Lab Research to be published in Scientific American

Last June, lab researcher Melody Dye wrote a piece for Scientific American’s Mind Matters column on the lab’s research into color learning.  That piece will now feature in an upcoming issue of the magazine’s print edition!  The article has also been selected to feature in this year’s Open Lab Anthology. If you’re curious to learn more about the research, last year’s Cognitive Science article (see pp. 932-7) and conference proceedings are a good place to start.

In short, our research team discovered that a simple principle of learning provided crucial insight into how best to structure color learning for young children, making color words dramatically easier for them to learn. More recently, the team has extended these principles to number learning and discovered that the same intervention significantly benefits early number categorization.  In that experiment, the improvements seen over a 15-minute training period were similar to those seen across a six-month longitudinal study. This finding was replicated across 3 samples of 2.5 – 3.5 year olds, and could have significant implications for early mathematics education.

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