DEC Colloquium

Cognitive development and childhood poverty: Correlational and interventional evidence in Argentina

Practical information
17 October 2023

ENS, Amphithéâtre Evariste Galois, 45 rue d'Ulm, 75005 Paris



One of the critical concerns in cognitive science, particularly in the study of child cognitive development, is the need for more diversity of samples. Although the majority of children live in non-WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic) countries and almost 30% of them live in poverty, most of the cognitive development theories and hypotheses are based on studies conducted in WEIRD countries. In the first part of her talk, Dr. Julia Hermida will address this issue by reviewing the correlational evidence from developmental cognitive science studies carried out in Latin American countries, focusing on Argentina, with children living in poor conditions. In the second part of her talk, she will describe the results of some intervention studies in Argentina aimed at optimizing cognitive task performance in preschool children from homes with unsatisfied basic needs. Finally, the presented evidence will be discussed with regard to evidence obtained in WEIRD countries.


Julia Hermida is a Professor at the Institute of Education at the National University of Hurlingham (Universidad Nacional de Hurlingham -UNAHUR-), and a researcher at the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research, Argentina. She graduated in Psychology at the University of Buenos Aires (Universidad de Buenos Aires), earned a doctoral degree in Psychology from the National University of San Luis (Universidad Nacional de San Luis), all of them located in Argentina. In 2022 she become a UNESCO Science of Learning Fellow.

She applies insights and techniques from cognitive neuroscience to reduce educational, health, and social inequality through educational interventions in different poverty contexts, and tests the efficacy of those approaches using mostly behavioral methods.

The Cognitive Science Colloquium series is the most attended event of our department, hosting monthly talks by world-renowned experts in various fields of cognitive science, including neuroscience, psychology, linguistics, philosophy and anthropology.

Julia Hermida