Ralph (Rob) J. Roberts, Jr.
Developmental and DCN
Dr. Roberts interests are in cognitive and perceptual development, skill acquisition, and cognitive neuroscience. His work examines the processes that underlie the real-time organization of everyday behavior. Much of our behavior seems effortless and easily determined, but this ease disguises an underlying complexity in the processes used to select between action alternatives. Occasional everyday action errors, such as driving the habitual route instead of the correct one, can make us aware, sometimes painfully, of alternatives we didn't know we were considering. Roberts' research examines a set of processes we view as central to action selection, such as working memory, inhibition, and attention. Studies focus on how the real-time unfolding of processes related to initiating different actions interact and compete when determining what to do next. Small differences in timing can have important consequences, and understanding the contributions of working memory and attentional systems are critical in this regard. Dr. Roberts also studies the relevant brain structures and processes involved in action planning, attention, and selection. Dr. Roberts' laboratory employs eye-movement recording and analysis, as well as a variety of cognitive and attentional research paradigms.
Graduate course offerings include the Developmental Proseminar, Cognitive Development, and Attention & Performance
Grubb, J.D., Bate, S, Garza, J, Roberts, R.J., Jr., & Reed, C.L. (2008). Walking reveals trunk-orientation bias for visual attention. Perception and Psychophysics.
Pennington, B.F., Snyder, K.A., Roberts, R.J., Jr. (2007). Developmental cognitive neuroscience: Origins, issues, & prospects. Developmental Review, 27, 428-441.
Reed, C.L., Garza, J.P., & Roberts, R.J., Jr. (2007). The influence of the body and its actions on spatial attention. In L. Paletta & E. Rome (Eds.), Attention in Cognitive Systems. Springer LNAI
Aman, C. J., Roberts, R. J., Jr., & Pennington, B. F. (1998). A neuropsychological examination of the underlying deficit in ADHD: The frontal lobe versus right parietal lobe theories, Developmental Psychology, 34, 956-969.
Roberts, R. J., Jr., & Pennington, B. F. (1996). An interactive framework for examining prefrontal cognitive processes. Developmental Neuropsychology, 12, 105-
Roberts, R. J., Jr., Hager, L., & Heron, C. (1994). Prefrontal cognitive processes: Working memory and inhibition in the antisaccade task, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 123, 374-393.
Roberts, R. J., Jr., & Ondrejko, M. (1994). Perception, action, and skill: Looking ahead to meet the present. In M. M. Haith, J. B. Benson, R. J. Roberts, Jr., & B. F. Pennington (Eds.). The development of future-oriented processes. (pp. 87-117) Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Rob J. Roberts, Jr.
University of Virginia
Developmental and DCN
office: Frontier Hall,