Dr. Shannon Pruden, Director


Dr. Pruden's Vita

Email Dr. Pruden

Current Position

  • Professor in Developmental Science program, Department of Psychology, FIU, Miami, FL


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Spatial Intelligence Learning Center, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Psychology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • M.A., Developmental Psychology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
  • B.A., Cognitive Science and B.A., Psychology, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA

Research Interests

Dr. Pruden’s primary research interests lie at the intersection between developmental psychology, cognitive science, linguistics, and education. Employing a variety of methodologies (e.g., eye-tracking and naturalistic studies of language), and age groups (0-5 years; undergraduate students), her research focuses on the development of early language abilities, with an emphasis on the growth of children’s spatial language. More specifically, she has been examining which factors influence children’s early language development, such as the role of cognitive, biological, and environmental factors, including early conceptual knowledge, child gender, and socioeconomic status. She also studies the development of spatial abilities and how language influences the development of spatial skills.

More recently, Dr. Pruden has begun to also focus on spatial abilities in adult populations, examining what factors affect sex differences seen in adults on spatial tasks such as a mental rotation task. Various factors Dr. Pruden is exploring as potential moderators and mediators of sex differences are cognitive strategy selection, prior spatial activity experience, and spatial anxiety.

Dr. Pruden has been an author on 51 journal articles, chapters, and proceedings, and has more than 150 national and international conference presentations. Her research has been published in the most prominent journals in the field of Developmental Psychology and Education, including Psychological Science, Child Development, Developmental Science, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, and Nature Human Behavior.

Select Publications

Hall, L.V., Rengel, M., Bowley, H., Alvarez-Vargas, D., Abad, C., Overton, D., & Pruden, S.M. (2023). “You did a great job building that!” Links between parent-child prosocial talk and spatial language. https:/doi.org10.1037/dev0001574 Developmental Psychology

Smith, D., Meca, A., Bartley, J., Salo, T., Peraza, J.A., Bottenhorn, K., Pruden, S.M., Sutherland, M.T., Brewe, E., & Laird, A. (2023). Task-based attentional and default mode connectivity associated with science and math anxiety profiles among university physics students. Trends in Neuroscience and Education, 32, 100204. https:/doi.org10.1016/j.tine.2023.100204

Dick, A.S., Ralph, Y., Farrant, K., Reeb-Sutherland, B., Pruden, S.M., & Mattfeld, A. (2022). Volumetric development of hippocampal subfields and hippocampal white matter connectivity: Relationship with episodic memory. https:/doi.org10.1101/2022.01.31.478590 Developmental Psychobiology.

Garcia, N.L., Dick, A.S., & Pruden, S.M. (2022). Contributions of executive function to spatial thinking in young children. Infant and Child Development. https:/doi.org10.1002/icd.2317

Alvarez-Vargas, D., Abad, C., & Pruden, S.M. (2020). Spatial anxiety mediates the sex difference in adult mental rotation performance. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 5, 31. https:/doi.org10.1186/s41235-020-00231-8

Vieites, V., Pruden, S.M., & Reeb-Sutherland, B. (2020). Childhood wayfinding experience explains sex and individual differences in adult wayfinding strategy and anxiety. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 5, 12. https:/doi.org10.1186/s41235-020-00220-x

Vieites, V., Pruden, S.M., Shusterman, A., & Reeb-Sutherland, B. (2020). Using hippocampal-dependent eyeblink conditioning to predict individual differences in spatial reorientation strategies in 3- to 6-year-olds. Developmental Science, 23. https:/doi.org10.1111/desc.12867

Bartley, J.E., Riedel, M.C., Salo, T., Boeving, E.R., Bottenhorn, K.L., Bravo, E.I, Odean, R., Nazareth, A., Laird, R.W., Sutherland, M.T., Pruden, S.M., Brewe, E., & Laird, A.R. (2019). Brain activity links performance in science reasoning with conceptual approach. Nature Partner Journal (NPJ) – Science of Learning, 4, 20. https:/doi.org10.1038/s41539-019-0059-8

Gonzalez, A., Bottenhorn, K.L., Bartley, J.E., Hayes, T., Riedel, M.C., Salo, T., Bravo, E.I, Odean, R., Nazareth, A., Laird, R.W., Sutherland, M.T., Brewe, E., Pruden, S.M., & Laird, A.R. (2019). Sex differences in brain correlates of STEM anxiety./ Nature Partner Journal (NPJ) – Science of Learning, 4/, 18. https:/doi.org10.1038/s41539-019-0058-9

Dick, A. S., Garcia, N. L., Pruden, S. M., Thompson, W. K., Hawes, S. W., Sutherland, M., Riedel, M., Laird, A., & Gonzalez, R. (2019). No evidence for a bilingual executive function advantage in the ABCD Study. Nature Human Behaviour. https:/doi.org10.1038/s41562-019-0609-3

Pruden, S.M., Nazareth, A., Abad, C., Odean, R., Bravo, E., & Garcia, N. (2020). Movement, space and the development of spatial thinking. In S. Hupp & J.D. Jewell (Eds.), The Encyclopedia of Child and Adolescent Development. John Wiley & Sons. DOI: 10.1002/9781119171492.wecad029

