Lab Director

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November 24, 2014

Casey Lew-Williams
Director

Ph.D., 2009, Stanford University

 

Prof. Casey Lew-Williams studies how babies learn, with a particular focus on language and communication. He is interested in how babies learn and generalize patterns, how toddlers efficiently process what their parents say, how home language experience shapes learning, and why some children learn more easily than others. He studies various populations — including children learning two languages and children growing up in poverty — to ask questions about the foundations and high-stakes consequences of early learning.

 

caseylw@princeton.edu

Research Staff

282
June 22, 2020
by Juliana Trach

Alyssa Guillu
Lab Manager

B.A., 2022, University of Chicago

Alyssa is commited to better understanding children's dynamic, diverse language experiences. Broadly, she is interested in exploring how aspects of children's everyday environments support early language learning and communication. Alyssa has previously worked with Dr. Susan Goldin-Meadow and Dr. Marisa Casillas at the University of Chicago, and Dr. Meredith Rowe at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Outside of the lab, Alyssa enjoys caring for her tree frog, baking, and taking photographs.

 

aguillu@princeton.edu
251
March 11, 2019
by Kachina Allen
Liat_baby

Liat Hasenfratz
Research Scholar

Ph.D., 2011 Jerusalem

Liat has completed her PhD on learning and motivation in early childhood. At Ariel Knafo-Noam’s Social Development Lab in Jerusalem she learned how to use behavioral genetics to investigate the interplay of nature and nurture in the development of prosocial behavior and the emergence of values. This work has ignited Liat’s keen interest in the question of how knowledge is transmitted across time, from generation to generation, and how it travels across space, via various forms of media such as books, audio recordings and videos. To do so, Liat is combining natural and realistic experimental set-ups with neuro-imaging approaches.

Postdoctoral Researchers

359
September 25, 2023
by Juliana Trach

Steven Elmlinger
Postdoc

B.A., 2013, Indiana University
Ph.D., 2023, Cornell University
Steven studies the perceptual mechanisms that guide early communicative and language development. He is particularly interested in parent-child interaction and children's active role in shaping what is relevant for them to learn. In what ways do children use their own behaviors to spark interest in and continued learning about the social world throughout early development? If he's not in the lab, Steven is probably spending time cooking outside or taking his retired racing greyhound, Wendy, for a walk.

347
February 24, 2023
by Juliana Trach

Stevie Custode
Postdoc

B.S., 2014, University of Tennessee 

M.A., 2017, New York University  

Ph.D., 2022, University of Miami 

Stevie's interests broadly revolve around how features of children’s everyday environments and contexts influence their social interactions with caregivers. In her dissertation work she used automated measurements of children’s language and movement in inclusive preschool classrooms to understand how language interactions differ across activity contexts for children with and without developmental delays. In her free time, Stevie enjoys practicing yoga, trying out new cooking and baking recipes, and wandering around Philly with her dog Lula. 

287
June 26, 2020
by Juliana Trach

Martin Zettersten
Postdoc

1st St.ex., 2013, Heidelberg University

Ph.D., 2020, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Martin is interested in language - how we learn it and what it helps us do. His research focuses on the active role that children play in the learning process. How do children seek out new information and make predictions about their environment (e.g., about word meanings)? Outside of the lab, Martin can usually be found chasing frisbees, sipping tea, or singing songs about Charles Darwin and/or cheese.

martincz@princeton.edu

Graduate Students

322
July 2, 2021
by Juliana Trach

Nicole Cuneo
Ph.D. Student

Nicole is interested in all things language- how it is learned, how it is used, and what this tells us about the brain. Nicole received her B.A. in Cognitive Science at University of Michigan (go blue!). Since then, she has worked as a lab manager for the Gelman Conceptual Development Lab and the Language Learning and Multisensory Brain (LLAMB) Lab, working closely with Susan Gelman, Richard Aslin, and David Lewkowicz. Outside of the lab, Nicole can be found taking long walks with her fur baby (Theo), cooking, or binge watching a series in record timing.  

 

319
June 2, 2021
by Juliana Trach

Jonathan S. Daniels
Ph.D. Student

B.A., 2019, Case Western Reserve University

Fueled by his curiosity for the magic in the world, Jonathan plans to examine how the inherent mechanisms for learning and memory may have evolved, developed, and interacted with one another to give rise to complex human cognitive abilities. Jonathan previously worked with Dr. Brooke Macnamara at Case Western Reserve and later managed the Turk-Browne lab at Yale University. Besides research, Jonathan is a competitive powerlifter and enjoys exploring new brunch spots with his dog.

