Current Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Linda B. Smith, PhD., Chancellor's Professor 
CVFaculty Webpage
Research Interests: Perceptual and cognitive development in early childhood; classification and categorization; interactions between perception and language.

Special Projects Manager

Char Wozniak

Research Interests: Children are born curious, like scientists, actively exploring their world. They spontaneously experiment - they smell, tatse, bite, coo, cry, giggle, blow, hum, and touch - they shake, punch, squeeze, push, cruch, rub, and try to pull things apart. I am intensely interested in observing children and exploring the many ways they learn about their world.

Lab Manager

Kelly Irwin

Research Interests: I am fascinated by the way children learn about the world around them. From the very beginning, they soak up everything about their surroundings using every single one of their senses. I love observing and interacting with children as they learn and grow.

Assistant Scientist

Swapnaa Jayaraman

Research Interests: Development is all about change: macro changes like motor milestones and micro changes like neural organization, connectivity and growth. When and how do these changes occur? What are the mechanisms behind these changes? What factors affect these changes? These are questions that developmental scientists are trying to answer in small and large ways. I am particularly interested in how infants perceive, process, and understand faces, and how age, experience, and the environment affect these processes. I take both neurological as well as behavioral approaches to answering these questions.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Sara Benham

Research Interests: My research focuses on the relationship between lexical and phonological bases of word learning in children with typical and atypical language development. I am particularly interested in detecting principles of organization and structure in word and sound learning using network-based approaches.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Yannan Hu

Research Interests:

My research investigates real-time behavioral and physiological dynamics during parent-child interactions and how these processes are related to children’s socioemotional functioning during infancy and early childhood. I am particularly interested in how interactive patterns and individual characteristics jointly shape the development of stress regulation.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Hadar Karmazyn-Raz

Research Interests: My research fouses on the underlying learning mechanism of infants and machines, who are novices in our noisy cluttered world, and yet trying to make connections and knowledge structures for day-to-day functions.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Linger Xu

Research Interests: My research focuses on studying the development of interpersonal coordination at sensory-motor level. We conduct infant-parent interaction experiments, use state-of-art multimodal wearable sensors and develop novel time-series analysis methods and computational models. I also use social robotic agents to investigate the effects of different real-time coordinated behaviors in human-robot interaction studies.