Drexel Ladder Lab is an educational neuropsychology research lab focused on learning and developmental disabilities. Our lab aims to augment knowledge about the causes and correlates of neurodevelopmental disorders through the conduct of both clinical and translational research. By using innovative neuropsychological and neuroimaging technologies, we seek to identify novel targets of treatment for the amelioration of the cognitive weaknesses that characterize intellectual disability and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Embracing the values of scientific rigor and integrity, we aspire to improve developmental outcomes and quality of life for individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders and their families. Moreover, through the provision of experiential learning opportunities, we are committed to training the next generation of psychologists who will continue our efforts both in the laboratory and the clinic to provide families with tools to optimize outcomes and well-being for individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders.
For the Community
Our research focuses on how children with neurodevelopmental disorders and typical development think and learn as well as how the brain develops in these groups. We use three primary methods to learn more about child cognitive (thinking) and brain development.
1. Children complete one-on-one testing with carefully trained researchers in our child-friendly laboratory at Drexel University. The types of tests children complete include things like (a) puzzles to look at problem solving skills, (b) block design to examine visual and spatial processing skills, (c) language tests to evaluate knowledge of word meanings and grammar, and (d) academic achievement tests to measure reading and math skills.
2. Caregivers also complete questionnaires about their child’s behavior and development in the home. This helps us learn a lot about how children function every day in the real world.
3. Children complete MRI scans so that we can get detailed pictures of the developing brain. (We are not currently completing MRI research, but we may begin to do this research again in the future.)
The mission of our research lab is to understand how different thinking skills and brain structures contribute to learning difficulties. We hope that this research will contribute to the development of new and more effective treatment methods to improve language and academic achievement skills and ultimately increase independence and quality life for children with neurodevelopmental disorders and their families.
If you are interested in research participation, click here. For past research, publications, posters, and projects, click here.
If you are interested in working in the LADDER Lab, click here.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding the lab, we are happy to hear from you.