Snedeker Lab Members

Jesse Snedeker
Professer

Harvard University – Department of Psychology
33 Kirkland St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
Hanna Shine
Lab Manager

[email protected]
617-946-7175
Tanya Levari
Postdoctoral Researcher

Every sentence that we hear and understand requires us to integrate information from a wide variety of sources: from the words, the grammar, the intonation, the context, etc. I am interested in understanding the mechanisms that make this possible and their development across the lifespan by studying online sentence processing. My current work focuses on the role of executive functioning in online ambiguity resolution.

Irene Canudas Grabolosa
Postdoctoral Researcher

I’m a postdoctoral researcher investigating the intricate connection between language and cognition. My primary focus lies in dissecting the fundamental conceptual elements that play a crucial role in scaffolding language acquisition. My recent projects include work on understanding of logical structure and quantification in infancy, as well as children’s understanding of alternative possibilities. Currently, my research revolves around exploring how events and event roles (agent, patient…) are represented in the absence of language.

Simge Topaloğlu
5th Year PhD Student

My research focuses on the acquisition of semantics, specifically on how young children converge on an adult-like interpretation of sentences with complex semantic content. I am also interested in finding out whether and how children are able to integrate multiple sources of linguistic information (prosody, pragmatics, etc.) to comprehend sentences.

Maggie Kandel
5th Year PhD Student

I am interested in studying language acquisition as a way to investigate the fundamental properties of human language as well as the mechanisms responsible for language comprehension and production.

Briony Waite
1st Year PhD Student

Yuhui Huang
1st Year PhD Student


Research Assistants

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Sydney Lang

Research Assistant

Sydney is a Linguistics concentrator on the Mind, Brain, Behaviour track at Harvard College (Class of 2024).

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Jarom Larman

Research Assistant

Jarom is a Neuroscience concentrator at Harvard College (Class of 2024). He is interested in language development, with a particular focus on the use of discourse and sentence cloze in children and bilinguals compared to adults.

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Iandra Ramos

Research Assistant

Iandra is a Psychology concentrator at Harvard College (Class of 2024). She is interested in the relationship between working memory and linguistic prediction.

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Danielle Novak

Research Assistant

Danielle is a Linguistics and Neuroscience concentrator at Harvard College (Class of 2024). She is interested in studying the mechanisms underlying language acquisition. Danielle currently works with PhD student Maggie Kandel to investigate whether children adjust their language processing based on context.

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Sara Bezrukavnikov

Research Assistant

Sara is interested in everything pertaining to the language function in the brain, more specifically — in the questions of the internal architecture of language system, localization of different aspects of linguistic perception, etc. Currently, she is assisting on a project researching predictive linguistic processes in autistic and neuro-typical individuals.

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Maia Hoffenberg

Research Assistant

Maia is a Linguistics concentrator at Harvard College (Class of 2026). She
is interested in all things language acquisition, but especially bilingualism and foreign language learning.

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Eleni Livingston

Research Assistant

Eleni is a double-concentrator in History and Literature and Psychology at Harvard College (Class of 2026).  She is interested in how children learn and conceptualize their world through various communication modalities, and the ways in which this applies to education.

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Millie Harris

Research Assistant

Millie is an undergraduate psychology student from the University of Bath on placement at the Snedeker Lab. She is interested in how kids use context and other cues to predict language and future discourse, as well as to how this differs in children with ASD. As a whole, she wants to learn more about the mechanisms underlying the processes of language comprehension and production.

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Hannah Kleiner

Research Assistant

Hannah is an undergraduate psychology student form the University of Bath on placement at the Snedeker Lab. She is interested in investigating the mechanisms behind language comprehension and production, with a focus on how these processes may differ between typically developing children and children with ASD.  

Lab Alumni

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Annemarie Kocab

Post-Doctoral Researcher

A unique property of the human mind is that it is capable of creating and acquiring languages. All groups of people have symbolic systems capable of expressing complex events and beliefs about the words, their past experiences, and their future aspirations. No other animal has a communication system with the scope and complexity of human languages, and no other animal can acquire such as system as readily as we do. What properties of the human mind give rise to language? How does the structure of language reflect the structure of the mind? What role do social interactions play in the emergence of language? I explore these questions by studying an emerging language, Nicaraguan Sign Language. I also look at parallel questions using language creation paradigms with children and adults in the laboratory.

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Anthony Yacovone

PhD Student

Nothing in nature exists in isolation—this includes human language, which unfolds moment-by-moment in rich environments. My research investigates how humans integrate knowledge from their surroundings (e.g. perceptual, conceptual, and linguistic inputs) to draw inferences about the world. Currently, I focus on how this integration between language and context is implemented in the brain, and how this system functions and malfunctions in real-world contexts.

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Joseph Coffey

PhD Student

In order to learn language quickly and efficiently, children must be able to take advantage of the learning opportunities that are available in their surroundings. Because these opportunities vary greatly across households, communities, and cultures, children need to be flexible and adaptive in how they learn from those around them. My research investigates how the kinds of input children encounter shape the ways they learn from others, as well as how that input is affected by the values and beliefs of their caregivers and communities.