LouAnn Gerken

LouAnn Gerken's picture
Real name: 
Professor, Psychology and Cognitive Science
Director, Language Development Laboratory

Ph.D. Columbia University, 1987

Psychology 410/A (offices) / Psychology 406 (lab)
Research Interests: 
  • Weighing contributions of human biology and environment in how infants learn language
  • Exploring the role of emotion in guiding learning
  • Applying knowledge of typical language development to childhood language disorders

I am primarily interested in how infants and young children learn, with an emphasis on language. This primary interest entails questions about how new knowledge comes about, what motivates learning, and how the normal language learning mechanism goes awry in childhood language disorders.

Selected Publications: 
Figueroa, M., & Gerken, L. (2019). Experience with morphosyntactic paradigms allows toddlers to tacitly anticipate overregularized verb forms months before they produce them. Cognition, 191. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2019.05.014
Gerken, L. A. (2004). Nine-nonth-olds extract structural principles required for natural language. Cognition, 93, B89-B96. 
Gerken, L. A., & Knight, S. (2015). Infants generalize from just (the right) four words. Cognition, 143, 187–192. 
Gerken, L. A., Quam, C., & Goffman, L. (2019). Adults fail to learn a type of linguistic pattern that is readily learned by infants. Language Learning and Development, 15(4), 279-294. 
Goffman, L., & Gerken, L. (2019). An alternative to the procedural ∼ declarative memory account of developmental language disorder. Journal of Communication Disorders, 105946.
Research Area: 
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