Loyola University Chicago

Infant & Early Childhood Cognition Lab


Understanding the Development of Attention


Dr. Kannass’s primary program of research focuses on the development of attention in infancy and early childhood.  Attention is a complex construct with many facets, and she is especially interested in how infants and young children hold and maintain their attention when they are engaged with a toy or working on a task.  In other words, she is interested in the development of “endogenous,” or internal, voluntary attentional control, which is analogous to colloquial constructs like distractibility, attention span, and persistence.  Dr. Kannass also part of interdisciplinary research teams that have used our basic understanding of attention to understand complex applied issues, such as how nutrition affects cognitive development.

Studying the development of early attention is important for advancing the field of cognitive development, and results from such research have important implications for how parents, teachers, and care providers may facilitate attention and construct learning environments in early childhood.  Furthermore, this type of research is relevant to psychologists developing interventions for children with attention problems. 

Please click on the tabs to the right to learn more about our research projects.