Neuroscience & Education Lab Completed Projects
The Neuroscience and Education Lab (NEL) has worked on a variety of research initiatives assessing the effects of early family influences, early childhood curriculum, and different teaching practices on the development of self-regulation.
New Fathers and Mothers Study
The New Fathers and Mothers Study examined early family influences on the development of self-regulation. Funded by the National Science Foundation and the Bezos Family Foundation, the project collected data from first-time parents and their children to explore the ways that families develop in the child’s first two years of life. Families in New York City were visited in their homes when mothers were 36 weeks pregnant, and then again when their child was 4 months, 14 months, and 24 months old. We were interested in the development of attention and emotion and how early experiences, including the prenatal experiences, carry forward into the childhood years. To examine these areas cross-culturally, NEL collaborated with teams in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
Tools K Study
The ToolsK study evaluated the efficacy of an early childhood curriculum, Tools of the Mind, in improving self-regulation, academic achievement, and social-emotional development. Funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, the study followed children longitudinally from kindergarten through first grade in collaboration with several Massachusetts school districts (Cape Cod, Lynn, Western Massachusetts, Central Massachusetts, and Greater Boston).
Tools ELL Study
The Tools ELL study showed how different teaching practices influenced preschool-aged children's early academic development among English language learners. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the project evaluated the efficacy of a preschool curriculum known as Tools of the Mind, which was designed to enhance language and self-regulation development to promote early academic and social-emotional competencies. Data was collected from approximately 400 children in 80 pre-kindergarten classrooms in El Paso, TX and Pinellas County, FL.
Funded by the Administration for Children and Families, the ABC study collaborated with two Early Head Start partners to examine the role that Early Head Start can play in supporting parenting and buffering children from the negative effects of toxic stress.