Education & Employment

Starting July 2022 Assistant Professor
     Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus
August 2018 - June 2022 Postdoctoral Associate
     Department of Psychology, Stanford University
     Advisers: Dr. Hyowon Gweon & Dr. Michael C. Frank
September 2012 - June 2018 Ph.D. in Cognitive Science
     Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT
     Advisers: Dr. Laura E. Schulz & Dr. Josh B. Tenenbaum
September 2008 - June 2012 B.S. in Psychology
     Department of Psychology, Peking University (Beijing, China)
     Adviser: Dr. Yanjie Su

Honors & Awards

National Science Foundation, $599,994 (2020-2023)

      Emotion as information: Young children’s use of others’ emotional expressions to guide their learning (co-wrote with Hyowon Gweon)

Paul and Lilah Newton Brain Science Award, $70,000 (2018)

      The cognitive and neural bases of emotion understanding in infancy (co-wrote with Laura Schulz)

Angus MacDonald Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2015)

Student Travel Award, Society for Research in Child Development (2015)

Glushko Student Travel Award, Cognitive Science Society (2014)

Leventhal Fellowship, MIT (2014)

Stark Fellowship, MIT (2013)

Henry E. Singleton fellowship, MIT (2012)

Publications

Perspectives

 Wu, Y., Schulz, L. E., Frank, M., & Gweon, H. (accepted). Emotion as information in early social learning. Current Directions in Psychological Science. [Preprint]

Emotion as information about the physical world

 Wu, Y., Muentener, P., & Schulz, L. E. (2017). One- to four-year-olds connect diverse positive emotional vocalizations to their probable causes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(45), 11896-11901. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1707715114 [PDF]

 Wu, Y. & Gweon, H. (2021). Preschool-aged children jointly consider others’ emotional expressions and prior knowledge to decide when to explore. Child Development, 92(3), 862-870. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13585 [Preprint] [PDF] [SI] [Repository]

 Wu, Y. & Gweon, H. (in prep). Surprisingly unsurprising! Infants’ looking time to improbable events is modulated by others’ expressions of surprise. [Preprint]

Emotion as information about the social world

 Wu, Y. & Schulz, L. E. (2020). Understanding social display rules: Using one person's emotional expressions to infer the desires of another. Child Development, 91(5), 1786-1799. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13346 [PDF] [Repository]

 Wu, Y. & Schulz, L. (2018). Inferring beliefs and desires from emotional reactions to anticipated and observed events. Child Development, 89(2), 649-662. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12759 [PDF] [Repository]

 Wu, Y., Haque, J. A., & Schulz, L. E. (2018). Children can use others' emotional expressions to infer their knowledge and predict their behaviors in classic false belief tasks. In C. Kalish, M. Rau, J. Zhu, & T. T. Rogers (Eds.), Proceedings of the 40th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1193-1198). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.[PDF]

 Asaba, M.*, Wu, Y.*, Carrillo, B., & Gweon, H. (2020). You're surprised at her success? Inferring competence from emotional responses to performance outcomes. In Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 2650-2656). (*Co-first authors) [PDF] [Repository]

Computational models

 Wu, Y., Baker, C. L., Tenenbaum, J. B., & Schulz, L. E. (2018). Rational inference of beliefs and desires from emotional expressions. Cognitive Science, 42(3), 850-884. https://doi.org/10.1111/cogs.12548 [PDF] [SI] [Repository]

 Wu, Y.*, Tessler, M. H.*, Asaba, M., Zhu, P., Gweon, H., & Frank, M. C. (in press). Integrating emotional expressions with utterances in pragmatic inference. In Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. (*Co-first authors) [PDF] [Repository]

Earlier work on children's causal reasoning

 Wu, Y., Muentener, P., & Schulz, L. (2016). The invisible hand: Toddlers connect probabilistic events with agentive causes. Cognitive Science, 40(8), 1854-1876. https://doi.org/10.1111/cogs.12309 [PDF] [OSF]

Peer-reviewed Conference Proceedings

 Wu, Y.*, Tessler, M. H.*, Asaba, M., Zhu, P., Gweon, H., & Frank, M. C. (in press). Integrating emotional expressions with utterances in pragmatic inference. In Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. (*Co-first authors) [PDF] [Repository]

 Asaba, M.*, Wu, Y.*, Carrillo, B., & Gweon, H. (2020). You're surprised at her success? Inferring competence from emotional responses to performance outcomes. In Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 2650-2656). (*Co-first authors) [PDF]

 Wu, Y. & Gweon, H. (2019). Surprisingly unsurprising! Infants’ looking time to improbable events is modulated by others’ expressions of surprise. CogSci 2019. [PDF]

 Wu, Y. & Gweon, H. (2019). Preschoolers jointly consider others’ expressions of surprise and common ground to decide when to explore. CogSci 2019. [PDF]

 Wu, Y., Schulz, L. E, & Saxe, R. (2018). Toddlers connect emotional responses to epistemic states. In Proceedings of the 40th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 2711-2716).[PDF]

 Wu, Y., Haque, J. A., & Schulz, L. E. (2018). Children can use others' emotional expressions to infer their knowledge and predict their behaviors in classic false belief tasks. In C. Kalish, M. Rau, J. Zhu, & T. T. Rogers (Eds.), Proceedings of the 40th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1193-1198). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. [PDF]

 Wu, Y. & Schulz, L. E. (2017). What do you really think? Children’s ability to infer others’ desires when emotional expressions change between social and nonsocial contexts. In Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1363-1368). [PDF]

 Wu, Y., Muentener, P., & Schulz, L. E. (2017). Whoa! Aww … Ohh … Hee! and Mmm: Infants’ nuanced distinctions about the probable causes of emotional expressions. In Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 3553).

