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Infant Learning Project

The University of Texas at Dallas

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Priscilla Jacob, BS, MS

Priscilla JacobPriscilla graduated from The University of Texas at Dallas with a BS in Psychology and Child Learning and Development and a MS in Psychological Sciences. During her time at the lab, Priscilla completed an honors thesis titled, “Infants’ Eye-Tracking of Static and Dynamic Facial Expressions”, worked with multiple research projects, and was instrumental in the progress and success of the lab. Priscilla is now pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology at Texas A&M University where she will continue research in infant development and begin clinical work with children diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Claire Noonan, BA, MS

Claire NoonanClaire graduated with a bachelor's degree in the Biological Sciences from Columbia University in 2009. Her work as an ABA therapist for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) inspired her to earn her Master of Science degree in Psychological Sciences with a concentration in developmental psychology at The University of Texas at Dallas. Her research interests include developmental psychopathology – especially the early identification of developmental disabilities such as ASD – as well as infant cognition. Claire graduated from the Master's program in May of 2014 and has moved to Louisiana to pursue her doctoral degree in the field at Tulane University in order to both work clinically with children as well as carry out psychological research.

Sarah Rouhani

Sarah RouhaniSarah graduated Magna Cum Laude from The University of Texas at Dallas in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology and a minor in Child Learning and Development. Sarah is continuing her education at The University of Texas at Dallas in the Communication Disorders graduate program. Her areas of interest include preschool language development and bilingual therapy practices. After graduating in 2017, Sarah plans to obtain her licensure and work as a Speech Language Pathologist.

Kate Shepard, PhD, MS, CCC-SLP

Kate Shepard

Kate earned her PhD in Psychological Sciences from The University of Texas at Dallas. She graduated from Colorado State University with a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies and a minor in French. She received her MS degree in Communication Disorders from The University of Texas at Dallas. She is a speech-language pathologist with experience working with infants and toddlers in early intervention. Kate's research focuses on infants' early communicative behaviors, with specific interest in how infants perceive infant-directed faces, or the exaggerated facial expressions we make when interacting with and talking to babies. Current projects are investigating how infants look at our faces when we are talking to them by using an eye-tracking system to track babies' eye movements. Future work will investigate the role of the face in infants' language development.

Emily Touchstone, PhD, CCC-SLP

Emily Touchstone

Emily received her MS and PhD from The University of Texas at Dallas. Currently, Emily is practicing as a speech-language pathologist and collaborating with research in the Infant Learning Project. Her research is based on infants' perception of emotional expressions. She investigates 6- and 10-month-old infants' abilities to categorize expressions on dynamic faces. Her research catalogs differences in infants' categorization abilities based on age of the infant and design of the experiment.

Here are some results from her research poster presentations:

   Infants' Categorization of Dynamic Faces: Changes from 6 to 10 Months

   Dynamic/Static Face Study with 6-month-olds

   Dynamic Face Familiarity Study with 6- and 10-month-olds

    The Effect of Motion on Infants' Processing of Novel Faces

   Infants' Attention to Auditory and Visual Stimuli

   Infants' Categorization of Dynamic Faces:  Comparing Repeated and Fixed Trial Procedures


Kristin Kuhlman AtchisonKristin Kuhlman Atchison, PhD

Kristin received her BS from Texas A&M University and her PhD from The University of Texas at Dallas.  Kristin's research aims to help us understand if infants can categorize emotions in infant-directed speech.  Infant-directed speech is a special way we all speak to infants.  Kristin's dissertation research focused on the role of synchrony of the face and voice in infants' categorization abilities.

Here are some results from her research poster presentations:            

img  Categorization of Synchronous Infant-Directed Speech by 4- and 6-Month-Old Infants

img  Disruption of Six-Month-Olds' Infant-Directed-Speech Categorization in the Presence of Faces

img  Infants' Categorization of Dynamic Faces: Changes from 6 to 10 Months

  Four-Month-Old Infants' Categorization of Infant-Directed Speech When Viewing Female, Male and Scrambled Faces

  The Influence of Social Context  on 4-month-olds' Categorization of Infant-directed Speech

  A Test of Voice Familiarity Effects on 4-month olds' Categorization of Infant-directed Speech


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Why Babies Like our Lab!

Developmental Milestones
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Last Updated:  09/26/17