About

I’m a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Psychology at UC San Diego, where I’m a member of the Language and Development Lab. Recently, I was a visiting student in the Language and Cognitive Development Lab at UC Berkeley.  I study the effects of perception, language, and culture on the formation of abstract concepts in the mind, and how these factors interact during children’s cognitive development.

In my dissertation work, I am investigating how children acquire sophisticated, adult-like concepts of time. The nature of time has perplexed scholars in numerous fields, from philosophy to physics, and reflections on this mystery permeate art and literature from around the world. My hope is that, if we can understand how time concepts are formed in the mind of a child, we may also gain insight into what these concepts consist of in adults, and why they sometimes differ so much between cultures and individuals.

Prior to coming to UCSD, I was a research scientist at New York University, studying visual perception, object recognition, and reading. I received my BA in Psychology, summa cum laude, from NYU in 2009 and my MA in Psychology from UCSD in 2012. Before that, I worked in a yoga studio. Before that, I hitch-hiked around the country for half a year. I am also a creative writer, a diarist, an Internet dinosaur, and a mother. I grew up in Georgia.

Contact me at katillman@ucsd.edu