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Sarah Berger
Position: 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

Dr. Berger was an American Association of University Women Postdoctoral Research Fellow and a Fulbright Research Scholar. Dr. Berger studies the interaction between cognitive and motor development in infancy, particularly response inhibition and its implications for the allocation of attention in very young children. Recent work has shown that attention is best understood by taking into account sensorimotor activity as a context for expertise or a source of attentional demands. This work suggests a set of principles for understanding delayed development which could contribute to identifying features of early intervention. A line of NSF/BSF-funded work has been the first to study the impact of sleep on motor problem solving in infancy. This project has shown that individual differences in the quality of night sleep impact next day’s learning; that napping and night sleep work cummulatively to consolidate new information; and that the timing of a nap relative to learning impacts memory consolidation. In addition, new funding from the NSF supports the study of preterm infants, sleep, and problem solving.