Retreat 2014

Language and Cognition Lab Fall 2018

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.


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 in France before doing her graduate work in vision science at Harvard University. Her postdoctoral work focuses on the development of visual concepts. For example, how do children learn what is —- and what isn't —- a cup? How do children's visual concepts change across development?
Alex Carstensen
Alex did her PhD in psychology at UC Berkeley and postdoctoral research at Radboud University in the Netherlands, focusing on the nature of category systems across languages—how these semantic structures vary, evolve, and influence thought. Her current research examines the roles of language and culture in children’s early reasoning about abstract ideas like causes, relations, and space.
Yang Wu
Yang received her B.S. degree in Psychology from Peking University in 2012, and her Ph.D. degree in Cognitive Science from MIT in 2018. She is interested in how infants and children reason about others’ emotional displays. She is currently looking at how such ability supports their language acquisition and their understanding of the world broadly.
Angeline Tsui
Angeline received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from University of Ottawa in 2018. Her primary research focuses on bilingual infant language development. Before coming to Stanford, she studied how learners statistically segment words from two languages in a language mixing environment and how infants associate words with objects in the Switch task. She is now involved in multiple ManyBabies projects, with a goal of using large-scale dataset to (i) replicate key findings in infancy research and to (ii) foster best practice in research and open science.
Georgia Loukatou
Georgia completed her PhD in Cognitive Science at the Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique, Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, under the supervision of Alex Cristia. Her doctoral research addressed issues of cross-linguistic and cross-cultural learnability in language acquisition. She is interested in reverse engineering early word learning in diverse languages, focusing on learning factors and mechanisms. She follows an interdisciplinary approach, implementing computational modeling, corpus analysis and experimental methods.

Graduate Students

Eva Portelance
Eva completed a B.A. Honours in Linguistics and Computer Science at McGill University in 2017. She is interested in linguistic structure and computational modeling of language learning both in humans and machines.
Rondeline Williams
Rondeline received her B.A. in Psychology from Cornell University in 2017 before completing an NIH-funded research project at The Ohio State University. She is interested in the impact of auditory noise on young children's processing efficiency and language development.
Anjie Cao
Anjie received her B.S. in Cognitive Science with an additional major in Philosophy from Carnegie Mellon University in 2020. She is interested in the theoretical foundations of infant looking time paradigms.
Veronica Boyce
Veronica received her SB in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from MIT in 2019 where she did work on incremental language processing. She is interested in adaptation and convention formation in conversation.

Research Staff

George Kachergis
George is a Research Scientist in the Language and Cognition Lab. He did his undergraduate work in Computer Science and Cognitive Studies at Carleton College, and then his PhD in Cognitive Science and Psychology at Indiana University on modeling word learning. After a postdoc at Leiden University teaching robots how to make pancakes and studying human learning of sequential action, he did a postdoc at New York University with Todd Gureckis and Marjorie Rhodes looking at how children actively select information and acquire concepts. After a stint teaching in the AI Department at Radboud University and doing research in the Donders Institute, he is excited to again be studying aspects of early language learning, including how infants actively structure their learning environment guided by curiosity and nascent knowledge.
Jessica Mankewitz
Jess is the current lab manager. She recieved her B.A. in Cognitive Science from UC Berkeley where she was a research assistant in the Language and Cognitive Development Lab. She is interested in words and their meanings. Specifically, she is curious about how words and meanings are generated and how they shift and evolve through communication. Her current work explores ambiguity and polysemy in child contexts: which word meanings are children exposed to, and how do they use polysemy and ambiguity in their own speech?
Sama Radwan
Sama graduated from Emory University with a B.S. in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology and a minor in Spanish, with a focus in linguistics. She joined the lab as the Research Coordinator. Sama completed her honors thesis exploring dissociable cognitive and neural systems for recognizing places and navigating through them. She is interested in studying both the development of language and cognitive systems as well as their breakdown in typically developing children and patient populations. Sama plans to pursue an MD-PhD.
Joseph Outa
Joseph graduated in 2020 with a BA in Biology and Society from Cornell University. Joseph is interested the development and mechanism of moral cognition across cultural and intergroup contexts. He is also interested in how morality interacts with other domains like causal reasoning and social learning.

