BSL Lab LogoThe Bioecology, Self-Regulation and Learning (BSL) Lab’s interests are in clarifying the processes—mind, brain, and environment—through which children’s experiences with their parents, teachers, and peers shape their abilities to control their impulses, purposely maintain and shift their attention, and hold and manipulate information in mind. Broadly, this set of inter-related skills is referred to as “self-regulation.”

We are particularly interested in:

  1. the interplay of experience, self-regulation, and children’s developing physiological stress systems.
  2. how these processes affect the way children learn.

Some questions that motivate our work

  • What do we mean when we use the term “self-regulation”? What is it? And, in an evolutionary sense, why is it?
  • How do children’s social relationships support or hinder their self-regulation development?
  • Why do some kids (and adults) show rapid and pronounced physiological and behavioral responses to challenge, whereas others do much less so?
  • When, how, and for whom does physiological arousal promote or undermine effective “real-time” regulation and learning?
  • What early experiences might calibrate these physiological and behavioral regulatory systems?
  • Collectively, how can we leverage this information to support kids at home and school—particularly those facing the environmental risks common to economic adversity?

Sound interesting? Get involved!

Have a child between the ages of 3 and 10 and want to contribute to the science?

Read about our current projects and how you can participate.

Are you an undergraduate or graduate student interested in learning more about how the young mind works?

We’d love to consider you for our team. Please fill out our BSL Lab RA Interest Form to learn more!

Undergraduates please refer to the “CPSY 4994 (undergraduate directed research) opportunities” page in the main menu for information on how to get involved.

Advising expectations

Learn more about what to expect as a graduate student in the BSL Lab. Our Lab Director, Daniel Berry, Ph.D., outlines what you can expect from him as an advisor/mentor and provides an overview of his expectations of students in the child psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Minnesota.

Read Dr. Berry’s advising expectations