Loyola University Chicago

Department of Psychology

Kathleen Kannass

  Title: Associate Professor, Ph.D. 
Office: 123 Coffey Hall
Phone: 773.508.8747  
E-mail: kkannas@luc.edu 


Personal Information

Ph.D., University of Iowa

Click here to view Dr. Kannass' research website.

Research Interests:

My research interests are in cognitive development in infancy and early childhood. In general, I am interested in how infants and young children selectively attend to aspects of their environment and learn about the world: the construct of attention (the central component in my program of research) is crucial for understanding this.

Attention is a complex construct with many facets, and my primary research interests lie in the development of voluntary or endogenous attentional control. I am especially interested in how infants and young children hold and maintain their attention such as when they are engaged with a toy or working on a task (i.e., colloquial constructs like distractibility, attention span, and persistence). My most recent research has examined basic and applied issues in the development of endogenous attention. For example, my collaborators and I have investigated developmental change and stability of attention and distractibility. Recently, I have been part of an interdisciplinary research team where we have used our basic understanding of attention to address applied issues such as how maternal prenatal nutrition affects the development of infant attention.

My current and future work continues to address basic and applied attentional issues in infancy, toddlerhood, and the preschool years. For example, infant research seeks to better understand the development of distractibility and how various factors (e.g., background knowledge, the salience of events) affect how infants allocate their attention. Research with preschoolers seeks to better understand how distraction affects learning and cognitive performance. Finally, on-going research with my interdisciplinary collaborators will provide insight into the complex influence of nutrition on cognitive outcome.

Recent Publications:

Colombo, J., Kannass, K.N., Shaddy, D. J., Kundurthi, S., Maikranz, J.M., Anderson, C. J., Blaga, O. M., & Carlson, S. E. (In Press). Maternal DHA and the development of attention in infancy and toddlerhood. Child Development.

Oakes, L.M., Ross-Sheehy, S., & Kannass, K.N. (In Press). Attentional engagement in infancy: The interactive influence of attentional inertia and attentional state. Infancy.

Oakes, L.M., Kannass, K.N., & Shaddy, D.J. (2002). Developmental changes in endogenous control of attention: The role of target familiarity on infants' distraction latencies. Child Development, 73, 1644-1655.

Kannass, K.N., Oakes, L.M., & Wiese, D. (1999). The development of infants' perceptions of object movement along inclines. Cognitive Development, 14, 215-240.