Learning science and mathematics is a complex process.

The Peterson Laboratory investigates the thinking and reasoning skills that impact learning science and mathematics, and examines the role of motivations such as interest and curiosity. At the heart of our work is a desire to reduce disparities among individuals typically under-represented in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields by conducting research that contributes to a deeper understanding of how students engage with science and mathematics. We conduct research at the intersection of cognitive neuroscience and educational settings, and we apply methods from psychology, neuroscience, and education to study learning in the laboratory and in K-12 schools.