Office: 3401 Walnut, 408
Hello! I am a 5th year doctoral student in Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. I work with 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 so far 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. I’m doing several eye-tracking, corpus, and teaching studies in an effort 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 (phonology, morphology, syntax), 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 will be completing my doctorate in the summer of 2013. Click here to hear a short BBC interview with me about our PNAS 2012 paper.
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. I currently reside in West Philadelphia.
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 at UMD
Local Food: Red Earth Farm Clark Park Farmer's market
The New Yorker
Helping animals find good homes
Last updated: 4/10/2013