The mission of the Research Cluster in Developmental Science (RCDS) is to create, apply, and promote new knowledge in human development that could ultimately lead to evidence-based interventions. 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 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 strong ties with the Centre for Child Development, Mental Health, and Policy at the University of Toronto Mississauga, as well as the Medical Academy at the University of Toronto Mississauga.
Faculty Members with Core Affiliation to RCDS
infant perception and cognition; language acquisition; speech perception; developmental psycholinguistics; early word recognition and comprehension
social development; exceptionality in human learning, disability and giftedness; cross-cultural psychology.
social-emotional development, child and adolescent mental health, intervention research, developmental and clinical child psychology
developmental psychology; cognitive development; conceptual development; social learning; culture and cognition
music and cognition; music and emotion; music and development; intelligence; developmental/cognitive psychology
Vanden Bosch der Nederlanden, Christina
auditory developmental neuroscience; music; language; EEG; auditory scene analysis; attention; human development
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
Smith, Mary Lou
Affiliated Faculty Members
biopsychosocial health psychology; severe stress, mental and physical health; trauma, psychophysiology, LGBT health, posttraumatic stress disorder and chronic illness
cognitive science; psycholinguistics; language acquisition; spoken language comprehension
cognitive psychology; reading and language comprehension skills; working memory capacity and its role in accounting for individual differences in verbal intelligence; sensory and cognitive aging
behavioural neuroscience; neuroendocrinology; neuroplasticity; social behaviour; social status
sex differences, sexual development, hormones, testosterone, neuroanatomy, sexual behaviour, neuromuscular systems, kennedy disease/SBMA
hearing; vision; sensory and cognitive aging; speech perception; signal processing in audition and vision
Developmental Science Interest Group (DIG):
Visit the DIG website for more information about this area of research, about the DIG group's faculty and graduate students at all three U of T campuses, and about DIG group activities (link: http://www.psych.utoronto.ca/users/DIG/).