Developmental Science

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The mission of the Research Cluster in Developmental Science (RCDS) is to create, apply, and promote new knowledge in human development. Historically, the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) has had a strong emphasis on developmental science; its first developmental laboratories were established in 1973. Every year since then, hundreds of families from the surrounding communities have visited campus laboratories in developmental science to participate in research. Members of the cluster enjoy good relationships with local kindergartens, schools, hospitals, public health services, child care providers as well as with government and private agencies.

The primary goals of the RCDS are to enhance training opportunities for students interested in developmental science, to encourage collaborations among researchers within and outside of the University of Toronto, and to disseminate knowledge to the scholarly community, to service providers, and to the general public.

RCDS consists of faculty members who study language, cognition, social/emotional functioning, neuropsychology, behavioural development, and health from the prenatal period to adolescence. Additional faculty affiliated with RCDS examine developmental trajectories and outcomes throughout life (e.g., later adulthood). The phenomena of development are viewed at multiple levels, from the sub-systems of genetics, neurobiology, physiology, and hormones, to those of families, schools, communities, and cultures. RCDS researchers also study questions about the development, implementation, and evaluation of interventions in diverse populations of children and families in school and community settings with the goal of optimizing child development, academic outcomes, and health.

Members of the Cluster have ties with the Centre for Child Development, Mental Health, and Policy at the University of Toronto Mississauga, as well as the Mississauga Academy of Medicine.

Core Faculty Members in RCDS

Johnson, Elizabeth
infant perception and cognition; language acquisition; speech perception; developmental psycholinguistics; early word recognition and comprehension

Kamenetsky, Stuart
social development; exceptionality in human learning, disability and giftedness; cross-cultural psychology.

Malti, Tina
social-emotional development, child and adolescent mental health, intervention research, developmental and clinical child psychology

Ronfard, Samuel
developmental psychology; cognitive development; conceptual development; social learning; culture and cognition

Vanden Bosch der Nederlanden, Christina 
auditory developmental neuroscience; music; language; EEG; auditory scene analysis; attention; human development

VanderLaan, Doug
gender and sexual orientation diversity; child and adolescent mental health; alloparenting; family and peer relationships; developmental psychology; cross-cultural psychology; evolutionary psychology; clinical psychology; neuroimaging  

Affiliated Faculty Members

Andersen, Judith
biopsychosocial health psychology; severe stress, mental and physical health; trauma, psychophysiology, LGBT health, posttraumatic stress disorder and chronic illness

Chambers, Craig
cognitive science; psycholinguistics across the lifespan; spoken language comprehension

Holmes, Melissa
behavioural neuroscience; neuroendocrinology; neuroplasticity; social behaviour; social status

Monks, Ashley
sex differences, sexual development, hormones, testosterone, neuroanatomy, sexual behaviour, neuromuscular systems, Kennedy Disease/SBMA


Emeritus Faculty

Fleming, Alison  
Schellenberg, Glenn  
Smith, Mary Lou