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I am an NIH NRSA postdoctoral researcher at Northwestern University, working with Dr. Sandra Waxman.


I received my PhD in Cognitive Science from Brown University under the supervision of Drs. James Morgan and Dave Sobel. I am also a research associate at UC Berkeley where I collaborate with Dr. Fei Xu.


I investigate the development of symbolic communication and language-mediated knowledge acquisition in three complementary lines of work:

  1. The development productive links between words and mental representations, which enable learning from language about things one has not experienced directly;

  2. The role of social contingency in the development of these links;

  3. Downstream consequences of word-representation links, such as the ability to make inferences about others' knowledge based their use of language.

I use a combination of behavioral and eye-tracking measures and employ live acting, video-recordings, video-chat, and online apps in my experimental manipulations. I also use computational models and corpus analysis in my research.

Aside from conducting my research, I lead the Social Contingency Consortium – an interdisciplinary collaboration of scholars from 30+ institutions worldwide. The main goal of the consortium is to understand behavioral and neural mechanisms underlying the facilitative role of social contingency in human and animal learning.

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