Social Learning Lab

Stanford University

Principal Investigator

Hyowon Gweon

CV | Bio | hyo [at]

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”!

Lab Manager

Aneesa Conine-Nakano

sociallearninglab [at]

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.adams [at]

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.

Graduate Students

Aaron Chuey

chuey [at]

Reasoning about knowledge is both a ubiquitous and necessary part of human life. Without much effort, we can estimate how much others know, determine how valuable knowledge is, and efficiently transmit and obtain it ourselves. I study the way children think about knowledge and information to better understand where these intuitions come from and what underlies them.

Peter Zhu

pgzhu [at]

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.

Research Coordinators

Joseph Outa

joouta [at]

Both adults and children can reason flexibly about issues in the physical, social and moral domains. I’m curious about how this ability develops from childhood. What core concepts enable this process? Children make rich inferences over structured representations of the world. How do these inferential abilities unfold? Do children deploy similar or different mechanisms to reason across different domains? How do they develop into the complex moral and social beings that are adults.

Research Assistants

Rachel Wang

yixingw [at]

I am a junior at Stanford studying Symbolic Systems with a concentration in Artificial Intelligence. I love to explore the patterns of human social and cognitive behaviors through innovative technologies. In the Social Learning Lab, I work on a VR platform to investigate the human perception of physics in the virtual world. I can't wait to witness how modern technology will contribute to cognitive science research in the future.

Libby Rouffy

erouffy [at]

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.

Marielle Zheng

mxmzheng [at]

I am a sophomore at Stanford majoring in Psychology and minoring in Theatre and Performance Studies. I love exploring the human mind and our behaviours from a sociocultural and developmental perspective. Through SLL, I am able to further explore my interests by specifically honing in to see the multitude of factors that impact the way children develop and interact with one another.

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 Dietz

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

Past Lab Managers & post-bac RAs

  • 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

  • Día Gonzalez (Was: PsychSummer '22)
  • Tiffany Liu (Was: SymSus 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 Interm '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)