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John Colombo

Cognitive Psychology

Member, Cognitive Psychology Program
Member, Developmental Psychology Program
Director, Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies
Director, Kansas Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Center
Coinvestigator, Center for Behavioral Neuroscience in Communicative Disorders
Faculty Chair, Human Subjects Committee - Lawrence
Ph.D., 1981, State University of New York at Buffalo
Research Areas: Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Developmental Methods

Related Links
Cognitive Psychology Program
Developmental Psychology Program
Personal Website
Life Span Institute
Center for the Behavioral Neuroscience of Communicative Disorders
Human Subjects Committee, Lawrence

Research Interests

My research interests are in the area of developmental cognitive neuroscience, emphasizing the development of attention and learning and the manner in which these components become integrated to serve higher-order functions. We have a basic program of work on the developmental cognitive neuroscience of attention in typically-developing infants and toddlers.  We have conducted numerous longitudinal studies to document the manner in which these measures contribute to cognition, intelligence, and language in childhood.  Another line of work seeks to apply measures of early cognition for the early identification of infants and children at risk for cognitive/language delays or psychopathology. Lastly, we have used of these measures as short-term outcomes for evaluating the effect of environmental or organismic manipulations and factors on developmental outcome. We maintain laboratory sites at the University of Kansas Edwards Campus in Overland Park, the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, and at the Wakarusa Research Facility in Lawrence. Our work has been supported by funds from NIH, NSF, foundations, and industry.

Selected Publications

Colombo, J. (1982). The critical period concept: Research, methodology, and conceptual issues. Psychological Bulletin, 92, 260 275. (PMID: 7071261)

Colombo, J., and Fagen, J. W. (Eds., 1990). Individual differences in infancy: Reliability, stability, and prediction. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum and Associates.

Colombo, J., Mitchell, D. W., Coldren, J. T., and Freeseman, L. J. (1991). Individual differences in infant attention: Are short lookers faster processors or feature processors? Child Development, 62, 1247-1257. (PMID: 1786713)

Colombo, J. (1993). Infant cognition: Predicting later intellectual functioning. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Colombo, J. (2001). The development of visual attention in infancy. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 337-367. (PMID: 11148309)

Colombo, J. (2002). Infant attention grows up: The emergence of a developmental cognitive neuroscience perspective. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 11, 196-199.

Colombo, J., Shaddy, D. J., Richman, W. A., Maikranz, J. M., & Blaga, O. (2004). Developmental course of visual habituation and preschool cognitive and language outcome. Infancy, 5, 1-38.

Colombo, J., Kannass, K. N., Shaddy, D. J., Kundurthi, S., Anderson, C. J., Blaga, O. M., & Carlson, S. E. (2004). Maternal DHA and the development of attention in infancy and toddlerhood. Child Development, 75, 1254-1267. (PMID: 15260876)

Anderson, C. J., & Colombo, J. (2009). Larger tonic pupil size in young children with autism spectrum disorder. Developmental Psychobiology, 51, 207-211. (PMID: 18988196).

Colombo, J., & Mitchell, D. W. (2009). Infant visual habituation. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 92, 225-234. (PMID: 18620070)

Rankin, C., Abrams, T., Barry, R., Bhatnagar, S., Cerruti, D., Fang, C.-W., Clayton, D., Colombo, J., Coppola, G., Geyer, M., Glanzman, D., Marsland, S., McSweeney, F., Wilson, D., & Thompson, R. (2009). Habituation: An evaluation and revision of Thompson and Spencer (1966). Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 92, 135-138. (PMID: 18854219)

Colombo, J., McCardle, P., & Freund, L. (Eds., 2009). Infant pathways to language: Methods, models, and research directions. New York, NY: Psychology Press/Taylor and Francis.

Colombo, J., Carlson, S. E., Cheatham, C. L., Fitzgerald-Gustafson, K. M., Kepler, A., & Doty, T. (2011).  LCPUFA supplementation during infancy lowers heart rate and changes the distribution of attention.  Pediatric Research, 70, 406-410. (PMID: 21705959)


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