We study children's early social-cognitive development. We are particularly interested in how young children acquire information about the cultural domain of artefacts. We are currently conducting studies that address how young children acquire concepts about tools and their functions by means of imitation. Some of the questions we are interested in answering include: Do children need to be taught explicitly about the functions of tools or can they acquire this information by means of observation alone? Do very young children need to learn by doing in order to return to a specific tool for a specific function? What social information are children sensitive to prior to the age of three years when learning how to operate a novel object? What are the social learning mechanisms that facilitate object knowledge?


The Child Development Lab is part of the Hang Seng Centre for Cognitive Studies at the University of Sheffield. We conduct most of our research at local nurseries and child playgroups in Sheffield. Please see our parent page for more information about enrolling your child in our studies. Thank you!