Office: Room 403, Meliora Hall, University of Rochester
CV (PDF) | Publications for Download
I very recently became a Research Assistant Professor in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department at the University of Rochester, thanks to having just received an Early
Investigator Award from NIH.. I am also a faculty affiliate of the Center for Language Sciences. For the previous year I was a postdoctoral researcher with Dr. Richard Aslin. Here, I am beginning a longitudinal study that incorporates at-home video recordings with in-lab experiments, geared specifically at gaining a better understanding of how visual and linguistic experience interact in early word-learning. The key question underlying my research is how infants learn language from the world around them. I'm interested in early semantic development, acquisition of phonology, the interface between them, and cognitive development more broadly.
During my PhD (completed in summer 2014), I worked with Dr. Dan Swingley trying to figure out how and when young infants learn the meanings of their very first words, and more generally, how word comprehension and word learning work. What we've found is that around 6 months, infants start showing understanding of words for foods and bodyparts, and that around 10 months they start showing understanding of words like 'uhoh' and 'eat'. For both kinds of words, performance increases dramatically around 13-14 months. In several ongoing eye-tracking, corpus, and teaching studies I am trying to better understand how the word-learning process works, and am most recently interested in trying to tie these findings in with developments in other areas of language acquisition (e.g. phonology), as well as other areas of social and cognitive development (joint attention, mutual exclusivity, etc), in order to better understand the underlying mechanisms at play.I am happy to send copies of any of our articles upon email request (or you can snag them from my Publications page).
Click here to hear a short BBC interview with me about our 2012 PNAS paper.
A short video clip showing an infant's behavior in our PNAS Study
This video is part of the ancillary teaching materials for Erica Hoff's Language Development textbook
Before coming to UPenn I was a Baggett Research Fellow at the University of Maryland Linguistics Department, where I worked with Jeff Lidz, Bill Idsardi, and David Poeppel, using MEG and behavioral measures with adults, and the head turn preference paradigm with infants; some of that work is ongoing. Before that I was an undergraduate at NYU where I studied Language & Mind, Music, and French, and worked under Gary Marcus. My childhood and adolescence were spent in Columbus, Ohio, in a lively household with Russian immigrant parents, 3 sisters and a brother.
Rochester Baby Lab
Center for Language Sciences
Penn Infant Language Center
UMD Project on Children's Language Learning
NYU Center for Child Language
Yeled v'Yalda Research Institute
Elikorpus-created and maintained by my friend Dave Kush
Local Food: Red Earth Farm Clark Park Farmer's market Rochester Public Market
The New Yorker
Helping animals find good homes
Last updated: 09/02/2014