Retreat 2014

Language and Cognition Lab Spring 2016

Principal Investigator

baby Mike
Michael C. Frank (blog, twitter)
Mike did his undergraduate degree at Stanford in Symbolic Systems and his PhD work at MIT. He is broadly interested in the relationship between language and cognition, especially as it relates to children's early language development.


Emily Hembacher
Emily did her undergraduate work at UC San Diego, and her graduate work at UC Davis. She is interested in how children’s monitoring of their own uncertainty, and uncertainty in their environment, impacts their learning and decision-making. In addition to this line of work, she has recently begun to examine how parents’ understanding of cognitive development interacts with children’s learning.
Abdellah Fourtassi
Abdellah did his undergraduate work at Ecole Polytechnique and his graduate work at Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, France. He is interested in early word learning and how it relates to the broad context of cognitive development.
Tom Hardwicke
Tom completed his PhD in Experimental Psychology at University College London, following an MRes in Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience at The University of Birmingham, and a BSc in Psychology at Cardiff University. His work in experimental psychology is largely focused on memory plasticity, particularly pertaining to the theory of memory reconsolidation. He is currently based at the Meta Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS) and works on evaluating the impact of open science and reproducibility initiatives such as pre-registration and data-sharing policies.
Bria Long
Bria did her undergraduate work at Stanford, and is happy to be back on campus. She spent two years at École Normale Supérieure before doing her graduate work at Harvard University. She is broadly interested in the interface between visual perception and cognition – how do we know a cup is a “cup”, and how does a baby learn what is – and what isn’t – a cup? Currently, she’s exploring if early word learning impacts how infants represent object categories.
Manuel Bohn
Manuel studied Psychology at the University of Vienna and New York University. He did his PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. He’s interested in the psychological processes enabling human communication. Before coming to Stanford, he studied how these processes enable non-verbal communication in human children and great apes. Now he is looking at how they allow children to learn language.

Graduate Students

Erica Yoon
Erica completed a B.A.Sc. in Cognitive Science at McGill University. She worked in the Onishi lab, studying infants’ speech segmentation, as well as adults’ interpretation of ambiguous sentences in Korean. She is currently interested in looking at people’s understanding of polite speech, and its developmental trends and cultural variations.  
Kyle MacDonald
Kyle graduated from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in Psychology in 2010. He is intersted in understanding the importance of social information for language learning. Currently, he is exploring how joint attention supports learning across different contexts and language modalities (spoken vs. signed languages).

Research Staff

Danielle Kellier
Danielle is the current lab manager. She graduated from New York University with a B.A. in Biology. She previously worked in the New York University Infant Action Lab, studying whether children could discover the hidden possible actions of everyday objects. When she isn't busy applying for medical school, she is either investigating in how young children learn to label and partition the perceptual color space or working on a web-based format for the Mac-Arthur Bates Communicative Development Inventory.
Alessandro Sanchez
Alessandro graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science from Stanford in 2015. He went on to work as a software engineer in the Bay Area, and is now back at Stanford to pursue his longtime interests in language and cognition. He is specifically interested in the evolution of language and the evolution of mental concepts, and how we can understand the two through the mind of a developing child.
Jacqueline Quirke
Jacqueline received her B.S. in Psychology from Santa Clara University. Her interests include shared storybook reading between parents and children. Additionally, she is interested in how children learn verbs and how this is associated with overall language acquisition in young children. She looks forward to pursuing a Clinical Psychology degree in the near future.
Christy McCollum
This is Christy McCollum! She is a senior psychology major at Santa Clara University. She is ultimately interested in understanding the things in life that we take for granted such as how we process the world around us and how we learned to make sense of everything as children. Currently, she is working with Emily Hembacher looking at how children use social referencing to infer the names of objects that they are unfamiliar with.

Lab Alums

  • Gabe Doyle (Postdoctoral Scholar) - Assistant Professor, San Diego State University
  • Veronica Cristiano (Research Assistant) - Grad student, Gallaudet University
  • Molly Lewis (Graduate Student) - Postdoctoral scholar, University of Chicago
  • Dan Yurovsky (Postdoctoral Fellow) - Assistant Professor, University of Chicago
  • Rose Schneider (Research Assistant) - Grad student, UC San Diego
  • Mika Braginsky (Research Assistant) - Grad student, MIT
  • Ann Nordmeyer (Graduate Student) - Assistant Professor, Southern New Hampshire University
  • Sarah James (Research Assistant)
  • Andrew Weaver (Research Assistant)
  • Alexandra Horowitz (Graduate Student) - UI Researcher, Facebook
  • Ally Kraus (Research Assistant) - Analyst, Education Elements
  • Janelle Klaas (Research Assistant)
  • Theresa Hennings (Research Assistant) - Grad student, University of Washington
  • Stephan Meylan (Research Assistant) - Grad student, UC Berkeley
  • Chigusa Kurumada (Graduate Student) - Assistant Professor, University of Rochester
  • Marisa Casillas (Graduate Student) - Junior Investigator, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen
  • Alex Stiller-Shulman (Master's Student) - Assistant Professor, San Diego Miramar College

Former Honors Students

  • Allison Dods (2016) - Symbolic Systems
  • Sarah Lucy Case (2015) - Human Biology
  • Rachel Chung (2015) - Science, Technology, and Society
  • Nicholas Moores (2015) - Linguistics
  • Elise Sugarman (2014) - Symbolic Systems
  • Laura Soriano (2014) - Human Biology
  • Kaia Simmons (2013) - Human Biology
  • Stephanie Muscat (2013) - Human Biology
  • Rebecca Chung (2012) - Symbolic Systems