Yayun Zhang

Senior researcher

About me

HomeLanguage DevelopmentYayun Zhang

I am a postdoc at the Language Development Department. I am interested in understanding how children learn language from the world around them. I believe that language learning heavily depends on both the learning mechanism and the experiences on which that mechanism operates. Therefore, it is critical to understand the properties of infants’ visual and auditory environment.

My past and current research examine infants’ own learning environment by collecting large, dense, and multimodal datasets from various word learning interactions (toy-play, book reading, etc.) via emerging technologies (i.e., wearable cameras, head-mounted eye-trackers, etc.). Using insights from such input, I also employ more experimentally controlled methods to test mechanisms by which infants learn from these data. The integration of the collection of naturalistic high-density data with real-time analyses of the cognitive processes involved in experimental tasks will provide a valuable framework for gaining a comprehensive understanding of children’s lexical development.