Affiliated Research

Language Development Project
The program project is a longitudinal study on the development of language and gesture in typically developing children and in children with early brain injury. Participating families are visited three times a year in their homes. The study has already followed children from 14 months to 6 years of age, and we are planning to continue observations for another 5 years.

Administrator: Kristi Schonwald

Principal Investigators: Susan Goldin-Meadow, Susan Levine, Stephen Raudenbush, Lindsey Richland, Steven L. Small

Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center (SILC)
The Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center (SILC) brings together scientists and educators from Temple University, Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to pursue the overarching goals of

  • Understanding spatial learning
  • Using this knowledge to develop programs and technologies that will transform educational practice, helping learners to develop the skills required to compete in a global economy.

SILC participants include researchers from cognitive science, psychology, computer science, education, and neuroscience, as well as practicing geoscientists and engineers who are particularly interested in spatial thinking in their fields, and teachers in the CPS.

Center for Gesture, Sign and Language
The mission of the Center is to bring together research in gesture, sign, and language. All known human cultures have a language, whether this language is spoken or signed. Of course, people can and do use the manual modality for communication in other ways. First, people who use spoken language often move their hands as they talk––they gesture.  Second, deaf children born to hearing parents (who are not exposed to a sign language) create homesign systems to communicate with those around them. Third, those people who do use sign language also gesture.  The relationship between language and gesture is rich and complex for all of these groups, and studying them together opens up new perspectives for our understanding of human cognition.

The goal of this center is to explore the interplay among gesture, sign, and language and in so doing, address some of the most basic questions about human language and development. The Center provides a home for the collaborations between members of the Departments of Psychology, Linguistics, and Comparative Human Development, as well as providing fertile ground for new collaborations.

Directors: Susan Goldin-Meadow, Diane Brentari, Anastasia Giannakidou

Center for Early Childhood Research
The Center for Early Childhood Research conducts cutting edge research exploring the development of cognition, action, and perception in the first few years of life. The researchers in the Center use innovative and varied methods to investigate the early development of critical abilities, including language, social understanding, mathematical and spatial abilities, higher order thinking skills, empathy, and moral reasoning

Participants: Susan Goldin-Meadow, Katherine Kinzler, Susan Levine, Lindsey Richland, Amanda Woodward

Affiliated Researchers

Dr. Sian Beilock
Human Performance Lab, Department of Psychology, University of Chicago


Dr. Janellen Huttenlocher
Center for Early Childhood Research, Department of Psychology, University of Chicago


Dr. Susan Levine
Cognitive Development Lab, Department of Psychology, University of Chicago


Dr. Marie Coppola  
 Department of Psychology, University of Connecticut


Dr. Lisa Gershkoff-Stowe
Baby Language Lab, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Indiana University


Dr. Jana Iverson
Infant Communication Lab, Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh


Dr. Şeyda Özçalışkan 
Gesture-Cognition-Communication Laboratory, Developmental and Cognitive Science Programs, Georgia State University


Dr. Asli Ozyurek
Max-Planck-Institute for Psycholinguistics & Center for Language Studies, Radboud University


Dr. Steven Small
The Solodkin/Small Brain Circuits Laboratory, Department of Neurology and Psychology, University of California, Irvine

Email: small@uci@edu

Dr. Catherine So
Gesture and Language Lab, Department of Psychology, National University of Singapore