Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary scientific field linking neurosciences, psychology, social neuroscience, developmental science and cognitive science. Cognitive neuroscience is the study of biological substrates underlying cognition, specially emphasizing neural substrates of mental processes. This field is related to cognitive science through a couple of theories of cognitive science which are based on the evidences from neuropsychology and computational modeling. Dr. Laura Ann Petitto is a remarkable neuroscientist. She has provided an interaction between these two fields through her researches. She has made some unusual discoveries in these fields.

Dr. Petitto has highlighted the importance of association between science of learning and brain and language. She has focused on different aspects of visual processing, language and literacy, and has equipped them with innovative translations. She has rewarded the mankind with remarkable achievements in the field of “bilingual education and bilingualism”. Her procedures regarding the manual babbling and vocal babbling of deaf children are highly effective. She has provided an honorarium to the field of American Sign Language by these procedures.


Being related to both these fields, Dr. Petitto is very popular for her innovative inventions in the field of biological fundamentals of language. Her latest bestowal upon humans is the discovery of hidden key brain structures that are widely used in human language processing in children and adults.  She uses the newest technology of Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) for this purpose. This is a brain imaging technology that is used to check the brain activity for certain tasks or behaviors through the detection of localized blood flow in brain. She has used this technology to keep track of some typical and atypical developmental processes of these brain structures in a human lifespan i.e. from infants to adults.

Dr. Petitto is also well known in the field of neuroscience for studying animal language and animal communication. Her work is mostly related to chimpanzees. She has done unique and impossible work of teaching chimpanzees to use sign language. She has also introduced a new scientific discipline of Educational Neuroscience which can be applied to the central discoveries in the developmental brain sciences and their problems in education.

As a developmental cognitive neuroscientist, all her work centers on making new discoveries by the integration of these fields. She was awarded with Guggenheim Award for her “extraordinary amusing achievements in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishment in the discipline of Neuroscience” in 1998. She can be contacted at (202) 448-7512 or in case of any query or information.