Yayun Zhang

My research investigates the underlying mechanisms of early word learning, how they change with development, and how they exploit the natural statistics of children's everyday learning experiences. I have been taking a multimodal approach to answering these questions, including collecting and analyzing dense datasets via head-mounted eye tracking and audio recording of natural infant-parent interactions, as well as designing and conducting more experimentally controlled learning tasks using screen-based eye tracking. In one of my ongoing projects, I am investigating how children process diverse linguistic input from a book-reading context by analyzing real-time information processing and how parent and child jointly create interactional routines to achieve joint focus and maintain the attention necessary for learning. 

I received my Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology and Cognitive Science from Indiana University, USA in 2020. Before joining the Language Development Department in September 2022, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Texas at Austin.

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