Category Archives: news

News and notes from the Bunge Lab and beyond

New publication in Nature Partner Journal Science of Learning

We’ve just published a new paper showing that practicing reasoning skills improves efficiency of relational thinking, as measured on tasks that – on the surface – look nothing like the practiced ones.

The paper

Press release

Blog post on the NPJ Science of Learning Community website

Congratulations to Belén Guerra-Carrillo, the first author on this work! Belén just received her Ph.D. in the lab, and is now a Data Scientist working at Grammarly.


And thanks to Daniel Wittich at Kaplan for generously giving our participants access to their online LSAT test prep course – and to Adam Hampshire and Cambridge Brain Sciences for generously giving us access to their online cognitive assessments and supporting data collection.

Undergrad Keren Lev featured in Daily Californian

Keren Lev, an undergraduate RA in the lab, was featured in the Daily Californian for her summer research project on socioeconomic status and adaptation. The project was funded by Berkeley’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF), and Keren was chosen to be featured after she presented on her work at the end-of-summer SURF conference. This is part of an ongoing study in the lab, set to begin recruiting kids 5-7 this month!

Read more about it here.

Building Blocks of Cognition Lab Has New Home

Berkeley Way West Stock Exterior 1After years in Barker Hall, the Building Blocks of Cognition Lab has now moved across the street to its new home in Berkeley Way West. The move was in conjunction with the entire UC Berkeley Department of Psychology, which left Tolman Hall in anticipation of its impending demolition due to ongoing seismic concerns.

Berkeley Way West InteriorBerkeley Way West is located at 2121 Berkeley Way and houses the School of Public Health and the School of Education in addition to the Department of Psychology. It will eventually hold around 7,000 square feet of ground floor retail in addition to classrooms and research labs.


Bunge Lab Farewells

As the academic year comes to an end we want to celebrate lab alumni that are going separate ways. Four wonderful lab members, Carter, Chloe, Allison, and Heather were great members at the Bunge Lab. All four have contributed so much to the lab over the course of many years… Carter has spent 14 years in in the lab, joining the lab a month after it was started, all the way to receiving his Ph.D. in computer science from Berkeley. Chloe came next, first as our lab manager and then as a graduate student in the School Psychology program. Then Alison, first as a volunteer working after-hours while holding down a professional job, and later as a graduate student in Psychology. And finally, Heather, first as a volunteer and then taking on more and more responsibilities until she became our lab manager and now she is on her way as graduate student at University of Oregon. Simply put, the lab would be completely different today without their expertise, hard work, and loyalty. You all will be missed and we wish you good luck!

Completed Data Collection

Postdoctoral Scholar Ariel Starr has finished her data collection at Malcolm X Elementary School.
She has been collecting data there for over a year and the children were sad to have us go. Here are
some pictures of the research assistants that helped collect the data.
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Congratulations to Allison Miller Singley!

Allison Miller Singley, one of our graduate students, recently gave a commencement speech at her graduation for a Ph.D. from the Psychology program at UC Berkeley! Congrats!

Congratulations to Chloe Green!

Chloe Green, a graduate student in the Bunge Lab, has graduated with a Ph.D. from the School Psychology program in the School of Education at UC Berkeley! Congrats!

Brain Development and Reasoning in Paraguay

Afiche Dra. BungeThis summer Professor Bunge will be visiting Paraguay
and teaching a short course on Brain Development and Reasoning!


Professor Bunge’s Collaboration with the Max Planck Institute


Professor Bunge and researchers at the Max Planck Institute were recently published in Berkeley News for their article titled “First year of grade school sharpens kids’ attention skills”. To read the full article click here!

NIH-NICHD Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award!


Congratulations! Postdoctoral Scholar Ariel Starr has received the NIH-NICHD Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award for her project titled: “Longitudinal Research on the Links Between Reasoning and Math.” This project plans on conducting cognitive play interventions designed to boost reasoning and math skills in kindergarten and first-grade students as well as delving into the neural mechanisms supporting the links between these two abilities.