I'm broadly interested in understanding the human ability to communicate – in particular, how we learn from others and teach others. My research brings together various approaches, aiming to provide a unified description of the cognitive and neural mechanisms that underlie the representations and inferential processes that allow us to learn and share about the world. As the PI of the Social Learning Lab, I'm thrilled to explore these questions with amazing people who all love to "learn from one another”!
Aneesa Conine-Nakanosociallearninglab [at] stanford.edu
I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2022 with a B.A. in Psychology. My past research projects have focused on how language and cognitive processes in childhood interplay with the development of stereotypes. Currently, I am interested how children use cues, such as emotion and language, to make inferences about people and their environment.
Kat Adams Shannon
Kat studies how young children adapt their attention and learning behaviors to best match different early environments, with particular focus on understanding variability and strengths in contexts of early adversity. A key aim of her research is to create and collaborate on innovative uses of technology and statistical methods to support education and developmental science.
As humans, we make part of and interact with the physical world while also holding a rich "inner world" per our minds. I aim to examine how our reasoning about various aspects of the "out there" and the "in here” arises, progresses, and interacts throughout development. How do our representations of self inform our judgments about our capacity to take various actions in the world? How do we integrate information from various sources – the results of our maneuvers, others' feedback, our reflective thinking – to iterate on representations of our mental and physical spaces? How do we coordinate thinking about ourselves, others, and our environment when sharing information with each other? I seek to use and learn about various methods in tackling these questions!
From birth, we occupy a world filled with people interacting and communicating. As observers, how do we make sense of communicative exchanges in order to learn from and about others? I study the inferences children draw from observing other people communicate, including what speakers and listeners know, where that knowledge came from, and how exogenous factors, such as auditory noise, might alter the outcome of a communicative exchange. I am also interested in how, as adults, we can levy these abilities to learn from diverse forms of communication, including broadcasting, messaging, and social media.
Humans are active learners and teachers - we integrate information from our environment, reason over it, and transmit it to others. I am interested in the processes and representations that enable this ability and their foundations in development. I hope to use a wide variety of methods to uncover more about how both children and adults learn and reason about our social world.
I graduated from UC Berkeley where I completed my BA in philosophy and a minor in early childhood development and learning science. I was a research assistant in the Gopnik Lab where I engaged with studies that seek to understand the factors that influence children's decisions to explore or exploit their environment. I am broadly interested in expanding my understanding of different approaches in the field. Children's development of morality and beliefs about right and wrong also interests me. I am excited to learn more about children’s learning, behavior, and beliefs.
I am a senior at Stanford studying Psychology and minoring in Biology and Data Science. I'm currently working on the EALS project with Dr. Kat Adams Shannon. I'm interested in exploring how children adapt their behavior and emotions in response to adversity and, down the line, exploring the implications of experiencing early life adversity in a clinical context.
I am a junior at Stanford majoring in Symbolic Systems, and I'm interested in many topics, including how people develop motivation and resilience. In the SLL, I develop iGibson VR environments to study how people reason about themselves in virtual worlds.
I graduated from Indiana University in 2022 with a B.S. in Psychology and Informatics, and I am now pursuing my M.S. in Symbolic Systems at Stanford. Coming from a background in social psychology, I hope to learn more about how both children learn, reason, and communicate about our social world. I am currently exploring how noise can impact children's communication, specifically how their epistemic understanding of the consequences of noise impacts their own behavior.
I am a junior at Stanford majoring in Human Biology with a concentration in child development and social learning. I am interested in how children learn about themselves and the world in unique social environments. In the SLL, I hope to explore how kids behave as both learners and teachers when drawing social inferences and to value their curiosity.
I’m a junior studying Symbolic Systems with a concentration in Cognitive Science. I’m broadly interested in cognitive development and decline, social cognition, and learning and memory. Currently, I’m working with Dr. Kat Adams Shannon on the Environmental Adaptation in Learning Strategies (EALS) study.
I am a junior at Stanford majoring in Computer Science with a concentration in Artificial Intelligence and minoring in Psychology. I am interested in how humans are able to learn through inference and develop probabilistic reasoning about the world around them. In the SLL, I’m currently exploring how children make epistemic inferences by observing the language and actions of others.
Past Graduate Students and Postdocs
Sophie Bridgers [Website]
Sophie was a PhD student in the lab, supported by NSF GRFP; she defended her dissertation in May 2020, titled Social reasoning in action: Social-cognitive mechanisms supporting prosocial decisions in early childhood.
She is now a post-doctoral researcher at Harvard (Tomer Ullman) and MIT (Laura Schulz).
Natalia Vélez [Website]
Natalia was a PhD student in the lab, supported by NSF GRFP and NIH F99/K00 D-SPAN Fellowship. She defended her dissertation in May 2020, titled Minds, groups, and populations : harnessing the latent structure of social information .
After her post-doc training at Harvard (Sam Gershman, Fiery Cushman), she will be joining Princeton (Dept of Psychology) as an incoming Assistant Professor in Summer 2023!
Mika Asaba [Website]
Mika was a PhD student in the lab, supported by NSF GRFP. She defended her dissertation in June 2021, titled Social learning and communication about the self .
She is now a post-doctoral researcher at Yale (Julia Leonard, Julian Jara-Ettinger).
Griffin was a PhD student in the lab, supported by NSF GRFP. She defended her dissertation in May 2022, titled Cognitively appropriate and readily accessible computing education technology for young learners.
Yang Wu [Website]
Yang was a postdoctoral researcher in the lab, supported by NSF.
She is now an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto Scarborough.
