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Carol O. Eckerman, Professor Emeritus of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Carol O. Eckerman
Contact Info:
Office Location:  214 Soc-Psych, Durham, NC 27708
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Ph.D.Columbia University1968
M.A.Columbia University1966
A.B. (with Honors)The College of Wooster1963
Research Interests: Premature Infants and Communication Skills

My research focuses upon delineating processes of developmental change, creating explanatory models of how biological, behavioral, and social-cultural factors act together in development, and detailing how developing organism's own modes of functioning shape their subsequent paths of development. I address these issues mainly through the study of how human newborns become transformed into three-year-olds who have mastered several of the basic forms of cooperative action valued within their culture (e.g., social games, verbal conversations, cooperative problem-solving). Four interrelated lines of inquiry are ongoing. The first relates differences among very-prematurely-born infants in early central nervous system development to their paths of social-communicative development over the first two years of life. The second uses classical eyeblink conditioning paradigms to better characterize the behavioral differences between preterm and full-term infants in terms of cognitive, attentional, and arousal processes. The third asks whether the pivotal roles of imitative behavior in the early communicative development of USA toddlers also occur for the Seltaman toddlers of Papua New Guinea. The fourth details children's communicative and memory skills and the social experiences that facilitate their transition from being effective communicators about present events to their becoming effective communicators about past events.

Areas of Interest:

early social development
communication skills
premature infants'development

Current Ph.D. Students   (Former Students)

    Postdocs Mentored

    • Jane Herbert (2000/07-2002/07)
    • Dragana Ivkovich (1999/07-2001/07)
    Recent Publications   (More Publications)   (search)

    1. Herbert, JS; Eckerman, CO; Goldstein, RF; Stanton, ME (2004). Contrasts in infant classical eyeblink conditioning as a function of premature birth. Infancy, 5(3), 367-383. [doi]  [abs]
    2. Peterman, K., & Eckerman, C.O. (under review). Sharing is important: The function of self-disclosure in the peer conversations of five-year-olds.
    3. Herbert, JS; Eckerman, CO; Stanton, ME (2003). The ontogeny of human learning in delay, long-delay, and trace eyeblink conditioning.. Behavioral Neuroscience, 117(6), 1196-1210. [14674840], [doi]  [abs]
    4. Claflin, DI; Herbert, J; Greer, J; Eckerman, CO; Stanton, ME (2002). A Delay-Interval Study of Classical Eyeblink Conditioning in 5-Month Human Infants. Developmental Psychobiology, 41, 329-340.
    5. Haden, CA; Ornstein, PA; Eckerman, CO; Didow, SM (2001). Mother-child conversational interactions as events unfold: linkages to subsequent remembering.. Child Development, 72(4), 1016-1031. [11480932], [doi]  [abs]

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