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Patricia Ganea
Associate Professor

phone: (416) 934-4502
email: patricia.ganea@utoronto.ca  
website: http://www.languageandlearninglab.com/

Department: Applied Psychology and Human Development



Research Overview

Dr. Ganea's primary research area is early cognitive development. She investigates the processes involved in young children's learning about the world through symbolic means, such as language, pictures, videos, and replica objects. She is especially interested in children's use of language to think and communicate about what is perceptually not present. Developing the ability to communicate about absent objects and events is a major cognitive achievement, one that enables children to learn about the world indirectly. Her research is focusing on the social, linguistic and representational factors that influence children’s learning about the world. She is also interested in how children develop an understanding of the pragmatics of language and of social cognition.

In applied practice, Dr. Ganea is interested in the application of developmental research to early childhood education.

Reseach Projects/Activities:

•Understanding of displaced speech
•Pragmatics and social cognition
•Updating of mental representations via language
•Learning and transfer from picture books
•Science learning in young children


Representative Publications

Galazka, M. & Ganea, P. A. (2014). The Role of Representational Strength in Verbal Updating: Evidence from 19-and 24-month-olds. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 121, 156-168.

Kelemen, D., Emmons, N., Seston, R. & Ganea, P. A. (2014). Young children can be taught basic natural selection using a picture storybook intervention. Psychological Science. doi:10.1177/0956797613516009.

Osina, M. A., Saylor, M. M. and Ganea, P. A. (2014), Object Locations, Identity and Absent Reference Understanding at 12 Months. Infancy, 19, 65–81.

Canfield, F. C. & Ganea, P. A. (2013) “You could call it magic”: What parents and siblings tell preschoolers about absent entities. Journal of Cognition and Development. DOI: 10.1080/15248372.2013.777841

Ganea, P. A. and Saylor, M. M. (2013), Representational Constraints on Language Development: Thinking and Learning About Absent Things. Child Development Perspectives, 7, 227–231. 

Ganea, P. A. & Harris, P. H. (2013) Early limits on the verbal updating of an object’s location. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 114, 89-101.

Osina, M. Saylor, M.M., & Ganea, P. A.  (2013). When familiar is not better: 12-month-olds respond to talk about absent objects. Developmental Psychology, 49, 138-145.

Ganea, P. A. & Saylor, M. M.  (2013) Talking about the near and dear: Infants' Comprehension of Displaced Speech.  Developmental Psychology, 49, 1299-1307.

Walker, C., Walker, L., & Ganea, P. A.  Experience with pictures facilitates symbolic understanding in young children: Evidence from Tanzania (2013). Developmental Psychology, 49, 1315-1324.

Blake, P., Ganea,P. A., & Harris, P. L. (2012). Possession in not always the law: With age preschoolers increasingly use verbal information to identify who owns what. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 113, 259-272.

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.

Ganea, P. A., Koenig, M. A., Gordon, M.K. (2011). Changing your mind about things unseen: Toddlers’ sensitivity to prior reliability.  Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 109, 445-453.  

Saylor, M. M., Ganea, P. A., & Vasquez, M. (2011).  What’s mine is mine: Twelve-month-olds use possessive pronouns to identify referents.  Developmental Science, 14, 859-864.

Tare, M., Chiong, C., Ganea, P. A., & DeLoache, J. S. (2010).  Less is More: How manipulative features affect children’s learning from picture books.  Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 31, 395-400.

Ganea, P. A. & Harris, P. L. (2010).  Not doing what you are told: Early perseverative errors in updating mental representations via language. Child Development, 81, 457-463.

Ganea, P. A., Allen, M. A., Butler, L., Carey, S., & DeLoache, J. S. (2009).  Toddlers’ referential understanding of pictures.  Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 104, 283-295. 

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. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01612.x

Ganea, P. A., Koenig, M. A., Gordon, M.K. (2011). Changing your mind about things unseen: Toddlers’ sensitivity to prior reliability. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 109, 445-453.

Saylor, M. M., Ganea, P. A., & Vasquez, M. (2011). What’s mine is mine: Twelve-month-olds use possessive pronouns to identify referents. Developmental Science, 14, 859-864.

Tare, M., Chiong, C., Ganea, P. A., & DeLoache, J. S. (2010). Less is More: How manipulative features affect children’s learning from picture books. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 31, 395-400.

Ganea, P. A. & Harris, P. L. (2010). Not doing what you are told: Early perseverative errors in updating mental representations via language. Child Development, 81, 457-463.

Ganea, P. A., Allen, M. A., Butler, L., Carey, S., & DeLoache, J. S. (2009). Toddlers’ referential understanding of pictures. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 104, 283-295.

Ma, L. & Ganea, P. A. (2009). Dealing with conflicting information: Young children’s reliance on what they see versus what they are told. Developmental Science, 2009, 1-10.

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., 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.

 

Research Grants and Contracts

Connaught New Researcher Award, University of Toronto, May 1, 2013- May 1, 2015, $9.800.

Principal Investigator, SSHRC Insight Grant, Toddlers’ use of language to update mental representations. April 1, 2012-March 31, 2015.

Principal Investigator, SSHRC Insight Development Grant, Young children’s learning via picture books. June 1, 2012-May 31, 2014.



Professional Activities

Elected Member of Board of Directors
Cognitive Development Society (2012-present)

Associate Editor
British Journal of Developmental Psychology (2008-present)

Editorial Board Member
Journal of Cognition and Development (2012–present)