Neural Correlates of Children’s Persistence, Engagement, Attention, and Self-Regulation

Principal Investigator: Dr. Jennie Grammer

Graduate School of Education & Information Studies

Focus: Bringing together developmental, educational, & neuroscientific perspectives, this study seeks to understand neurocognitive mechanisms that contribute to children’s self-regulation and persistence in school.  Specifically, the project seeks to examine children’s attentional focus and persistence on tasks they find challenging by exploring the neural markers of response monitoring using Electroencephalography (EEG).  In doing so, the hope is to explore the brain and behavioral processes that children engage in during challenging tasks and the effects on their academic skills.

Findings: Early findings show the persistence of female subjects over males across age and income demographics.  Overall, these findings provide evidence that gender socialization may be influencing the development of skills related to academic success such as executive functions and persistence. Further work is needed to investigate whether these skills may be observed differentially depending on the context of the student and what underlying mechanisms support the relation between context and behavior.