So, funny thing, I actually don't believe in cognition. That
said, most people would probably consider my dissertation
research (the work that got me my Ph.D.) to have been a study
of infant cognition. Ecological Psychology can turn things on
its head though, so the confusion is understandable.
My infant cognition work has been on hold since I
arrived at Altoona, as there is no space for a proper infant
lab. At the University of California, Davis, I studied infant
object permanence abilities using a looking-time paradigm
In the process of that work, I became deeply suspicious of the
methodology, in which infants are shown displays and you measure
how long they stare at them following different outcomes. In my
work at Clark University, I tried to study looking as one might
from an Animal Behavior perspective - it is a behavior
constrained to serve multiple functions, and the role of each of
those functions is worth studying. In particular, I examined the
social function of looking in parent-infant interaction. The
study (currently submitted) showed conclusively that infant
looking affected parental behavior in a manner that had concrete
consequences for the infant. At some point in the ambiguous
future, Altoona will get more lab space for psychology, and I
hope to restart that research.
More to come.