 Wu, Y., Muentener, P., & Schulz, L. (2015). A fine-grained understanding of emotions: Young children match within-valence emotional expressions to their causes. In Proceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 2685-2690).

 Wu, Y., Baker, C. L., Tenenbaum, J. B., & Schulz, L. E. (2014). Joint inferences of belief and desire from facial expressions. In Proceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1796-1801). [PDF] (Selected for the Glushko Student Travel Award)

 Wu, Y., Muentener, P., & Schulz, L. (2013). The invisible hand: Toddlers infer hidden agents when events occur probabilistically. In Proceedings of the 35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 3807-3810). [PDF] [Poster]

Invited Talks

Other people's surprise as vicarious prediction error

 University of Oregon (Department of Psychology Seminar; Jan 2020)

 Stanford University (Department of Psychology Colloquium; Nov 2019)

Emotion as information

 University of Toronto Scarborough (Department of Psychology; Feb 2021)

 Central European University (Department of Cognitive Science Colloquium; Apr 2020)

 University of Oregon (Department of Psychology Colloquium; Jan 2020)

 University of Texas Dallas (School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences Colloquium; Feb 2020)

 UC Berkeley (Dr. Mahesh Srinivasan’s lab meeting; Nov 2019)

 Berkeley-Merced-Santa Cruz-Stanford Colloquium (May 2019)

 UC Berkeley (Dr. Fei Xu’s lab meeting; May 2019)

 Stanford Bing Nursery School (Apr 2019)

 UC Irvine (Department of Cognitive Science Colloquium; Apr 2019)

 Stanford University (Developmental brownbag; Apr 2018)

 University of Virginia (Dr. Tobias Grossmann’s lab meeting; Feb 2018)

 Rutgers University - Newark (Dr. Elizabeth Bonawitz’s lab meeting; Jan 2018)

 New York University (Dr. Marjorie Rhodes’s lab meeting; Dec 2017)

 Harvard University (Dr. Leah Somerville’s lab meeting; Sept 2017)

Conference Presentations

2021

 Interdisciplinary Advances in Affective Cognition. Pre-conference workshop to be held at the 2021 Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (Role: Organizer).

       *Currently calling for abstracts. Check out our workshop website for details.

 Learning about others from others: Implications for stereotype formation and intervention. Chaired symposium at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development.

 Learning from surprise in childhood: Empirical, methodological, and theoretical advances. Chaired symposium at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development.

2020

 You’re surprised at her success? Inferring competence from emotional responses to performance outcomes. Poster presented at the Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.

2019

 Interdisciplinary advances in the development of emotion understanding. Pre-conference at the Biennial Meeting of the Cognitive Development Society (Role: Organizer).

 Other people's surprise as vicarious prediction error. Talk given at the symposium "The scope and roots of children’s surprise-based learning" at the Biennial Meeting of the Cognitive Development Society.

 Surprisingly unsurprising! Infants’ looking time at improbable events is modulated by others’ expressions of surprise. Poster presented at the Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.

 Preschoolers jointly consider others’ expressions of surprise and common ground to decide when to explore. Talk given at the Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.

 Affective Cognition: Bidirectional Influences of Emotion and Social Cognition. Chaired symposium at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development.

 Toddlers connect emotional responses to epistemic states. Talk given at the symposium "How cognitive science can inform a new perspective for understanding emotional development" at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development.

2018

 Children can use others' emotional expressions to infer their knowledge and predict their behaviors in classic false belief tasks. Talk given at the Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.

 Toddlers connect emotional responses to epistemic states. Poster presented at the Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.

2017

 Emotion understanding in infancy and childhood: Recent progress and new insights. Chaired symposium at the Biennial Meeting of the Cognitive Development Society.

 What do you really think? Children’s ability to infer others’ desires when emotional expressions change between social and nonsocial contexts. Talk given at the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.

 Whoa! Aww … Ohh … Hee! and Mmm: Infants’ nuanced distinctions about the probable causes of emotional expressions. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.

 Infants’ nuanced distinctions about the probable causes of emotional expressions. Talk given at the Annual Conference of the Society for Affective Science.

 Rational inference of beliefs and desires from emotional expressions. Talk given at the Annual Conference of the Society for Affective Science.

 One-to-four-year-olds’ ability to connect diverse positive emotional expressions to their probable causes. Poster presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development.

2015

 Learning from social evidence: Children's inference from other's emotion. Talk given at the post-conference of the Biennial Meeting of the Cognitive Development Society.

 A fine-grained understanding of emotions: Young children match within-valence emotional expressions to their causes. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Development Society.

 Children's joint inference of beliefs and desires from emotional expressions. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.

 A fine-grained understanding of emotions: Young children match within-valence emotional expressions to their causes. Talk given at the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.

 The invisible hand: Toddlers connect probabilistic events with agentive causes. Talk given at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development.

 Children's joint inference of beliefs and desires from emotional expressions. Poster presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development.

2014

 The intuitive theory of emotions. Talk given at the symposium "Understanding affective cognition: Frontiers in modeling reasoning about others' emotions" at the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.

 Joint inference of beliefs and desires from emotional expressions. Talk given at the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.

2013

 The invisible hand: Toddlers infer hidden agents when events occur probabilistically. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.

 

(Download my CV here)