Research Overview: Core knowledge
"Core knowledge" refers to a set of cognitive systems that appear very early in human development, universally across cultures, and are often preserved to some
degree by natural selection. Some examples are an understanding of basic object mechanics, numbers, other people's mental states, and social categories
(e.g. "my group" vs. "outsider").
My research asks how core knowledge continues to operate into adulthood in automatic and unconscious ways. I have made a range of recent discoveries showing, in
particular, that core knowledge structures automatically guide adult processes of language, memory, visual attention. They even impact important higher level judgments
such as those employed in moral and political reasoning.