MEET THE LAB
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR, Ph.D.
My research interests focus on a range of issues related to young children’s cognitive development. In my lab, we examine 4- to 6-year-olds’ developing ability to think about the future (future-oriented cognition), specifically focusing on their developing ability to save. We are also interested in their developing Executive Function skills (inhibition, cognitive flexibility) and how such skills contribute to other cognitive achievements. We also examine children’s ability to understand that people’s minds represent the world in particular ways (which may or may not be correct), and it is on the basis of these representations that we predict or explain behaviour (a broad area known as Theory of Mind). Other research has examined the developmental progression of a variety of representation types (e.g., symbols). Our research also examines children’s developing notion of ‘intention’ (purposeful behaviour), and how considerations of intention affect moral evaluations.
Sofia is a first-year MA Psychology student and research assistant in the Children's Representational Development Lab. She completed her BA Honours in Psychology in 2023 under Dr. Vivian Lee with a primary focus on caregiver perceptions of acceptability of a cognitive behavioural therapy-based intervention for autistic children. With Dr. Deepthi Kamawar, she hopes to explore factors that influence children's future-oriented cognition and saving behaviour. Specifically, she is interested in analyzing linguistic systems, Theory of Mind, inhibitory control, and working memory in children.
Cassandra is a fourth-year Cognitive Science student with a concentration in cognition and psychology. This upcoming year, Cassandra will be researching future-oriented cognition in saving and emotional intelligence in children. Cassandra will be working under the supervision of Dr. Deepthi Kamawar for her undergraduate thesis.
Ellen is currently a PhD student and research assistant in the Children's Representational Development Lab. She has an MA in Psychology from Carleton University and a Bachelor of Science from Mount Allison University. Ellen is currently involved in all studies in the lab, but her main area of interest is children's saving performance. More specifically, she is interested in factors that
can improve saving performance, such as budgeting and experience, as well as ways that we can help young children save. Further, she is interested in the impact of cognitive skills for saving, such as numerical and temporal cognition.
Kathryn is a fourth-year Cognitive Science student who recently completed an i-CUREUS research internship building a study to investigate children's propensity to save. This summer, Kathryn is continuing her research as an NSERC-USRA recipient, where she aims to examine whether the size of immediate versus future purchasing power influences young children's saving behaviour. Kathryn will work on her undergraduate thesis in the upcoming year with Dr. Deepthi Kamawar as her supervisor.
Thaadsaagini is a first-year MA Psychology student and research assistant in the Children's Representational Development Lab. She completed her B.A. in Psychology from McGill University. Her past research projects have examined the influence of digital stories on children’s and adolescent’s perceptions of cyberbullying and the effect of uncertainty and dread in intertemporal decisions about pain in young adults. She is passionate about how children can think and process at an early age and hopes to examine, with Dr. Deepthi Kamawar, children’s executive functioning in saving for their future.
Brooke is a first-year M.A. Psychology student and research assistant in the Children’s Representational Development Lab. She completed her B.A. Honours in Psychology in 2023 under the supervision of Dr. Deepthi Kamawar. This research focused on parental influence of preschoolers’ understanding of saving. She runs studies on both children’s saving and children’s temporal cognition (their understanding of time). She is passionate about gaining a deeper understanding of how children consider their future selves through saving along with inhibition and delay of gratification. This year, she looks to explore external factors that influence 4- to 6-year olds’ saving behaviour.
Teju is a 3rd-year honours Cognitive Science student concentrating in Cognition and Psychology and currently volunteers in the lab. As a volunteer, she attends lab meetings and helps with data collection. She is fascinated about how children learn and hopes to pursue a career in developmental psychology. This experience has allowed her to deepen her knowledge about the research process and apply the concepts that she has learned. She enjoys being able to collaborate with like-minded peers who are at different stages in their academic careers!