LouAnn Gerken

LouAnn Gerken's picture
Real name: 
Professor of Psychology, Linguistics, and Cognitive Science
Director, Language Development Laboratory
Degree(s): 

Ph.D. Columbia University 1987

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: 

Gerken, L. A. (1991). The metrical basis for children's subjectless sentences. Journal of Memory and Language, 30, 431-451.

Gerken, L. A. (2006). Decisions, decisions: Infant language learning when multiple generalizations are possible. Cognition, 98, B67-B74.

Plante, E., Bahl, M., Vance, R., & Gerken, L. A. (2010). Children with specific language impairment show rapid, implicit learning of stress assignment rules. Journal of Communication Disorders, 43(5), 397-406.

Gerken, L. A., Balcomb, F. K., & Minton, J. (2011). Infants avoid “laboring in vain” by attending more to learnable than unlearnable linguistic patterns. Developmental Science, 14(5), 972-979.

Gerken, L. A., & Knight, S. (2015). Infants generalize from just (the right) four words. Cognition, 143, 187–192.

Research Area: 
Research Program: