Our developmental program is structured with the intent of fostering students' expertise in one or more areas of developmental research and providing students with the appropriate skills for studying development in their chosen area. Our aim is to train outstanding researchers and teachers who are prepared to make major contributions to the field. Faculty and students in our program conduct research that spans the developmental spectrum from infancy through late life. Specialty areas represented in our department can be loosely organized around topics of social-emotional development and cognitive development. Faculty and students in the area of social-emotional development focus on child rearing practices, health disparities, family dynamics, peer relations, and school contexts as they relate to achievement; aggressive behavior; altruistic perspectives; emotion regulation; emotional development; language development; gender-related beliefs and behaviors; motivational beliefs; social and relationship competence; and values and social cognitions. Some faculty and students conduct research on these topics with an eye toward addressing prevention/intervention programs and social policy. In the area of cognitive development, research focuses on various factors that contribute to variability in the cognitive functioning of infant, children and adults. In addition to behavioral measures, our faculty employ the methodologies of developmental cognitive neuroscience: eye tracking, ERP, and fMRI are used to gain insight into the neural and cognitive mechanisms underlying the processes in question. Faculty research programs are focused on questions of how infants perceive and produce speech sounds, how infants parse visual displays into individual objects and reach out for those objects, how infants and children compare the number of objects in different arrays, how children learn to read, and how children and adolescents develop and refine their conceptual understanding in science. There is also work on how health and health disparities impact cognitive functioning in older adults.