 

 

 

284
June 23, 2020
by Juliana Trach

Kennedy Casey
Ph.D. Student

B.A. Psychology, 2021, Princeton University

Kennedy studies the naturalistic contexts and interactions that shape early word learning. Broadly speaking, she is interested in variation in children's word learning input at multiple levels - variation in how words sound, variation in the situations words appear in, and more. Previously, Kennedy was a lab manager for Dr. Marisa Casillas at the University of Chicago (Comparative Human Development department), and before that, she was an undergraduate RA and thesis student in the Baby Lab. Outside the lab, Kennedy can be found taking long walks on the canal path, trying out new recipes, or reading/crosswording at a local coffee shop.
 
283
June 23, 2020
by Juliana Trach

Benny deMayo
Ph.D. Student
B.A. 2018 Stanford University
Benny is from Los Angeles, CA. He previously served as a lab manager for Dr. Michael Frank in the Stanford Language and Cognition Lab. Benny is interested in how the home language environment shapes children's understanding of social categories such as gender, ethnicity and age. In his free time, Benny is a classical clarinet player and enjoys attempting to recreate his grandmother's legendary cuisine.
270
September 23, 2019
by Juliana Trach
Crystal Lee

Crystal Lee
Ph.D. Student

B.S. Brain and Cognitive Sciences & B.A. Linguistics, University of Rochester

Crystal is interested in how children use various (social, environmental) cues, such as speaker information or visual variability, to learn words. Crystal has previously worked in the Language Development Department at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands, the Harvard Lab for Developmental Studies, and Johns Hopkins Laboratory for Child Development. Outside of the lab, she likes to paint and draw, watch stand-up, and bake desserts.

245
October 22, 2018
by Kachina Allen
Mira Nencheva Mira Nencheva when young

Mira Nencheva
Ph.D. Student

B.S., 2016, Stanford
Mira is interested in the role of the social cues surrounding language and communication early in life, such as facial expressions and prosody. She is especially excited to explore the different time-scales at which these cues act - from subsecond moments in a single interaction, to the accumulating statistical information over longer periods of time. Outside of the lab, Mira can be found on long morning walks, painting or trying to find every single jazz concert in the area.

Senior Honors Students

275
November 5, 2019
by Juliana Trach

Harper Chambers
Research Assistant

 

Harper Chambers (Class of 2024) is from Little Rock, Arkansas. He is a Neuroscience major with certificates in Cognitive Science and Latin American Studies. Harper is also enrolled in the Teacher Preparation Program where he will earn teaching licenses in Biology and Bilingual Education. He is fascinated by the impact of autistic behaviors on brain-brain interactions and social learning outcomes. Outside his courses and the Baby Lab, he works as a Fellow for the AccessAbility Center. After graduation, he hopes to combine his interests in neuroscience research, education, and disability by working in disability education policy.

Undergraduates

361
October 9, 2023
by Juliana Trach

Angelica Castro Lopez
Research Assistant

Angelica Castro Lopez (Class of 2025) is from Los Angeles, California. She is a Neuroscience major on the pre-med track pursuing certificates in Spanish and Latino Studies. Angelica is interested in the intersection between bilingualism, its effect on learning, and how children are able to easily switch between languages as they grow! In the future, she hopes to attend medical school and work with families in underserved communities back home. Outside of the baby lab, she is a volunteer for the Princeton Penn Medical Center, social chair for Más Flow, a core volunteer for El Centro, and enjoys hanging out with friends.

360
September 27, 2023
by Juliana Trach

Jaime Chen
Research Assistant

Jaime Chen (Class of 2025) is from Bellevue, Washington. She is a Neuroscience major on the pre-med track and pursuing a certificate in Cognitive Science. Jaime is interested in studying child development and learning, with a heavy emphasis on language acquisition. In parallel, she hopes to go into pediatrics where she can continue to work in child development through medicine. Outside the Baby Lab, Jaime is a Residential College Adviser, Peer Health Adviser, and Princeton Medical Center volunteer. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, art, and photography.

