Professor; Co-Director of Undergraduate Studies
Professor Halberda directs two laboratories that often interact and work together.
In the Laboratory For Child Development (co-directed with Lisa Feigenson) we are interested in language acquisition and the possibility that logical deductive inference may play a role in the learning of new words. Working with infants, children, and adults, students in the lab receive training in eye-tracking and classic anticipatory-looking paradigms with a possible focus in the development of logical reasoning abilities broadly construed or in the constraints that guide word-learning. Recent interests also include collaborative work looking at quantifier terms (e.g., "most") and how these word meanings interact with the non-linguistic numerical systems that supply them with numeric content (e.g., the Approximate Number System). This work is exciting as it bridges linguistics and psychology using classical psychophysics as a tool to uncover the structures that support word meanings.
In the Vision And Cognition Lab we have an interest in the organization of attention, working memory, and the connection of mind to world. How do we take the continuous information that we receive from the senses and construct a representation of the world that is filled with discrete individual objects? How are individual objects then grouped to form sets of objects and set-based representations then constructed? Students in the lab have utilized both empirical methods (change detection, multiple object tracking, rapid enumeration) and computational modeling (symbolic and connectionist) to understand how attention and memory may play a role in these processes.
Students across both labs are encouraged to form collaborations and joint projects (Profs. Feigenson, Flombaum, Egeth, etc.), which are happily supported.