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Stephanie Denison

Assistant Professor

Stephanie Denison .BA (UBC), PhD (University of California, Berkeley)

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Research interests

My research investigates cognitive development in infancy and early childhood. I am currently working on three specific topics:

1. Probabilistic inference in infancy and early childhood. This line of research explores probabilistic inference using multiple methods, across multiple age groups. One project explores the origins of our ability to make inferences between samples and populations in very young infants. A second set of projects in this line investigates 8- and 11-month-old infants' abilities to integrate domain knowledge in probabilistic inference. A third set of projects looks at how young infants can use probabilistic inferences to guide their own actions. In this line of research, we use an action measure to see if infants can make predictions using probability information. This work is in collaboration with: Fei Xu and Kathie Pham.

2. The development of preference attribution in infancy. This project investigates the known developmental shift that occurs between 14- and 18-months of age regarding the knowledge of others' preferences. We are developing a training study that investigates the kinds of experiences children might require in order to make this transition. This work is in collaboration with: Chris Lucas and Alison Gopnik.

3. Computational approaches to cognitive development. In this line of research, we are studying causal inference in young children. We are examining the strategies that children use when testing hypotheses, and we have found that children's hypothesis selection approximates Bayesian inference and, in some cases, is in line with a win-stay, lose-shift algorithm. This work is in collaboration with: Liz Bonawitz, Tom Griffiths and Alison Gopnik.

Selected publications


University of Waterloo

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