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

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


Shaneene Heupel completed her MA in Developmental Psychology with the Lab for Infant Development and Language (LIDL). She has been working as the lab coordinator for the Infant and Child Studies Group and CORAL since 2021. She is interested in how disfluencies in speech can affect toddlers’ perceptions of speaker knowledge and the inferences children make about non-native accented speakers.


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 inferences about goals and costs, efficiency, and waste.

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!

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.

Amer Al-Amry is a first year master’s student completing his MASc in Developmental and Communication Science at the University of Waterloo. He is one of the researchers in the Child Cognition Lab led by Dr. Ori Friedman, and his interests are in children’s expectations about different social groups such as their friends or family.

Hailey Pawsey recently started her MASc in Developmental and Communication Science. She is under the co-supervision of Dr. Stephanie Denison and Dr. Ori Friedman, and is part of the Developmental Learning Lab and the Child Cognition Lab. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Honors Psychology with a minor in Political Science at the University of Windsor. Her research interests include children's ability to reason with close counterfactuals, subjectivity of preferences, and the IKEA effect. 

Amy Chung recently completed her Bachelor of Science in Honours Science at the University of Waterloo and is starting her 1st year as an MASc student in Developmental and Communication Science. As a researcher in the DLL and CCL under Dr. Stephanie Denison and Dr. Ori Friedman’s supervision, she hopes to learn more about how children use probabilistic reasoning skills to make social inferences in life.  

Research Assistants

Terryn Kim is in her fourth year of the Psychology program (BSc) at the University of Waterloo. She currently works in the Child Cognition Lab led by Dr. Ori Friedman as a research assistant and is interested in how children learn about the world around them.


Jacky Chen recently completed his Bachelor of Science in Honours Psychology and is now working as a research assistant in the Lab for Infant Development and Language (LIDL). Jacky plans to continue his studies in the MASc program at the University of Waterloo. He is interested in understanding children's language-based judgments of others and whether bilingual children’s judgments differ from monolingual children's.

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?