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The Department of Human Development Colloquium Series Presents:


Dr. Karen Adolph, New York University

“Learning to Move and Moving to Learn”

Basic manual and locomotor behaviors are foundational for learning and doing in the everyday environment. The most important thing infants must acquire for functional motor action is behavioral flexibility—the ability to select appropriate actions from their repertoires, modify ongoing actions to suit local conditions, and construct new solutions on the fly. Learning to move is constrained and facilitated by infants’ growing bodies, the practical exigencies of their ever-expanding environments, and their caregivers’ expectations and childrearing practices. Moreover, new ways of moving open up new opportunities for perception, cognition, and social interaction. The presentation will also describe the Databrary.org project to enable open sharing of research video, the PLAY (Play & Learning Across a Year) project to promote synergistic developmental science, and the Datavyu.org coding tool to enable researchers to glean the richness of their videos.

Brief Bio
KAREN E. ADOLPH is Professor of Psychology, Applied Psychology, and Neural Science at New York University. She uses observable motor behaviors and a variety of technologies (video, motion tracking, instrumented floor, head-mounted eye tracking, EEG, etc.) to study developmental processes. Adolph is Director of the Databrary video library and the PLAY project, and she developed and maintains the Datavyu video-coding tool. Adolph received her Ph.D. from Emory University, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and Association for Psychological Science and is Past-President of the International Congress on Infant Studies. She received the Kurt Koffka Medal, a Cattell Sabbatical Award, the APF Fantz Memorial Award, the APA Boyd McCandless Award, the ICIS Young Investigator Award, FIRST and MERIT awards from NICHD, and five teaching awards from NYU. She chaired the NIH study section on Motor Function and Speech Rehabilitation and serves on the McDonnell Foundation advisory board and editorial boards of Developmental Psychobiology and Motor Learning and Development. Adolph has published 170+ articles and chapters. Her research on perceptual-motor learning and development has been continually funded by NIH since 1991. She currently holds 9 grants.