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Sarah Berger
Position: Associate Professor
Campus Affiliation: College of Staten Island
Phone: 718.982.4148
Training Area: Developmental Psychology
Research Interests: Relation between cognitive and motor development, specifically how changing motor expertise shapes problem-solving abilities in infancy and early childhood; Impact of sleep on motor problem solving in infancy

I am an experimental psychologist, with expertise in cognitive and motor development. I invented a goal-directed, locomotor task to study the interaction between disparate developmental domains—cognition and locomotion—in infancy. The task examines the effect of locomotor expertise on the development of the ability to inhibit. My other primary research program focuses on the relation between sleep and learning in infancy. My lab has conducted the first study of the contribution of night sleep on infant motor learning, the first to examine whether individual differences in the quality of night sleep mediate the effect of sleep on learning, and the first to examine the impact of the timing between sleep and learning. My research also focuses on the simultaneous development of different psychological domains, such as how the relationship between social interactions or language development and motor development shape each other. I direct the Child Development Lab at the College of Staten Island, which uses longitudinal and cross-sectional designs and video coding software for data coding. I have established ties to the community to recruit participants and have a long tradition of successfully mentoring dozens of undergraduate and graduate research assistants.