Laboratory Director

Dr. Seth Pollak with toy monkey on shoulder


College of Letters and Science Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Professor of Anthropology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin at Madison

I hold doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology and in Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and approach research on child development from both basic science and applied, public health perspectives. From the vantage point of basic science, my students and I explore the mechanisms of developmental change. Through our research, we address questions about the interpersonal, cognitive and neurobiological mechanisms that are responsible for the increasingly complex behaviors that children may acquire during infancy, early childhood, and into adolescence. My particular area of interest is in understanding how the quantity and quality of early experiences in children’s lives influences how children think about and process information. Members of our lab group hope to leverage an understanding of how developmental change occurs to develop effective prevention and intervention strategies for children most at risk for emotional, learning and behavior problems. Taken together, the goal of our research is to better understand the role that early experiences in children’s lives have on development of brain structure and function.



More Information:



In November 2006 Dr. Pollak received an award for Distinguished Scientific Early Career Contributions to Psychology.  To read his biographical sketch, click here:  Biographical Sketch

In September 2020 Dr. Pollak was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In April 2021 Dr. Pollak was named as a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. To read a story about this, click here.

New perspectives on understanding child poverty: Q&A with Seth Pollak in Knowlable.