I’m an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Texas at Austin and the PI of Austin Thought, a cognitive development research lab. I study how perception, language, and culture interact and allow us to think abstract thoughts. For example, I’m trying to figure out how children experience and think about time.

Like, seriously… what is time?! This question has perplexed philosophers and physicists, kept regular people up at night for centuries, and inspired great works of art and literature. If we can understand how ideas about time are formed in the mind of a child, maybe we can figure out what these concepts consist of in adults, and why they sometimes differ so much between cultures and individuals.

I got my Ph.D. in 2017 from UC San Diego and my undergraduate degree in 2009 from NYU.  I’ve worked in a yoga studio and hitch-hiked around the country. I am also a creative writer, an Internet dinosaur, and a mother. I grew up in Georgia. I lived in lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001.

Illustration by Natalia Vélez for the Cognitive Science Society blog