358
September 21, 2023
by Juliana Trach

Isabella Stahlman
Research Assistant

Isabella Stahlman (Class of 2026) is from Atlanta, Georgia. She is a prospective Psychology major with an intended certificate in Entrepreneurship. She is particularly interested in the assessment and treatment of psychological disorders and mental illnesses, as well the study of how children learn and apply knowledge in educational settings. Outside of the Baby Lab, she works on the PR team for Tiger Trends, a fashion and lifestyle publication based at Princeton, and enjoys yoga and spin classes, spending time with friends, and binging reality TV shows.

334
March 3, 2022
by Juliana Trach

Ella Rosenberg
Research Assistant

Ella Rosenberg (Class of 2025) is from Durham, North Carolina. She is a Neuroscience major with a certificate in Teacher Prep. She is interested in the science behind how kids learn, especially how they go from learning a language to reading in such a short amount of time. After graduation, she hopes to go into teaching for a few years before continuing her work with education in other ways. Outside of the baby lab, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, watching Duke basketball and working with children. 

332
March 3, 2022
by Juliana Trach

Ahlanna Olson
Research Assistant

Ahlanna Olson (Class of 2024)  is a prospective Neuroscience major, looking at certificates in the Psychology and Molecular Biology areas. As a student on the pre-health track, Ahlanna is aiming to eventually attend Medical School, focusing on neuroscience research; Eventually, she aims to be a Pediatric Neurosurgeon. On campus, Ahlanna participates in Lightweight Women’s Crew, acapella performance, HPA, and PHLE extracurriculars; She also has worked as a Lab Technician in Frick Chemistry Laboratory, aiding with the General Chemistry 201/202 sequence. 

331
March 3, 2022
by Juliana Trach

Jesus Arroyo
Research Assistant

Jesus Arroyo (Class of 2024) is from La Puente California. He is a psychology major pursuing a Latin American Studies Certificate. Coming from a Spanish speaking household, he is interested in how bilingualism affects language development and in the ways social/cultural practices help emotional regulation. In the future he hopes to pursue a career in mental health counseling to help serve his community back home. On campus he works for the compost initiative in Forbes garden and enjoys playing basketball and learning to play the accordion. 

 

 

326
October 12, 2021
by Juliana Trach

AJ Salcedo
Research Assistant

AJ Salcedo (Class of 2024) is from Queens, New York. He is a Anthropology major on the pre-medical track, and he is fascinated by the impact of social factors like race, gender, and socioeconomic status on childhood development. After graduating from Princeton, he plans to pursue medical school and potentially a career as a physician in psychiatry or family/pediatric medicine. Specifically, he is passionate about providing adequate healthcare (especially mental health) support and resources to disadvantaged communities. Outside of the Baby Lab, AJ enjoys spending time with his family and friends, creating artwork, and stepping on the Princeton University Step Team.

321
July 2, 2021
by Juliana Trach

Lynna Tran
Research Assistant

Lynna Tran (Class of 2026) is from Seattle, Washington. She is a prospective psychology major with intended certificates in Linguistics and Cognitive Science. She is interested in researching language development, particularly regarding bilingualism and how socioeconomic status (SES) affects language learning. Lynna plans to pursue graduate school after Princeton and continue doing research in these areas, with hopes of one day becoming a professor and head of a lab herself. At Princeton, she is a Writing Center Fellow, a Matriculate Advising Fellow, a Peer Health Advisor, and an on-and-off editor for various campus publications. She also loves baking, (procrastinating on) writing, going on boba or coffee hangouts, and binge-watching shows.

314
March 3, 2021
by Juliana Trach

Hannah Van Dusen
Research Assistant

Hannah Van Dusen (Class of 2025) is from West Windsor, New Jersey. She is a prospective Psychology major pursuing certificates in Global Health and Health Policy and Environmental Studies. She is interested in the development of psychopathology in children, such as the influence of caregiver depression on childhood emotional development. In the future, Hannah hopes to pursue a career in pediatrics, potentially in the field of clinical neuropsychology. Outside of the lab, she volunteers for a suicide prevention line and the campus blood drive and enjoys planning tennis, reading classic books, and having game nights with family and friends. 

