Welcome to the home page for the The Adult Learning Lab at the University of Illinois! The focus of our research is on learning and language processing through adulthood. Adult development brings differential patterns of growth, loss, and stability in our capacities for mental activities. Consequently, the way in which we best learn new things changes as we move through adulthood. Research topics include:
Cognitive Interventions and Pathways to Resilience
We are interested in how activity engagement can support cognitive health into late life. Our Mindflex Project examines the effects of targeted training of mental skills and engagement in activities on an electronic tablet on memory, attention, and well-being. The Senior Odyssey is a community-based program in which seniors engage in team-based competition in problem solving. We have shown that engagement in this program produces benefits in improving divergent thinking, which is an important aspect of creativity — and it's a lot of fun!
Adult Literacy, Language, and Discourse Processing
We never stop learning to read. Our research investigates sentence processing and discourse comprehension through adulthood.
Strategies of learning very often change through the lifespan. We investigate how our the reading strategies can be adapted so as to optimize comprehension and memory. Topics include: attentional allocation during reading, foraging, memory monitoring, learning heuristics, and the effects of knowledge.