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Research Programs


The ability to learn and remember socially-provided information (that is, information we learn from others) is vital to human development. This is particularly true in infancy and early childhood, when learning about things such as cultural norms, language, and even the physical world is dependent on close social partners. My research focuses on the social contexts that form the foundation for early learning and memory. How and when do children select among potential social informants? How does early social experience shape these preferences? Do social situations fundamentally alter learning and memory early in life?  By asking these questions across development and species, I hope to gain a better understanding of the "social memory biases" that set the foundation for our adult lives.

Current Questions

  • How to children mentally construe agentive vs. non-agentive events in memory?

  • Does an agent's intentional action (vs. accidental movement) influence subsequent recall?

  • How does social modeling influence rule learning and cognitive flexibility?

  • How does group membership influence action memory?

  • How do social cues (gesture, repetition, collaboration) denote group membership?

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