Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Bottle, ball, dog, chair, toy. How do babies, as young as 8 to 10 months, learn their first words? Language learning among older babies and toddlers, about age 2 and up, has been well-studied. But little is known about how babies first “break into language,” according to researcher Linda B. Smith, a Chancellor’s Professor and […]

Indiana University researchers will study the reasons Americans are confused about energy use in daily tasks. The IU team will then develop an online tool designed to correct those misperceptions. Given the growing challenges of climate change, energy conservation strategies are sorely needed to stabilize carbon dioxide concentration. Although individual behaviors may be less important […]

At the recent annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, the world’s largest source of emerging news about brain science and health, Indiana University neuroscientist Andrea Hohmann discussed research conducted at IU that has found evidence that the brain’s cannabis receptors may be used to treat chronic pain without the side effects associated with opioid-based pain […]

Thumbnail image for Building spatial ability: blocks vs. games

Research from Indiana University has found that structured block-building games improve spatial abilities in children to a greater degree than board games. The study, which appears in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, measured the relative impact of two games — a structured block-building game and a word-spelling board game — on children’s spatial processing. Such […]

Thumbnail image for Tool or weapon? Stone artifacts’ use

A team of psychologists, kinesiologists and archaeologists at Indiana University and elsewhere are throwing new light on a longstanding archaeological mystery: the purpose of a large number of spherical stone artifacts found at a major archaeological site in South Africa. IU Bloomington professor Geoffrey Bingham and colleagues in the United Kingdom and United States contend […]

Thumbnail image for Robot models for infant learning

An Indiana University cognitive scientist and collaborators have found that posture is critical in the early stages of acquiring new knowledge. The study, conducted by Linda Smith, a professor in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, in collaboration with a roboticist from England and a developmental psychologist […]

Thumbnail image for Study of new treatments for alcoholism receives $2.3 million NIH grant

Indiana University Bloomington clinical psychologist Peter Finn has received a $2.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the use of cognitive training techniques to reduce risky or impulsive decision-making in those with early-onset alcoholism and a history of impulsive, antisocial behavior. The study will focus on the role of working memory […]

Thumbnail image for Poor early language links to later problems

A new Indiana University study has tracked the links between early language skills and subsequent behavior problems in young children. Poor language skills, the study suggests, limit the ability to control one’s behavior, which in turn can lead to behavior problems such as ADHD and other disorders of inattention and hyperactivity. “Young children use language […]