Our lab is focused on the cognitive processes that support completing numerical & mathematical tasks. Our research program uses a combination of mathematical modeling, neuroimaging and behavioral experimentation.

The goals of the lab are (1) to characterize the governing dynamics of behavior & cognition using mathematical models (2) use the models to develop individualized  'interventions' for early number and math skills, suitable for children with a wide range of abilities.

We create predictive mathematical models of learning & behavior with the goal of making predictions for individuals (as opposed to groups). We use neural network models combined with individual behavioral and EEG data.

For lab opportunities for current or potential students please see here.

Selected Publications

Much of our current work is most readily available on PsyArxiv.

Prather, R.W. (2018) Neural coding partially accounts for the relationship between children’s number-line estimation and number comparison performance. Journal of Cognition and Development.

Prather, R.W. (in review) Task dynamics reveal how fraction values are constructed.

Prather, R.W. & Tavassolie, N. (in review) Children’s numerical comparison performance is independent of number representation precision.

Prather, R.W. & Heverly-Fitt, S.(in review) Prediction of single trial behavior on numerical tasks using a multilayered dynamic systems model

Prather, R. W. (2014) Numerical discrimination is mediated by neural coding variation. Cognition. (pdf)

Prather, R. W. (2012) Connecting neural coding to number cognition: A computational account. Developmental Science. 15(4), 589-600. (pdf)

Prather, R. W. (2011) Further connecting neural coding to number cognition. Talk presented at the Society for Neuroscience Conference. Neural Bases of Human Cognition and Attention Nanosymposium. (Coverage in Scientific American)

Prather, R.W. (2012) Implicit learning of arithmetic regularities is facilitated by proximal contrast. PLOS ONE (pdf)

Prather, R. W. & Alibali, M.W. (2011).Children's Acquisition of Arithmetic Principles: The Role of Experience. Journal of Cognition and Development,12(3) (pdf)

Prather, R. W. & Alibali, M. W. (2009).Development of arithmetic principle knowledge: How do we know what learners know? Developmental Review, 29(4), 221 - 248. (pdf)

Prather, R. W. & Alibali, M. W. (2008).Understanding and using principles of arithmetic: Operations involving negative numbers. Cognitive Science, 32(2), 445-457. (pdf)

Mix, K., Prather, R.W., Smith, L.B., Stockton, J.D. (2013) Young Children’s Interpretation of Multi-Digit Number Names: From Emerging Competence to Mastery. Child Development. (Washington Post article)

Hattikudur, S., Prather, R.W., Asquith, P., Knuth, E., Nathan, M. J., & Alibali, M. W. (2012). Constructing graphical representations: Middle schoolers’ developing knowledge about slope and intercept. School Science and Mathematics, 112(4), 230-240.(pdf)