The main goal of this research is to describe how symbolic representations are acquired and integrated during early childhood and to determine what factors facilitate their use in knowledge acquisition, thus potentially enhancing the efficiency of educational techniques. We investigate whether fiction provides a framework for learning about the world and whether new technology (digital media) can be used optimally to enhance learning in early childhood.
Within this line of work we investigate: 1) the emergence of symbolic understanding in young children; 2) how children use symbols to learn and transfer information to the real world; 3) how parents and children interact with symbolic media; 4) how children understand and reason about fictional stories.
- Strouse, G. A., and Ganea, P. A. (2021). Learning to learn from video? 30-month-olds benefit from continued use of supportive scaffolding. In Digital Media and Children under 3 Years of Age. Vol. 64, Iss. 101574. Infant Behavior and Development, 2021. doi: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2021.101574
- Strouse, G. A. & Ganea, P. A. (2021). The effect of object similarity and alignment of examples on children’s learning and transfer from picture books. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 203, 105041.
- Nyhout, A., Larsen, N.E., & Ganea, P.A. (2020, July). Children’s understanding of the communicative intentions of storytelling. Paper presented at the Cognitive Science Society 2020 pre-conference workshop, How stories shape us and how we shape stories, Toronto, ON, Canada.
- Nyhout, A. & Ganea, P. A. (2018). Symbolic representation. The SAGE Encyclopedia of Lifespan Human Development.
- Strouse, G. A., Nyhout, A., & Ganea, P. A. (2018). The role of book features in young children’s transfer of information from picture books to real-world contexts. Frontiers in Psychology, 9:50.doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00050
- Larsen, N. E., Lee, K., & Ganea, P. A. (2017). Do storybooks with anthropomorphized animal characters promote prosocial behaviours in young children? Developmental Science, doi: 10.1111/desc.12590
- Lee, R., Chambers, C. G., Huettig, F., & Ganea, P. A. (2017). Children’s semantic and world knowledge overrides fictional information during anticipatory language processing. In G. Gunzelmann, A. Howes, T. Tenbrink, & E. Davelaar (Eds.), Proceedings of the 39thAnnual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
- Strouse, G. A., & Ganea, P. A. (2017). A print book preference: Caregivers report higher child enjoyment and more adult-child interactions when reading print than electronic books. International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction, 12, 8-15. doi: 0.1016/j.ijcci.2017.02.001
- Strouse, G. A., & Ganea, P. A. (2017). Parent-toddler behavior and language differ when reading electronic and print picture books. Frontiers in Psychology, 8:677.doi: 10.3389/ fpsyg.2017.00677
- Strouse, G. A., & Ganea, P. A. (2017). Toddlers’ word learning and transfer from electronic and print books. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 156, 129-142. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2016.12.001 0022-0965
- Strouse, G. A., & Ganea, P. A. (2016). Are prompts provided by electronic books as effective for teaching preschoolers a biological concept as those provided by adults? Early Education and Development, 8, 1190-1204. Special Issue: Young Children’s Developing Understanding of the Biological World. doi: 10.1080/10409289.2016.1210457
- Ganea, P. A., & Canfield, C. (2015). Learning from picture books: From infancy to early school days. In B. Kummerling-Meibauer, J. Meibauer, K. Nachtigaller, & K. Rohlfing (Eds.), Learning from picturebooks: New perspectives in child development and literacy studies. New York: Routledge.
- Ganea P. A., Canfield, C. F., Simons-Ghafari, K., & Chou, T. (2014). Do cavies talk?: The effect of anthropomorphic books on children’s knowledge about animals. Front. Psychol. 5:283. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00283
- Keates, J., Graham, S., & Ganea, P. A. (2014). Infants transfer nonobvious properties from pictures to real-world objects. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 125, 35-47. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2014.02.003
- Khu, M., Graham, S.A., & Ganea, P.A., (2014). Learning from picture books: Infants’ use of naming information. Frontiers in Psychology, 5:144. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00144
- Walker, C., Gopnik, A., & Ganea, P. A. (2014). Learning to learn from stories: children’s developing sensitivity to the causal structure of fictional worlds. Child Development, 00(0), 1-9.doi: 10.1111/cdev.12287
- Walker, C., Walker. L., & Ganea, P. A. (2012). The role of symbol-based experience in early learning and transfer from pictures- Evidence from Tanzania. Developmental Psychology, 49, 1315-1324. doi: 10.1037/a0029483
- Ganea, P. A., Ma, L., & DeLoache, J. S. (2011). Young children’s learning and transfer of biological information from picture books to real animals. Child Development, 82, 1421-1433. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01612.x
- Tare, M., Chiong, C., Ganea, P. A., & DeLoache, J. S. (2010). Less is more: The effect of manipulative features on children’s learning from picture books. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. doi: 10.1016/j.appdev.2010.06.005
- Ganea, P. A., Allen, M., Butler, L., Carey, S. & DeLoache, J. S. (2009). Toddlers’ referential understanding of pictures. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 104, 283-295. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2009.05.008
- DeLoache, J. S. & Ganea, P. A. (2009). Symbol-based learning in infancy. In A. Needham & A. Woodward (Eds.), Learning and the infant mind. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
- Ganea, P. A., Bloom-Pickard, M. & DeLoache, J. S. (2008). Transfer between picture books and the real world by very young children. Journal of Cognition and Development, 9, 46-66. doi: 10.1080/15248370701836592
- DeLoache, J. S., & Ganea, P. A. (2007). The early growth of symbolic understanding and use: A tribute to Ann Brown. In Campione, J. C., Metz, K. E., & Palincsar, A. S.(Eds.), Children’s learning in the laboratory and in the classroom: Essays in honor of Ann Brown. New Jersey, Lawrence Erlbaum & Associates.
- Ganea, P. A., Lillard, A. S., Turkheimer, E. (2004). Preschooler’s understanding of the role of mental states and action in pretense. Journal of Cognition and Development, 5, 213-238.