Ellen Winner is a psychologist at Boston College. Her research focuses on two areas of research on cognition in the arts.
- The study of the creative process in the visual arts, including what broad thinking dispositions are acquired by studying the arts, how students make sense of the arts, the role of arts in their lives and how students learn by reflecting on their portfolios;
- The study of the effects of music training on children’s brain growth (through brain imaging) and on their cognition (musical, spatial, and verbal) and motor development. This research is based on a view of the arts as cognitive as well as affective, and on the assumption that the arts are a central aspect of human behavior which must be incorporated into our understanding of human development and education.