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Welcome to the Dr. R.G.N. Laidlaw Centre


Nick Laidlaw painting by Joyce WielandThe Dr. R.G.N. Laidlaw Centre provides the home for faculty research and outreach at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study. Our centre’s mandate is to support applied multidisciplinary research in child development and foster research connections around particular child study themes. As an integral unit of the Institute’s tri-partite mission, we advance collaborations among faculty, the graduate students who are pursuing combined research and professional training in our MA in Child Study and Education program, the Laboratory School teacher-researchers, academic colleagues at OISE and across the university, as well as with our many community partners and sponsoring organizations.

The establishment of the Dr. R.G.N. Laidlaw Centre for research, dedicated on April 2, 1992, is a tribute to the leadership and work of Dr. Nicholas Laidlaw, who devoted his professional life as a psychologist, lecturer and researcher to the Institute of Child Study. A generous endowment from the Laidlaw Foundation ensures that resources and infrastructure are available at the Institute to continue a tradition of research scholarship aimed at understanding child development—to benefit current and future generations of children and families, here and around the world.

The above portrait is of Nicholas Laidlaw painted by renowned Canadian artist Joyce Wieland, c. 1987. The original oil on canvas is in the private collection of The Laidlaw Foundation, Toronto, Canada. A reproduction of the painting was installed in the Dr. R.G.N. Laidlaw Centre as a tribute to Nick Laidlaw in celebration of the Centre's 20th Anniversary, April 2, 2012. We thank The Laidlaw Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada, Copyright Division, for making this possible.



Research Spotlight


November 4-5, 2016 - Hold the date! Patricia Ganea, Daphna Buchsbaum and Angela Nyhout host an

Interdisciplinary Workshop on Counterfactual Reasoning taking place at the University of Toronto.

The workshop will include 10 invited talks by international researchers from several disciplines, including Psychology, Philosophy, Cognitive Science, Linguistics, Informatics, and Management. 

A poster session will be open to submissions on topics related to the workshop topic (e.g., imagination, reasoning, fiction), and is included to encourage submissions from students. 

Registration will open on September 15, 2016 and costs $50 for faculty members and $15 for students/postdocs. 

Please visit the workshop website for more information, including our exciting list of speakers.


Seeing Jesus in Toast?

toastKang Lee's study, "Seeing Jesus in toast: Neural and behavioral correlates of face pareidolia” wins the 2014 Ig Nobel Prize


When is a Kangaroo a Kangaroo? Picture books provide clues...


Patricia Ganea explores how picture books can help us to understand  children's learning processes

Read more>>




Security and natural curiosity central
to kids' learning

U of T's Edge Magazine for Research & Innovation features Janette Pelletier in The Brain Issue—Winter 2013

Janette Pelletier and kids

Why doesn't her Gruffee look like mine?


Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) demonstrate improved communication skills using a unique computer-based task in Joan Peskin's research





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