Dr. James' overall research questions center around the idea that learning about objects in the world is shaped and changed by the way humans interact with the world through their bodies. More specifically, self-generated actions create learning episodes that in turn shape cognition - what we do determines how we learn. She is investigating how action affects learning in many domains including: object recognition, language learning, reading, and mathematical understanding, using several behavioral methods for assessing learning outcomes and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging for investigating the brain mechanisms involved in different types of learning in both children and adults.
Dr. James' research program is devoted to studying the neural correlates of learning in humans. In general, how motor experience can influence visual recognition in both adults and children, and how the brain changes in response to specific experiences.