Psychology Professor Wins Book Award

Book cover and author
  • Developmental Cascades: Building the Infant Mind
  • By Lisa M. Oakes, professor, Department of Psychology, and Center for Mind and Brain; and David H. Rakison, Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Oxford University Press (Aug. 1, 2019)

The whole child is finally coming into focus. ... [Oakes and Rakison] make the bold and supported claim that a cascade framework has heuristic value in understanding developmental change across the lifespan. Moreover, they fill the pages of this volume with rich descriptions of compelling supportive experiments. — Marc H. Bornstein, editor, Parenting: Science and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies, London

Psychology professor Lisa M Oakes and co-author David H. Rakison are the recipients of the 2022 Eleanor Maccoby Book Award from the American Psychological Association’s Developmental Psychology Division, honoring them for Developmental Cascades: Building the Infant Mind, published in 2019.

Oakes is the director of the Infant Cognition Lab at the Center for Mind and Brain.

The Maccoby Award honors a book in the field of psychology that has had or promises to have a profound effect on developmental psychology. 

Developmental Cascades seeks to shift the focus of developmental psychology from assessing when developmental milestones typically occur to describing the mechanisms of how these changes happen — not just in infancy but throughout childhood.

The book proposes that developmental milestones like crawling, walking and talking, which often seem to occur overnight, reflect a cascade of biological mechanisms, environmental influences and experienced events. Those skills, in turn, set the stage for future achievements.

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About the Author:

  • Kathleen Holder is a content strategist in the College of Letters and Science. Contact her by email or phone, 530-752-8585.

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