The Cognitive Development Society conference is comprised of pre-conference workshops on Thursday October 17th followed by two days of conference proceedings. The conference will include two plenary speakers, invited symposia, contributed symposia and oral papers as well as poster sessions.

Invited Plenary Speakers

Michael Tomasello

Michael Tomasello

Duke University

Michael Tomasello is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA, and emeritus director at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany.  His research interests focus on processes of cooperation and communication in human children and great apes. His recent books include Origins of Human Communication (MIT Press, 2008); Why We Cooperate (MIT Press, 2009); A Natural History of Human Thinking (Harvard University Press, 2014); A Natural History of Human Morality (Harvard University Press, 2016); and Becoming Human: A Theory of Ontogeny (Harvard University Press, in press).


Becoming Human: A Theory of Ontogeny

Adriana J. Umaña-Taylor

Adriana J. Umaña-Taylor

Harvard University, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Dr. Adriana J. Umaña-Taylor is a Professor of Education at Harvard University in the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is nationally and internationally recognized for her research on ethnic-racial identity development, which is guided by developmental and socio-cultural ecological frameworks to understand how youth and families influence and are influenced by their surrounding ecologies. Her research seeks to uncover how adolescents’ ethnic-racial identity development unfolds in the context of family, school, and communities, and the conditions under which it can serve as a resource that protects adolescents from culturally informed risk factors such as ethnic-racial discrimination. Her current scholarship is supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation. Her books include: Below the Surface: Talking with Teens about Race, Ethnicity, and Identity (Princeton University Press); Studying Ethnic Identity: Methodological and Conceptual Approaches across Disciplines (American Psychology Association); and Studying Ethnic Minority and Economically Disadvantaged Populations (American Psychology Association).


Socio-Developmental Conceptions of Adolescents’ Ethnic-Racial Identity

Invited Symposia – Confirmed speakers:

Religious Cognition

Kathleen Corriveau, Boston University
Will Gervais, University of Kentucky, Lexington
Larisa Heiphetz, Columbia University
Jon Lane, Vanderbilt University


Relating to Others: Implications for Cognitive Development

Chair: Melissa Koenig, University of Minnesota
Nameera Akhtar, University Santa Cruz
Dima Amso, Brown University
Natasha Cabrera, University of Maryland
Meredith Rowe, Harvard University


The Development of the Imagination

Stephanie Carlson, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
Paul Harris, Harvard University
Andrew Shtulman, Occidental College
Marjorie Taylor, University of Oregon