Child Language
Cognition Lab

Child Language &
Cognition Lab
 At Kent State University

Kent State University

Meet the Lab!

William E. Merriman, Ph.D.

Ph.D., University of Minnesota (1984)

[email protected]; website
Phone: 330-672-2059

Research Interests
My research focuses on children’s language, memory, and thought, with an emphasis on word learning and metacognition in early childhood. Some current lines of research concern:
Awareness of Gaps in Linguistic Knowledge -- What procedure does a young child use to decide that some word is unknown, that some object cannot be named, or that some utterance cannot be interpreted clearly? How is the accuracy of these decisions related to the efficiency of various cognitive processes?
Overconfidence in Memory – Why do young children make such unrealistically optimistic predictions about their memory performance? Why do they become less optimistic as they get older?
Word Learning– How do children infer the category that a word denotes from observations of how the word is used (and not used).

Jenna L. Wall, M.A.

Ph.D. Candidate, Kent State University 

[email protected]

Research Interests

My research focuses on language development in young children. Some of my research questions include:

1) what types of strategies do children use when learning new words?

2) do children recognize that a name learned for a visual object also applies to that object when encountered in a different sensory modality (e.g., tactilely)?

3) are children aware of their own linguistic knowledge?

4) is this knowledge related to their word-learning behavior?

and 5) do children form expectations about what will occur during different communicative interactions, and when do these expectations develop?

Another line of research that I am involved in focuses on children’s understanding of various number concepts (e.g., cardinality, ordinality, estimation). I am currently investigating the extent to which  training/feedback on these concepts may help children improve their understanding of number.

Other areas of interest: Autism and other developmental disorders, Sensory integration and cross-modal recognition, Theory of Mind, Creativity, Perception

Kyle Henning

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Jeremy Slocum

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Undergraduate Research Assistants

Meg Denman & Marisa Huber