I recently completed my PhD funded by a Bloomsbury Colleges Studentship under the supervision of Dr. Emily Farran (IoE) and Professors Michael Thomas and Annette Karmiloff-Smith. I have now taken up a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Goldsmiths, University of London.
We engage in problem solving every day of our lives, whether we are loading the dishwasher, negotiating in a business meeting or planning the trip of a lifetime. The main purpose of my research is to investigate how problem-solving abilities develop with age in both typically developing children and in individuals with developmental disorders. While problem solving draws on a number of lower level processes, for example attention and working memory, I am interested in how these processes are used together when someone is presented with a complex problem to solve.
Initial studies have the Tower of London (TOL) task (Shallice, 1982) as a main focus: the first study investigates how young children solve problems requiring intermediate steps which take one towards or temporarily away from the end goal. The next study aims to investigate how people with Williams Syndrome (WS) and Down Syndrome (DS), as well as typically developing children, solve TOL problems of varying difficulty, asking which executive functions are most relevant to their performance. Parental questionnaires further inform our knowledge of problem solving in everyday life, with the ultimate aim of moving towards knowing how to support people with developmental disorders in their everyday practical problem solving.
Camp, J. S., Farran, E. & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2011) 'Numeracy'. In E. Farran and A. Karmiloff-Smith (eds.) Neurodevelopmental disorders across the lifespan: the neuroconstructivist approach. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Camp, J. S., Farran, E. K., Thomas, M. & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2011). Development of problem solving in a Tower of London (ToL) task. Poster presented as part of BPS Developmental Section Conference, Univ. of Northumbria, 6-9th September 2011.