Learning in the Social Context


What we know about the world is much more than the sum of our direct experiences with it. We draw rich, abstract inductive inferences that go beyond what we can observe, and what we observe is often mediated by, or even originates from, representations of the world that reside in other people’s minds. The fundamental challenge for theories of human learning is to understand how we combine our own experiences with the world and information provided by others, to learn so much, so quickly, and so accurately, in a complex, noisy environment.

My research tackles this challenge by taking an interdisciplanry approach to provide a unified description of the cognitive and neural mechanisms that underlie the representations and inferential processes that allow us to learn about the world, and to communicate what we know.

During my time at MIT, I’ve worked with Laura Schulz (Early Childhood Cognition Lab) and Rebecca Saxe (Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab) first as a graduate student (2007 - 2012) and then as a post-doctoral associate in the Dept. of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.

In July 2014, I joined the the Department of Psychology at Stanford University as an assistant professor. You can find more information about our lab here!