Koleen McCrink

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Koleen McCrink, assistant professor of psychology, joined the faculty in 2009. Before coming to Barnard, she held a postdoctoral research position at Harvard University and has also taught at Yale University and Rutgers University. At Barnard, she teaches developmental psychology, introductory psychology, and a cognitive development seminar. 

Professor McCrink’s research focuses on the development of spatial and numerical cognition from infancy through adulthood. She has been funded by the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development via awards 1R15 HD77518-01A1 and 1R15HD065629-01.

Academic Focus: 

Cognitive development
Mathematical and Spatial Cognition

Awards & Honors: 

Dr. McCrink has received the James Grossman Prize for best dissertation in psychology, a graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation, and a Yale graduate school fellowship.


McCrink, K. & Caldera*, C., & Shaki, S. (in press). The early construction of spatial attention: Caregivers provide spatially structured gesture to young children.  Child Development.

Rugani, R., McCrink, K., de Hevia, M.D., Vallortigara, G., & Regolin, L. (2016). Ratio calculations over discrete magnitudes by newly hatched domestic chicks (gallus gallus). Scientific Reports.

McCrink, K. & Shaki, S. (2016). Culturally Inconsistent Spatial Structure Reduces Learning.  Acta Psychologica, 169, 20-26.

Macchi Cassia, V., McCrink, K., de Hevia, M.D., Gariboldi, V., & Bulf, H. (2016). Operational Momentum and size ordering in preverbal infants.  Psychological Research. DOI 10.1007/s00426-016-0750-9

McCrink, K. & Barth, H. (2016). The relationship between non-symbolic multiplication and division in childhood. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. DOI: 10.1080/17470218.2016.1151060

McCrink, K. & Spelke, E. (2016). Non-symbolic division in childhood. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 142, pp 66-82.

McCrink, K., & Galamba*, J. (2015). The impact of symbolic and non-symbolic quantity on spatial learning. PLoS One.

McCrink, K., & Opfer, J. (2014). Development of Spatial-Numerical Associations.  Current Directions in Psychological Science. 23(6), 439-445.

McCrink, K., Shaki, S. & Berkowitz*, T. (2014). Culturally-Driven Biases in Preschoolers’ Spatial Search Strategies. Cognitive Development, 30, 1-14.

Knops, A., Zitzmann, S. & McCrink, K. (2013). Examining the presence and determinants of operational momentum in childhood. Frontiers in Psychology, 4(325), doi: 10.3389/ fpsyg.2013.00325.

McCrink, K., Pica, P., Spelke, E.S., & Dehaene, S. (2013). Non-Symbolic Halving in an Amazonian Indigene Group. Developmental Science, 16(3), 451-462.

McCrink, K. & Spelke, E. (2010)  Core multiplication in childhood.  Cognition, 116, 204-216.

McCrink, K., & Wynn, K. (2009) Operational momentum in large-number addition and subtraction by 9-month-old infants. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 104, 400-408.

McCrink, K., Bloom, P. & Santos, L. (2009) Children’s and adults’ judgments of equitable resource distributions. Developmental Science, 13(1), 37-45.

McCrink, K., Dehaene, S., & Dehaene-Lambertz, G. (2007) Moving along the number line: The case for operational momentum. Perception and Psychophysics, 69(8), 1324-1333.

McCrink, K. & Wynn, K. (2007) Ratio abstraction by 6-month-old infants. Psychological Science, 18, 740-746.

vanMarle, K., Aw, J., McCrink, K. & Santos, L. (2006) How capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) quantify objects and substances.  Journal of Comparative Psychology, 120(4), pp. 416-426.

McCrink, K. & Wynn, K. (2004) Large-number addition and subtraction by 9-month-old infants.  Psychological Science, 15, 776-781.





B.A., Douglass College, Rutgers University
M.A., M.Ph., Ph.D., Yale University

In the News

The Summer Research Institute of 2017 supported student-faculty STEM collaborative work for 147 Barnard students.

Barnard College presented the exceptional faculty with awards to honor their commitment to teaching and research.

A new study in Child Development, co-authored by a Barnard professor and a Barnard alumna, has shown that the development of spatial cognition—how infants and toddlers learn to encounter the world’s wealth of information—is heavily tied to the cultural norms of their caregivers.