David S. Moore

David S. Moore

Pitzer College (Psychology Field Group); Claremont Graduate University (Division of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences)

Moore has worked as a professor of psychology at Pitzer College and Claremont Graduate University since 1989. A developmental psychologist and cognitive neuroscientist with expertise in the development of perception and cognition in fetuses and infants, he has published widely on infants’ cognitive abilities and on how genetic and environmental factors contribute to development. Moore has criticized the modern synthesis for being a theory that simply ignores the role of development in evolutionary processes.

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David S. Moore received his B.A. in Psychology from Tufts University in 1983 and his Ph.D. in Psychology (Developmental Psychology and Psychobiology) from Harvard University in 1988. He did a post-doctoral fellowship at the City University of New York from 1988-1989 and has been at Pitzer College (in the Psychology Field Group) and Claremont Graduate University (in the Division of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences) since 1989.

Moore’s empirical research focuses on the development of perception and cognition in human infants; he has published numerous articles and book chapters on infants’ abilities to rotate visual images in their minds, to perceive numerical quantities, to categorize infant-directed speech, and to integrate information detected in the visual and auditory modalities. His theoretical work has explored the contributions of genetic and environmental factors to human development, and his book, The Dependent Gene: The Fallacy of “Nature vs. Nurture,” was nominated for the Cognitive Development Society’s Best Authored Volume award in 2002-2003, and was translated for publication in Japan. His newest book, The Developing Genome: An Introduction to Behavioral Epigenetics, was published by Oxford University Press in February, 2015.

Moore has served on the consulting editorial board for Child Development Perspectives, and has served as a reviewer for numerous scientific journals and for granting agencies in Canada, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United States. He has given invited lectures at The International Champalimaud Neuroscience Doctoral Programme in Portugal, The University of British Columbia in Canada, The University of Cambridge in England, and Kumamoto University in Japan, as well as many other universities across North America.



"The problem with the modern synthesis is that, at its core, it is strictly a nondevelopmental theory of genes, because it views genes alone as the ‘material basis of evolutionary change.’ … The modern synthesis has to be a nondevelopmental theory, since it was built on fundamental assumptions that are irreconcilably at odds with the fundamental realities of biological development…While the modern synthesis allows that inheritable traits can be determined by genes alone, the data of developmental biology affirm that all traits emerge from epigenetic co-actions of genetic and nongenetic factors. Clearly, something has to give."

(The Dependent Gene: The Fallacy of “Nature vs. Nurture”, p.167)