Principal Investigator

Athena Vouloumanos
Is speech a special sound for humans? What is it about language (and humans) that makes language acquisition a uniquely human accomplishment? Dr. Vouloumanos's research addresses these broad questions by exploring the linguistic and cognitive abilities of adults and young infants, including newborns. Her findings have been published in journals such as Science, Cognition, Developmental Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Graduate Students

Andrea Sorcinelli
andrea dot sorcinelli at nyu dot edu
Andrea is a fifth year graduate student in the Cognition and Perception Program. She graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with a B.A. in Psychology. As an undergraduate, Andrea worked as a research assistant at Haskins Laboratories where she used EEG/ERP to examine language functioning in special populations. Andrea's research currently examines how typically developing infants and infants at risk for atypical development look at and listen to the social signals (e.g. speech and faces) of members of their own species and of closely related primates. In her free time, Andrea enjoys cooking and hiking with her dog, Kayla.

Amy Yamashiro
amy dot yamashiro at nyu dot edu
Amy is a fifth year graduate student in the Cognition and Perception Program with a B.S. in Psychology from Texas Christian University. During her undergraduate studies, she was a research assistant for Naomi Ekas and Anna Petursdottir examining the social and emotional development of children with ASD and concepts of Applied Behavior Analysis to facilitate language development. Amy is interested in the development of social communication, joint attention, and early markers of ASD in high risk infants. As a Southern California native, she enjoys anything about the beach, as well as trying new NYC restaurants, dancing, and drinking tea.


Lab Manager

Rebecca Elbogen
rebecca dot elbogen at nyu dot edu
Rebecca graduated summa cum laude from NYU with a B.A. in Psychology and specializations in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies and American Sign Language. She is interested in researching early markers of autism, and the development of social skills and nonverbal communication. Rebecca also enjoys working with children; she runs a non-profit special needs dance program, Ballet For All Kids. She hopes to combine her many academic and clinical interests when she pursues graduate school. Eventually, Rebecca wants to develop unique interventions for under-served children with disorders or disabilities. Outside of the lab and the dance studio, Rebecca has a love for music, television, comedy, and all things canine.


Research Assistants

Hala Aziz
Hala is a sophomore at NYU from Amman, Jordan. She is currently majoring in psychology and minoring in chemistry. Her research interests are language acquisition, social and cognitive development, and child-clinical psychology. She plans on volunteering in the Middle East and Africa after she completes her undergraduate degree. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in medicine. During her free time, she enjoys listening to Arabic music with her non-Arab friends and exploring the city.


Emily Cole
Emily is a senior at NYU, majoring in Psychology. She has a strong interest in researching family dynamics, particularly the ways in which children's earliest communication patterns and relationships can have an impact on their adolescent and adult lives. Upon completing her studies at NYU, Emily hopes to pursue an advanced degree, and eventual licensure, in the realm of child and family psychology, which will allow her to open her own private clinical practice. In her free time, Emily enjoys baking, exercising, and visiting her family back in Texas.


Tazmin Rahman
Tazmin is a senior at NYU, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Child Adolescent Mental Health Studies. Her primary interests are the cognitive development and the behavioral flexibility of children. She plans on pursuing a graduate degree in Occupational Therapy and hopes to work with children in the future. During her free time, she enjoys binge-watching "Friday Night Lights," reading and spending time with her family and friends.

Danielle Schuler
Danielle is a first-year graduate student in the General Psychology M.A. program at NYU. She received bachelor’s degrees in both Psychology and Spanish from the University of North Carolina – Asheville. Her research interests are autism, child development, and language acquisition. In the future, she plans on pursuing a PhD and hopes to work with infants with autism in a clinical setting. Outside of school, she enjoys reading and exploring Prospect Park with her grumpy, old Chihuahua.