Lab Alums

  • Charles Murray (Research Assistant)
  • Megan Merrick (Research Assistant) - Graduate Student, Indiana University
  • Hang Jiang (Graduate Student) - Graduate Student, MIT
  • Ben Peloquin (Graduate Student) - Data Scientist, Apple
  • Pooja Paul (Postdoctoral Scholar)
  • Benny deMayo (Research Assistant) - Graduate Student, Princeton University
  • Vivian Zhang (Research Assistant) - Graduate Student, Cornell University
  • Erica Yoon (Graduate Student) - Teaching Coordinator for Symbolic Systems Program, Stanford University
  • Judith Fan (Postdoctoral Scholar) - Assistant Professor, UC San Diego
  • Manuel Bohn (Postdoctoral Scholar) - Postdoctoral Scholar, Leipzig Research Center for Early Childhood Development
  • Abdellah Fourtassi (Postdoctoral Scholar) - Assistant Professor, Aix-Marseille University
  • Kyle MacDonald (Graduate Student) - Postdoctoral Scholar, UCLA
  • Tom Hardwicke (Postdoctoral Scholar) - Postdoctoral Scholar, Meta-Research Innovation Center, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
  • Alessandro Sanchez (Research Assistant) - Software Engineer, Atomwise
  • Emily Hembacher (Postdoctoral Scholar) - Data Scientist, Nextdoor
  • Danielle Kellier (Research Assistant) - Medical Student, University of Pennsylvania
  • Gabe Doyle (Postdoctoral Scholar) - Assistant Professor, San Diego State University
  • Veronica Cristiano (Research Assistant) - Grad student, Gallaudet University
  • Molly Lewis (Graduate Student) - Research Faculty, CMU
  • Dan Yurovsky (Postdoctoral Fellow) - Assistant Professor, CMU
  • Rose Schneider (Research Assistant) - Graduate Student, UC San Diego
  • Mika Braginsky (Research Assistant) - Graduate 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) - Graduate Student, University of Washington
  • Stephan Meylan (Research Assistant) - Postdoctoral Fellow, Duke University and MIT
  • Chigusa Kurumada (Graduate Student) - Assistant Professor, University of Rochester
  • Marisa Casillas (Graduate Student) - Assistant Professor, University of Chicago
  • Alex Stiller-Shulman (Master's Student) - Assistant Professor, San Diego Miramar College

Honors Students

  • Khuyen Le (2021) – Symbolic Systems
  • Gloria Yi (2021) - Symbolic Systems
  • Hannah Marshall (2021) - Psychology
  • Claire Baker (2021) - Human Biology
  • Elizabeth Swanson (2021) - Human Biology
  • Isabella Duan (2021) - Human Biology
  • Tania Dhaliwal (2020) - Symbolic Systems
  • Sophie Regan (2020) - Symbolic Systems
  • Benjamin deMayo (2018) - Psychology
  • Tamara Mekler (2017) - Human Biology
  • 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

Summer Interns

  • Isaac Bever (2021) - Stanford University Symbolic Systems
  • Grace Butler (2021) - San José State University
  • Deba Elaiho (2021) - Stanford University Human Biology
  • Qi Han (2021) - Stanford University Linguistics
  • Ummara Khan (2021) - Stanford University Human Biology
  • Hannah Marie Matteson (2021) - Stanford University Psychology
  • Brennan Nick (2021) - Stanford University Linguistics
  • Isobel Taylor (2021) - Stanford University Psychology
  • Jiayi Wang (2021) - Boston University
  • Ruby Ru (2020) - Smith College
  • Yiling (Elaine) Ren (2020) - Trinity College
  • Naiti Bhatt (2020) - Scripps College
  • Elizabeth Swanson (2020) - Stanford University Linguistics
  • Hannah Marshall (2020) - Stanford University Psychology
  • Claire Baker (2020) - Stanford University Human Biology
  • Isabella Duan(2020) - Stanford University Human Biology
  • Gloria Yi (2020) - Stanford Univeristy Symbolic Systems
  • Sophie Regan (2020) - Stanford University Symbolic Systems (M.S.)