Our Research Team

Our team consists of researchers from 3 different psychology labs at the University of Waterloo.

The Child Cognition Lab (CCL) is led by Dr. Ori Friedman.

The Lab for Infant Development and Language (LIDL) is led by Dr. Katherine White.

The Developmental Learning Lab (DLL) is led by Dr. Stephanie Denison.

LIDL and DLL combine to form the Infant & Child Studies Group. Together, all three labs want to discover how children learn and think about the world around them!

Lab Coordinators

Venus Ho recently completed her Bachelor of Arts (BA) at the University of Waterloo in Psychology and is currently working as the lab coordinator for CORAL. She is interested in exploring children’s understanding of pride and ownership.


Shaneene Heupel recently completed her MA in Developmental Psychology with the Lab for Infant Development and Language (LIDL) and is now working as the lab coordinator for the Infant and Child Studies Group and CORAL. She is interested in how disfluencies in speech can affect toddlers’ perceptions of speaker knowledge.


Graduate Students

Claudia Sehl completed her MASc in Developmental and Communication Science and her Bachelor of Arts in Honors Psychology with a major in Philosophy. She is currently in the PhD program, co-supervised by Dr. Stephanie Denison from the Developmental Learning Lab and Dr. Ori Friedman from the Child Cognition Lab. Her research focuses on children’s information search and the development of cognitive biases.

Julianna Lu is a second year master's student completing her Master of Arts in Developmental Psychology. She is one of the researchers from the Developmental Learning Lab (DLL), led by Dr. Stephanie Denison. She is investigating children’s ability to make probabilistic inferences in the context of games. She hopes to expand on this by exploring whether children can use probability to infer whether someone is cheating in a game based on chance. 

Ashley Avarino completed her Bachelor of Science Honours (BSc) at McMaster University in Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, and recently graduated from the Master of Applied Science (MASc) program at the University of Waterloo. Currently, she is completing her PhD at Waterloo in the Lab for Infant Development and Language (LIDL). Her research interests include: audiovisual speech perception, the influence of social factors on language learning, and children’s language-based inferences about people. Some of her favourite things are: Harry Potter, her dog Gigi, summer time, and travelling the world with friends and family!

Jessica Huang is a first year master’s student enrolled in the MASc program. She is part of the Lab for Infant Development and Language (LIDL) and is interested in how children use accents to make judgements and choose who they want to learn from.

Zoe Tipper is a master's student completing her MASc in Development and Communication Science. She is one of the researchers in the Child Cognition Lab led by Ori Friedman and her research focuses on children’s possibility judgements.

Research Assistants

Terryn Kim is in her third year of the Psychology program at the University of Waterloo. She is interested in how people in general perceive the world. Some of her hobbies include knitting, baking and watching TikToks.


Emily Stonehouse recently completed her MA in Developmental Psychology with the Child Cognition Lab. She is interested in children's understanding of ownership rights and how children and adults make judgements about objects using previous knowledge.

Olivia Halley is a second year Health Studies Honours (BSc) student in the Faculty of Health. She is currently working as a research assistant in the the Lab for Infant Development and Language (LIDL) and hopes to pursue a career in pediatrics in the future.


Our Labs

At the LIDL, we explore how children understand and use language. How do children interpret words in different situations and when spoken by different people? Do children understand that people with different backgrounds may use language differently?


At the DLL, we focus on cognitive development. What do young children know about concepts and events in the world around them? How do they make and test hypotheses about their environment?


At the CCL, we explore how children understand and respond to the social world. How do children explain others’ thoughts, feelings, and actions? What do children know about rights and responsibilities?

Interested in participating in our studies?