Dr. Kimberly Noble

Columbia University
GH Sergievsky Center
630 W 168th St.
P&S Box 16
New York, NY 10032

We all know that a child's experiences help to determine how that child grows and develops. In the NEED lab, we are trying to better understand how this works. What are the factors in a child's environment that predict how he or she will develop, and what are the particular developmental outcomes that we should pay the most attention to?

In terms of child experience, we ask how different factors in the child's environment, like access to material resources, richness of language exposure, and parenting style all work together to predict differences in outcomes. We are also interested in how aspects of the child's chemical environment, like exposure to prenatal alcohol or secondhand smoke, might interact with social risks.

In terms of child development, our interests are two-fold: First, we are interested in cognitive development, including the kinds of differences we see in the way children develop language, memory and self-control. Second, what can we say about how experience influences children's brain development? Ultimately we hope to use the information gained from these studies to inform educational and public health interventions to promote healthy development for all children.


December 2014 - The NEED Lab can't wait for SRCD 2015! All five of our submissions were accepted: a poster, two talks in paper sessions and symposia, and two chaired symposia. See you in Philadelphia!

September 2014 - Drs. Brito and Noble are excited to announce the publication of definitive review of SES and structural brain development in Frontiers in Neuroscience.

July 2014 - Our post-doc, Dr. Natlie Brito also received the Early Career Research Grant in Developmental Psychology from Division 7 of the American Psychological Association. This award, along with the seed grant from CUPRC, will be used for the Bilingualism, SES, & Neurocognitive Development study.

July 2014 - Dr. Noble and our post-doc, Dr. Natalie Brito, were awarded a seed grant from the Columbia University Population Research Center.

March 2014 - Members of the Getting Ready for School team will be presenting two posters on the program at Head Start’s 12th National Research Conference on Early Childhood this July.

February 2014 - The NEED Lab is excited to welcome new postdocs Alexandra Ursache and Emily Merz, who will be joining us in the fall.

December 2013 - Dr. Noble and collaborators have received funding from the Jacobs Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation for the NYC pilot of our soon-to-launch Experimental Poverty Reduction study.

September 2013 - Dr. Noble and Dr. Martha Farah edited a special issue of Developmental Science on Socioeconomic Disparities in Neurocognitive Development. Check out the video abstract here.


December 2014 - Check out Lab Manager Samantha Melvin's post, It's Not Just Us: We Can't Fight Poverty Without Collaboration, on the APA's Psychology Benefits Society Blog! It is part of a great series on how psychology can contribute to discussions of poverty in light of 50 years of the War on Poverty.

July 2014 - Dr. Noble will be featured along with our colleague Dr. Anne Fernald in a piece about the importance of talking to babies on Radio Health in a story on Radio Health Journal!

June 2014 -Dr. Noble was quoted in a Slate article about the necessity of researching child development across the socioeconomic spectrum, citing the tendency of much developmental research to ignore such important factors.

June 2014 - Dr. Noble was interviewed for an article on NBC Today about the CDC's new report on falling induction rates. She cites her work on the relationship between gestational age and later educational outcomes as evidence for the importance of waiting until at least 39 weeks to give birth whenever possible.

February 2014 - Dr. Noble was featured in an article about the AAAS meeting by The Economist discussing early language, brain development, and SES disparities. Make sure to watch the video for a closer look at the NEED Lab's work!

February 2014 - Dr. Noble recently spoke in a symposium at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL. She is featured in the Associated Press and Agence France-Presse for her talk on SES disparities in language areas of the brain, as well as in the Associated Press article Tips for Talking to Babies, Toddlers.

November 2013 - Dr. Noble was quoted in the Swiss national newspaper, Neue Zuercher Zeitung.

August 2013 - Dr. Noble was recently interviewed for a Reuters Health article on neurodevelopmental outcomes in extremely premature babies, as well as a Live Science article on the relationship between poverty and cognitive ability.

March 2013 - The Pennsylvania Gazette, the alumni magazine for the University of Pennsylvania, featured Dr. Noble's work that shows a relationship between SES and children's brain development.

October 2012 - Dr. Noble was featured in The Washington Post for a publication that shows how individual components of SES differentially affect brain structure in children.

March 2012 - Dr. Noble's publication in Pediatrics has been featured by the Associated Press, Reuters, Time, the Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Kveller.com, NPR, and CBS radio! Dr. Noble is lead author on this paper, which shows significant differences in 3rd grade academic achievement between early full-term and late full-term children. Click here to view the official press release.


September 2014 - This New York Times op-ed provides an interesting overview of legal policies that may inhibit parent-child relationships in early childhood, and calls for legislative change not just beginning with pre-k, but from birth.

June 2014 - A recent op-ed in the New York Times by fellow Columbia faculty member Christopher Blattman discusses the potential promise of cash transfers as a successful means of poverty reduction, and elaborates on the stereotypes that may overshadow these kinds of interventions in New York City.

February 2014 - Universal pre-kindergarten is in the hot seat of both federal and state legislation this year. Our collaborator Dr. Hirokazu Yoshikawa, among other colleagues, has been defending early childhood education on Capitol Hill; you can see the brief here. Meanwhile, here in New York City, Mayor de Blasio is promoting a new plan to redistribute wealth in the service of high-quality universal pre-K.

January 2014 - Check out this New York Times article, which highlights the relationships between income, stress, and home environment and discusses how income supplements can have lasting effects on development.

Welcome to our lab!
© 2014 Neurocognition, Early Experience, and Development Lab   |   212-305-9854   |   Columbia University Medical Center


Home Research Publications For Parents Join the Lab People Links