Foundations of Cognition and Learning Lab


The Foundations of Cognition and Learning (FOCAL) lab based at the University of Virginia’s Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL), includes more than 30 scholars from several universities. Using multiple methods such as secondary analysis of large-scale databases, intervention and measurement development, and randomized control trials (RCTs), we study the cognitive processes that underpin learning throughout the school years. These processes are fundamental to adaptive school performance and achievement in the traditional areas of mathematics and literacy achievement, and as such, are situated within students’ social contexts. The cognitive foundations that are central to our studies include motivation, executive function and self-regulation, sensorimotor and visuospatial processing, phonological skills, and general knowledge of the world.

Research Briefs

Download pdf files of FOCAL lab research briefs below.

Attentional Control and Visuomotor Integration Uniquely Contribute to Children's Successful Classroom Functioning

A Rasch Analysis of the KeyMath-3 Diagnostic Assessment

Visuomotor Integration and Inhibitory Control Compensate for Each Other in School Readiness

Nonlinear Gompertz Curve Models of Achievement Gaps in Mathematics and Reading, et al 2015

Psychometric Properties of the MSRS