Daniela Plesa-Skwerer, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator – Williams Syndrome Project
Ph.D. 2001 Developmental Psychology, The Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York
The focus of my research is the study of social understanding and social emotional development in people with developmental disorders. In the lab I currently oversee the research projects involving children, adolescents and adults with Williams syndrome and comparison groups of individuals with and without intellectual disabilities. My long-standing interests in understanding social-cognitive, affective and communicative functioning in both typical and atypical development have been recently implemented in two main lines of research: one approach involves exploring the ways in which adolescents and adults with Williams syndrome attend to, perceive, and process social information, using computerized behavioral tests, eye tracking methods, psychophysiological measures and standardized assessments of cognitive functioning; another approach involves laboratory-based behavioral observations, developmental assessments, parental reports and semi-structured interactive activities to examine how young children with and without developmental disorders express and regulate their affective behavior, monitor their attention and develop capacities to interact and communicate in social contexts.