote ‘Language Nutrition’ in the home language. Fundamental to Háblame Bébe is the message that parents are their baby’s first and best teachers – regardless of what language they speak. Watch to learn more, and like us on Facebook and Instagram!
Family Interactions and Neural Synchrony (FINS) Study
Early learning is a social process. The ability to initiate interactions, respond appropriately, and take turns during bouts of communication are important aspects of growing up in a social world. This study uses EEG hyperscanning to simultaneously record neural responses of the dyad (caregiver and child) while interacting in a series of semi-naturalistic tasks. We are currently recruiting caregivers and their children (4-10 years old).
COVID-19 & Perinatal Experiences (COPE) Study
The COPE Study aims to better understand the impact of the pandemic on parents and their young children, in order to identify the needs of families, inform our communities, and contribute to better outcomes in the future. As the public health crisis is disproportionately affecting communities of color, we are particularly interested in experiences of Black and Latino families. We are currently recruiting pregnant women in their 1st or 2nd trimesters.
Meet Our Team
Nick is interested in the effects of stressors associated with socioeconomic status, and how they pertain to psychological and physiological well-being. As a research assistant at the ISLAND lab, Nick hopes to see how the knowledge attained regarding infant development can inform better policy-making.
Akshar values community partnerships and has previously dedicated his skills and knowledge to support various NYC public schools and youth organizations as a peer health educator, after school tutor, and youth mentor. Additionally, he attends to pediatric ED patients as a volunteer at New-York Presbyterian Hospital. He aspires to continue his support of children, their families, and educational healthcare initiatives as a pediatric surgeon.
Makenzie finds great value in community service and advocacy work. For years, she has been highly involved with The Family Resource Network of New Jersey - an organization devoted to supporting individuals and their families who are living with epilepsy, autism, intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities, and chronic illnesses. Further, Makenzie was a Behavior Assistant in a contained classroom with four students on the autism spectrum. With this being her first experience in a research lab, Makenzie is very excited for the opportunity and looks forward to understanding how stress in a child’s early home environment impacts their cognitive development.