Jean Piaget Society 2015

Neuroplasticity & Change

In the past two decades a wealth of evidence has accumulated which supports a neural constructivist approach to characterizing human development. This characterization, in which learning and individual experiences play a central role in constructing mental representations and their corresponding neural changes, is of course one of the central themes of Piaget's theory. This meeting will bring together researchers who examine neural plasticity in a variety of ways, across varied domains of development. It will provide an overview of the state-of-the-science in examining how experiences and biology interact to shape brain development and it will provide an important platform for discussing the implications of this neuroscience-based research for the broader understanding of child development. 

The meeting will commence with a plenary lecture on the general topic of neural plasticity, which will explore the age- and region-specific nature of developmental plasticity, and factors that may have a positive or negative effect on developmental outcomes at early ages. Other plenary speakers will address topics of plasticity in the context of adversity or impoverished contexts, neural reorganization with respect to selective experiences, how genes and the environment interact to produce individual differences in behavior, and the effects of altered sensory and language experience on brain development and cognition.

Organizers: Susan Rivera, Phil Zelazo, Stephanie Carlson

Plenary Speakers: 

  • Bryan Kolb (University of Lethbridge)
  • Charles Nelson (Harvard/Boston Children's Hospital)
  • Janet Werker (University of British Columbia)
  • Daphne Maurer (McMaster University)
  • Marla Sokolowski (University of Toronto)

Invited Sessions

  • Effects of altered sensory and language experience on brain development (Chair: Teresa V. Mitchell, U Mass Medical School)
  • Differences in daily face experience and the consequence for face processing across development (Chair: Lisa Oakes, UC Davis)
  • Neuroplasticity and Social Development (Chair:  Eric Nelson, NIMH)
  • Extending delivery of evidence-based autism interventions in the real world to foster best practice (Chair:  Laurie Vismara, York University, Toronto)

Local Arrangements: Patricia Ganea (University of Toronto)

Program Reviewers:

JPS thanks the following program reviewers for all their help:

We also thank our hard-working team of student volunteers:

  • Bacibel Vasquez
  • Begum Ozdemir
  • Fabienne Hargreaves
  • Galina Hristoskova
  • Gabrielle Strouse
  • Heather Gallant
  • Jayme Herman
  • Jessica Burris
  • Kaitlyn Heagle
  • Karen Moreira
  • Kristy Timmons
  • Mary Ann Antonio
  • Melanie Munroe
  • Nic Weststrate
  • Nicole Larsen
  • Pouneh Kharabi
  • Ruth Lee
  • Samraa Obaidi
  • Sharon Chan
  • Sharon To
  • Soyeon Kim
  • Vaunam Venkadasalam