Hello! I’m a developmental psychologist currently working as a postdoc at the University of Potsdam in Germany. I run research projects with infants and children using both eye-tracking and EEG methodologies, and below you can find more details about this work and resulting publications. When not at work googling matlab error messages, I am usually wandering aimlessly around Berlin listening to a variety of quality educational podcasts.
I’m fascinated by early language development. While we often (quite rightly!) marvel at the speed with which children learn language, I find it equally fascinating how variable language development can be: Some toddlers are absolute chatterboxes, while others can be quiet as a mouse. So how can we explain the mechanisms underlying language development of both groups of children (chatterboxes and quiet mice)? To better understand this question, I’m looking at how shyness affects young children’s learning of word meanings. My work also aims to better understand the mechanisms underlying early language processing (e.g. speech segmentation), and how differences in development of these processes can explain individual differences in language acquisition.
I work on two projects of the DFG-funded research unit “Crossing the Borders.” The main aim of the research unit is to examine the shared domain-general processes that drive cognitive development. One project examines parallels in segmentation of speech and action. I work on this project alongside Birgit Elsner, Isabell Wartenburger and Romy Räling. We want to examine whether the processes that underlie segmentation of speech can also support segmentation of action sequences. The second project is led by Barbara Höhle. This project examines how domain-general developmental processes (e.g. inhibitory control) can explain language and social development. To do this, we created a battery of eye-tracking tasks that aims to measure these processes throughout development.
Title of thesis: “Temperament and early word learning: The effect of shyness on referent selection and retention”
- Supervised by Gert Westermann and Katherine Twomey
- Examined by Melissa Allen and Larissa Samuelson