Our Research

husky with EEG with Uconn logo

Research Interests

In the C.A.P. Lab at UConn Waterbury, we study the building blocks of early cognitive development.  We play different games to understand how kids learn, remember, and think at different points during development.  Our “social brain” games involve copying others, while our “cognitive control” games challenge children to do/say the opposite of a natural tendency.  By wearing our EEG & ECG sensors as they play, we gain insight into how brain waves and heart activity are involved in kids’ thinking.  

Our primary research interests fall into three main themes:

(1) Experimental investigation of early learning and memory
(2) Longitudinal and individual difference analysis of emerging executive functions
(3) Neuroscience foundations of socio-cognitive development

Research Projects

Husky See, Husky Do: Babies Dr. Cuevas with infant

  • Ages: 6 weeks to 24 months
  • Ever wondered:What is my baby learning when watching others?” We play imitation games with babies to study the developing social brain.
  • Longitudinal Study: Each visit is about 45 minutes.  We offer $15-25 in compensation and babies receive a bib or t-shirt with our lab logo. Please contact us if you would like to sign up or find out more!
    • 2019 Update: We will be reaching out to some of our “babies” who are now preschoolers to come visit us again!

Funding:

  • UConn Research Excellence Program (K. Cuevas PI) A Longitudinal Analysis of the Neural Basis of Social Information Processing during Infancy and Early Childhood
  • NIH R03 HD081333 (K. Cuevas PI) EEG Mu Rhythm Analysis of Infant Social Information Processing
  • UConn Large Faculty Grant (K. Cuevas PI) A Systematic Analysis of the Infant EEG Mu Rhythm
  • Social Sciences, Humanities, & Arts Research Experience (SHARE) Award (S. Limaye)
  • UConn Psychology Department Undergraduate Research Grant (C. Flores, S. Limaye, D. Liyanage, &  S. Moncayo)
This study was approved by the UConn IRB, Protocol #H12-289.

Husky See, Husky Do: Kids

  • Ages: 2 to 6 years
  • Looking for a fun and exciting experience for you and your children?  This study involves imitation and picture games that help us understand the developing social brain.
  • Each visit is about an hour long and kids typically receive a t-shirt with our lab logo for participating. Please contact us if you would like to sign up or find out more!

Funding:

  • Social Sciences, Humanities, & Arts Research Experience (SHARE) Award (D. Liyanage)
  • Sam L. Witryol Scholarship (L. Bryant)
  • UConn Office of Undergraduate Research Supply Award (Y. Lopez & K. Valerio)
  • UConn Psychology Department Undergraduate Research Grant (Y. Lopez & K. Valerio)
  • UConn Summer Undergraduate Research Fund (SURF) Award (K. Valerio)
This study was approved by the UConn IRB, Protocol #H14-030.

Completed Projects

The Social Brain & Tool-Use in 3- to 6-Year-olds

For her master’s thesis, Lauren Bryant was interested in how “hands on” experience  differs from passive experience when young children learn new things.

  • Kids were shown two new toy tools; they practiced with one and watched a video of someone using the other.
  • Lauren found that children showed different patterns of brain waves, which could underlie changes in attention.
  • Bryant, L. J., & Cuevas, K. (2019). Effects of active and observational experience on EEG activity during early childhood. Psychophysiology, 56, e13360.   https://doi.org/10.1111/psyp.13360
    • Want to see the entire research paper for free?  Just ask us for a copy!