COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT LAB AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WEST FLORIDA


The Cognitive Development Lab (CDL) is under the direction of Vanessa Rainey, Ph.D. 

Research in the CDL aims to advance the understanding of how bilingualism impacts the developmental course of cognition. Current research has focused on the development of metalinguistic awareness and executive function in preschool children, elementary-aged children, and emerging adults. A primary focus has been on the differential development of bilingual individuals who serve as the primary language translator for their family (i.e., language brokers). Child language brokers engage in adult-level comprehension when translating and interpreting documents and conversations between linguistically different people. This alteration in the family structure has positive and negative consequences for children. The interdisciplinary research of the CDL has investigated these factors using theories and methods from developmental psychology, educational psychology, and cognitive neuroscience.

A new line of research has begun to incorporate the concept of “grit” (i.e., perseverance) into these models of development, a factor that may be more predictive of academic success than IQ alone (see Duckworth, Peterson, Matthews, & Kelly, 2007).