UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


Language & Cognition seminar - Prof Rogier Kievit

02 June 2021, 10:30 am–11:30 am

Language and Cogniiton Seminar series logo

Wednesday 2 June, 10.30-11.30 UK time. "Understanding the dynamics of cognitive development." Talk held online.

This event is free.

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Disa Witkowska – Language & Cognition

Understanding the dynamics of cognitive development 

Individual differences in cognitive abilities are almost universally conceptualized as traits­ – Stable, relatively unchanging properties of individuals. However, this perspective ignores changes in cognitive performance within persons. In this talk I will present two ways of thinking about cognitive ability from a dynamic perspective. First, I will describe the mutualism model, which suggests that positive reciprocal interactions between cognitive abilities are essential for cognitive growth. I will describe empirical evidence in favour of the mutualism model as a new, more powerful way to think about cognitive development. In the second half I will zoom in even further to examine cognitive fluctuations – Short term changes within persons on cognitive performance. Individuals with more variable performance are more likely to be mis-stratified into schools or careers with potential lifelong consequences, and more likely to perform at levels that necessitate intervention for periods of time. I will argue this is an overlooked yet crucial aspect of cognitive performance, with distinct neural and physiological mechanisms. I will describe how to model variability, and describe some preliminary analyses demonstrating its promise. 

About the Speaker

Prof Rogier Kievit

Professor of Developmental Neuroscience, and Senior Associate Scientist at Donders Institute and MRC CBU

More about Prof Rogier Kievit