Past lab affiliates
- Yuan Chang Leong (Was: Graduate Student, SSNL) - Postdoctoral Researcher, UC Berkeley
- Robert Hawkins (Was: Graduate Student, Coco Lab) - Postdoctoral Researcher, Princeton University
- Judith Fan (Was: Post-Doc, Coco Lab) - Assistant Professor, UC San Diego
- Xiaoqian Li (Was: Visiting Graduate student) – Graduate Student, Language and Social Cognition Lab, Singapore Institute of Technology and Design
- Michael Henry Tessler (Was: Graduate Student, Coco Lab) – Postdoctoral Researcher, Computational Psycholinguistics Lab, MIT
- Desmond Ong (Was: Graduate Student, Coco Lab/ SSNL) – Research Scientist, Institute for High Performance Computing, Singapore
- Xuan Zhao (Was: Graduate Student, Malle Lab at Brown University) – Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
- Dan Yurovsky (Was: Postdoctoral Fellow, Language and Cognition Lab) – Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Chicago
Past Lab Managers & post-bac RAs
- Joseph Outa (Was: Research Coordinator) - PhD student in Psychology, Johns Hopkins University
- Teresa Garcia (Was: Lab Manager '20-'22) - PhD student in Human Development, University of Maryland, College Park
- Brandon Carrillo (Was: Research Coordinator) - PhD student in Psychology, Yale University
- Jessa Stegall (Was: Research Coordinator) - PhD Student in Psychology, Duke University
- Xi Jia Zhou (Was: Research Cordinator) - PhD student in GSE, Stanford University
- Mika Asaba (Was: Lab Manager '14-'16) - PhD student in Psychology, Stanford University
- Stephen Sanders (Was: Lab Manager '19-'20)
- Grace Bennett-Pierre (Was: Lab Manager '16-'19) - PhD student in Psychology, Temple University
- Megan Merrick (Was: Research Coordinator) - PhD student in Developmental Psychology, Indiana University - Bloomington
- Sajjad Torabian (Was: Research Assistant)
- Angelina Garron (Was: Research Assistant) - Student in UC Berkeley Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions Program
- Huda Akef (Was: Research Assistant) – PhD student in Human Development and Family Studies Dept., University of Connecticut
- Sumudu Rathnayake (Was: Research Assistant) – Behavioral Therapist in Los Angeles, CA
Past Undergraduate Researchers & Summer Interns
- Ellie Aasted (Was: PsychSummer '23)
- Veronica Aranda (Was: PsychSummer '23)
- Andy Dieu (Was: Stanford FAST '23)
- Eban Ebssa (Was: SymSys Summer '23, current research assistant)
- Tanya Nazlukhanyan (Was: SymSys Summer '23, current research assistant)
- Serena Tran (Was: SymSys Summer '23, current research assistant)
- Suzannah Wistreich (Was: SymSys Summer '23, current research assistant)
- Día Gonzalez (Was: PsychSummer '22)
- Tiffany Liu (Was: SymSys Summer '22)
- Juelle Ford (Was: CSLI Summer Intern '22)
- Bobby Zane Sparks (Was: Honors Student '22) - Lab Manager, Language and Cognition Lab, Stanford University
- Lauren Kramer Lowe (Was: PsychSummer '20)
- Peter Zhu (Was: CSLI Summer Intern '20, current lab member)
- Natalia Velasco (Was: CSLI Summer Intern '21)
- Auguste Seong (Was: Honors Student '20)
- Colin Norick (Was: SymSys Summer '19)
- Charlotte Ostrow (Was: Summer Intern '19)
- Natalie Hampton (Was: PsychSummer '19)
- Isabel Won (Was: CSLI Summer Intern '19)
- Isabelle Morris (Was: Honors Student '19)
- Chelsey Pan (Was: PsychSummer '15, Honors Student '18) – Lab Manager, Sokol-Hessner Lab, University of Denver
- Sophie Kennedy Hearn (Was: PsychSummer '18, Research Assistant)
- Emily Cang (Was: SymSys Summer '18)
- DivineAsia Miller(Was: CSLI Summer Intern, 2018)
- Ginnie Kim (Was: Summer Intern, 2018)
- Anne Roche (Was: Summer Intern, 2018)
- May Tran (Was: Summer Intern, 2018)
- Isabel Nichoson (Was: Summer Intern, 2018)
- Rhonda Sandifer (Was: Stanford Summer Program, 2018)
- Anutra Guru (Was: Stanford Summer Program, 2018)
- Maya Jones (Was: CSLI Summer Intern, 2017)
- Yena Kim (Was: Summer Intern, 2017)
- Alicia Leong (Was: Summer Intern, 2017)
- Natalie Wu (Was: Summer Intern, 2017)
- Robert Henderson (Was: Early Identification Program, 2017)
- James Daly (Was: Honors Student '17) – Lab Manager, Bauer Lab, Emory University
- Griffin Dietz (Was: Honors Student '17) – PhD student in Computer Science Dept., Stanford University
- Brett Anderson (Was: PsychSummer '17, Research Assistant) - MA student in Social Welfare (UCLA) & Gerontology (USC)
- Valentina Ruiz-Jiménez (Was: SymSys Summer '17, Research Assistant)
- Fernanda Kramer (Was: PsychSummer '16)
- David Altman (Was: SymSys Summer '16, Research Assistant) - Medical Student, Stanford University
- Michelle Wang (Was: CSLI Summer Intern, 2016)
- Katelynn Ellam (Was: Research Assistant)
- Ron Anderson (Was: Research Assistant)
- Alyssa Lombardo (Was: Research Assistant)
- Andrew McCabe (Was: Research Assistant)
- Emily Tang (Was: Research Assistant) – Associate Product Manager Intern, LinkedIn
- Grace Bennett-Pierre (Was: CSLI Summer Intern, 2015)