Bahrick, L., McNew, M., Pruden, S.M., & Castellanos, I. (2019). Intersensory redundancy promotes infant detection of prosodic changes in infant-directed speech. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology (JECP), 183, 295-309. https:/doi.org10.1016/j.jecp.2019.02.008

Nazareth, A., Odean, R., & Pruden, S.M. (2019). The use of eye tracking in spatial thinking research. In Early Childhood Development: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications (pp. 588-609). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7507-8.ch029 (Chapter reprinted in new book)

Nazareth, A., Killick, R., Dick, A.S., & Pruden, S.M. (2018). Strategy selection versus flexibility: Using eye-trackers to investigate strategy use during mental rotation./ Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition (JEP: LMC), 45/, 232-245. DOI: 10.1037/xlm0000574

Abad, C., Odean, R., & Pruden, S.M. (2018). Sex differences in gains among Hispanic pre-kindergartners’ mental rotation skills. Frontiers in Psychology, section Developmental Psychology: Special Issue “Gendered paths into STEM, Disparities between females and males in STEM over the life-span. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02563

Pruden, S.M., & Odean, R. (2018). Language development: Motion verb and spatial-relational term acquisition from a developmental systems perspective. In A. Dick & U. Müller (Eds.), Advancing developmental science: Philosophy, theory, and method. New York: Psychology Press/Taylor & Francis.

Brewe, E., Bartley, J. B., Riedel, M. C., Sawtelle, V., Salo, T., Boeving, E.R., Bravo, E., Odean, R., Nazareth, A., Bottenhorn, K.L., Laird, R.W., Sutherland. M.T., Pruden, S.M & Laird, A.R. (2018). Toward a neurobiological basis for understanding learning in university modeling instruction physics courses. Frontiers in ICT, section Digital Education, 5, 10. DOI: 10.3389/fict.2018.00010

Pruden, S.M., & Levine, S.C. (2017). Parents' spatial language mediates a sex difference in preschoolers' spatial language use. Psychological Science, 28, 1583-1596. DOI: 10.1177/0956797617711968

Nazareth, A., Odean, R., & Pruden, S.M. (2017). The use of eye tracking in spatial thinking research. In C.A. Was, F.J. Sansosti, & B.J. Morris (Eds.), Eye-tracking technology applications in educational research (pp.239-260). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Konishi, H., Pruden, S.M., Golinkoff, R.M., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2016). Finding semantic components of dynamic realistic events: Infants categorize path and manner of motion. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 152, 54-70. DOI: 10.1016/j.jecp.2016.07.002

Song, L., Pruden, S.M., Golinkoff, R.M., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2016). Prelinguistic foundations of verb learning: Infants discriminate and categorize dynamic human actions. In press at Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 151, 77-95. DOI: 10.1016/j.jecp.2016.01.004

Odean, R., Nazareth, A., & Pruden, S.M. (2015). Novel methodology to examine cognitive and experiential factors in language development. Frontiers in Developmental Psychology, 6, 1266. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01266

Vieites, V., Nazareth, A., Reeb-Sutherland, B.C., & Pruden, S.M. (2015). A new biomarker to examine the role of hippocampal function in the development of spatial reorientation in children: A review. Frontiers in Developmental Psychology, 6, 490. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00490

Garcia, D., Bagner, D.M., Pruden, S.M., & Nichols-Lopez, K. (2014). Language production in children with and at risk for delay: Mediating role of parenting skills. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. DOI: 10.1080/15374416.2014.900718

Abad, C. & Pruden, S.M. (2013). Do storybooks really break children’s gender stereotypes? Frontiers in Developmental Psychology, 4, 986. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00986

Nazareth, A., Herrera, A., & Pruden, S.M. (2013). Explaining sex differences in mental rotation: Role of spatial activity experience. Cognitive Processing, 14, 201-204. DOI: 10.1007/s10339-013-0542-8

Pruden, S.M., Roseberry, S., Göksun, T., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R.M. (2013). Infant categorization of path relations during dynamic events. Child Development, 84, 331-345. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01843.x

Pulverman, R., Song, L., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Pruden, S. M., & Golinkoff, R. M. (2013). Preverbal infants’ attention to manner and path: Foundations for learning relational terms. Child Development, 84, 241-252. DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12030

Pruden, S.M., Göksun, T., Roseberry, S., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R.M. (2012). Find your manners: How do infants detect the invariant manner of motion in dynamic events? Child Development, 83, 977-991. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01737.x

Pruden, S.M., Levine, S., & Huttenlocher, J. (2011). Children’s spatial thinking: Does talk about the spatial world matter? Developmental Science, 14, 1417-1430. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2011.01088.x

Pruden, S.M., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R.M., & Hennon, E.A. (2006). The birth of words: Ten-month-olds learn words through perceptual salience. Child Development, 77, 266-280. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2006.00869.x

Teaching Interests

  • Psychology of Infancy and Childhood (DEP 2001)
  • Language Acquisition (LIN 4710)
  • Undergraduate Independent Study (PSY 4916) and Honor's Thesis Supervision (PSY 4914)
  • Language Development (graduate level)
  • Cognitive Development (graduate level)
  • Proseminar in Infancy, Childhood, and Adolescence (DEP 5099)
  • Masters Thesis and Dissertation Supervision

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