CDL Sam              


Mission Statement:  The mission of the CDL (Cognitive Development Lab) is to conduct scientifically sound research on the development of infants' and children's cognitive abilities and to engage with our community to educate others about our lab and children's development.

We are a psychology lab affiliated with Indiana State University and are studying the way that babies and children develop.  We focus on cognitive development and how kids learn simple number and math skills.


      Cognitive Development LaboratoryCognitive Development Laboratory



Toddler Count Study: In this study, we were interested in how kids learned to assign number words to individual numbers.  For example, how do kids know that "two" refers to a pair of objects?  We wanted to see if we could teach kids within a short visit to learn a new number.  We played the "duck game" in which kids would place a requested number of ducks in the pond.  We found that we were unable to teach kids new numbers in a brief testing session.  This is likely something that requires many more repetitions and experience.  (March 2013 - August 2013)  Ages:  3 - 5 year olds

Negative Numbers Study:  This study addressed how children store negative numbers in their mind.  This study was conducted in Kansas City and the results are going to be published soon.  Check back often for the published article.  (Fall 2011)


Recess Study:  We are finishing a study that was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Virgil Sheets at ISU on how recess affects' students' performance in the classroom.  We collected several measures of cognitive skills such as attention and creativity before and after children went to recess.  We are currently analyzing this data and hope to have some results to share soon, so keep checking back! Ages:  3rd - 5th grades

Music and Math Study:  In collaboration with the ISU Community School of The Arts (http://www.unboundedpossibilities.com/community-school-of-the-arts.aspx), we are conducting a study looking at how music education impacts cognitive and spatial skills.  Plenty of evidence exists that shows that children who take music lessons have improved cognitive skills such as math and spatial skills, but we don't really know why this is.  This study is a first step at understanding why this relationship exists.  Ages:  6th - 8th grades

Adult Math Study:  In collaboration with one of Dr. Brez's Research Methods classes, we conducted a survey of adults in Vigo and surrounding counties to begin to assess views, attitudes, and expectations regarding math education.  Although most of the CDL's research involves children and how they learn about math, we felt it was important to get an understanding of adults' and specifically parents' view on how, what, and when we should be teaching math.  We are currently analyzing this data and hope to have some new findings to report shortly.  Ages:  18 years and older






Dr. Caitlin Brez

Degree: Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.

Research Interests/Specialties: Infant Cognition; Numerical Skills; Mathematics Education

Previous Experience:  Dr. Brez has over 10 years of research experience with infants and children.  She has tested babies as young as 4 months of age all the way through adults.  Most of her work focuses on young children and infants and how they learn about numbers and math.  She has also expanded this work to look at math education, specifically how kids learn about certain math topics with hope that this research may improve the way in which math is taught.  She also does research on the role of nutrition in children's cognitive development as well as how recess and music affect cognitive development with a focus on math skills.

Our lab was founded in 2012 by Dr. Caitlin Brez


Spring 2017 Lab Workers 1

Spring 2017 Lab Workers 2



Cognitive Development Lab (CDLAB)
200 N. 7th St.
Root Hall, B-020
Indiana State University
Terre Haute, IN  47809
Phone:  812-237-2450
Visit our Facebook Page at: http://www.facebook.com/CognitiveDevelopmentLab

Department of Psychology