313
March 2, 2021
by Juliana Trach

Jules Regan
Research Assistant

Jules Regan (class of 2025) is from Toms River, New Jersey. She is a prospective psychology major with possible certificates in the teachers preparatory program and neuroscience. Jules is interested in the intersection between early education and cognitive development, especially in how to optimize curriculums to best fit children's learning. Outside of the Baby Lab, Jules is the co-president of Academic Success Today, a member of the Princeton Neuroscience Network, and a member of the Scholars Institute Fellowship Program. She also loves to exercise, read new books, and binge Netflix.

 

269
September 23, 2019
by Juliana Trach

Aunyae Romeo
Research Assistant

Aunyae Romeo (Class of 2026) is from Hamilton, New Jersey. She is a prospective Psychology major who intends to earn certificates in Gender and Sexuality Studies and African American Studies or Cognitive Science. She is interested in understanding the factors that contribute to childhood behavior development, as well as the development of individuality and sexuality in adolescence. Outside of the lab, Aunyae is a dancer in eXpressions Dance Company (a campus dance group) and on the board of the Generational African American Students Association. For fun, she runs a food Instagram where she loves sharing the new, fun foods she tries with her followers and friends. 

Affiliated Faculty

286
June 23, 2020
by Juliana Trach

Kristina Olson
Affiliated Faculty Member

Ph.D., 2008, Harvard University

Dr. Kristina Olson studies how children think about themselves and the other people around them. Currently much of her work explores gender development, including in children who are transgender, gender nonconforming or those who have variations in sex development. She received her PhD in Psychology and African and African American Studies at Washington University and her PhD from Harvard University. Before arriving at Princeton she was a faculty member at Yale and at the University of Washington. In addition to being an affiliate of the BabyLab, she directs the Human Diversity Lab. 

285
June 23, 2020
by Juliana Trach

Jesse Gomez
Affiliated Faculty Member
Ph.D. 2018, Stanford University
Jesse Gomez is a professor of neuroscience studying human brain development. His research uses magnetic resonance imaging and behavior to understand and chart the dramatic changes the brain undergoes between birth and the end of childhood. Characterizing how experience sculpts emerging brain circuits is a primary motivation of his lab. In addition to understanding how the brain develops normally in children, he also seeks to understand what happens when this development goes awry, as it might do in deficits such as dyscalculia, dyslexia, face-blindness, and autism. 
jessegomez@princeton.edu
236
September 13, 2018
by Kachina Allen
Current photo of Adele Adele as a child

Adele Goldberg
Affiliated Faculty Member

Ph.D., 1992, UC Berkeley
Adele Goldberg has been a professor of psychology and linguistics at Princeton University since 2004.  Her research emphasizes the role of a learned network of pairings of form and function constructions in language.  Her work has focused on the role of statistical and functional factors in an effort to explain our creative but constrained use of language in typical and atypical populations, and in child and adult learners. She is the author of Constructions: a construction grammar approach to argument structure (1995) Constructions at Work: the nature of generalization in language (2006) Explain me this: creativity, competition and the partial productivity of constructions

adele@princeton.edu
235
September 13, 2018
by Kachina Allen
Tania as a small child

Tania Lombrozo
Affiliated Faculty Member

Dr. Tania Lombrozo investigates how young children and adults learn and reason about the world, using the conceptual tools of analytic philosophy and the empirical tools of experimental psychology. Current research in her lab focuses on questions such as: Why are we so motivated to explain the social and physical world around us? What prompts us to seek explanations, and what are the effects of explanation-seeking on subsequent learning? How do our intuitive theories about the world shape the way we learn and make decisions? She received Bachelor’s Degrees in Philosophy and Symbolic Systems from Stanford University, and PhD in Psychology from Harvard University. Prior to joining the faculty of Princeton University in 2018, she was a faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to being an affiliate of the BabyLab, Prof. Lombrozo directs the Concepts and Cognition Lab

lombrozo@princeton.edu
233
September 7, 2018
by Kachina Allen
Uri Hasson

Uri Hasson
Affiliated Faculty Member

Uri Hasson grew up in Jerusalem. As an undergrad he studied philosophy and cognitive sciences at the Hebrew University. He completed his Ph.D. in Neurobiology at the Weizmann Institute in Israel and was a postdoctoral fellow at NYU before moving to Princeton. He is currently a Professor in the Psychology Department and the Neuroscience Institute at Princeton University. His research program aims to understand the emergence of face-to-face, brain-to-brain, social interaction, with a focus on verbal communication and storytelling in real-life contexts.

hasson@princeton.edu