Developmental psychology will become increasingly interdisciplinary, incorporating genetics, cell biology, the brain, the environment, and more, APS Board Member Annette Karmiloff-Smith projects in a just-released “Inside the Psychologist’s Studio” interview.
Karmiloff-Smith, a highly influential developmental and cognitive neuroscientist, adds that she expects developmental researchers to devote increased attention to individual differences and environmental influences.
“One of things I see in the future is a much more subtle description of children’s environments than we’ve had up to now,” she tells APS Fellow BJ Casey in a conversation recorded at the 26th Annual APS Convention held in May 2014 in San Francisco. “We did a study a few years back where we showed that just a tiny difference in the style of the mother’s interaction with the baby would affect the timing of when the baby reached certain cognitive milestones. They were all typically developing babies, so they all reached them in the end. But it shifted, one way or another, depending on the cognitive domain, simply as a function of whether the mother was a little bit more directive or a little bit more sensitive.”
Modeled after the “Inside the Actor’s Studio” series on the Bravo cable television network, the “Inside the Psychologist’s Studio” series features senior luminaries in the field who look back at their accomplishments. In this segment, Karmiloff-Smith talks with Casey about her reasons for pursuing a career in psychological science, her training under pioneering developmental psychologist Jean Piaget, and her current research involving babies with Down syndrome as a model for risk and protective factors for Alzheimer’s dementia in adults.