Sylvia Yuan

Post-doctoral Fellow
University of California, Berkeley
Department of Psychology
3210 Tolman Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720

Email: shyuan AT berkeley DOT edu


Professional Experience

2009 October-present    Post-doctoral Fellow, University of California Berkeley
                                        funded by James S. McDonnell Foundation, Collaborative Interciplinary Grant on Causal Reasoning (Sponsor: Fei Xu)
2009 Fall                       Lecturer, Stanford University
2001-1003                     Lab coordinator, Harvard University (PI: Jesse Snedeker)

Education

2009, Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, University of Illinois
2005, M.A., Developmental Psychology, University of Illinois
2001, M.Ed., Human Development and Psychology, Harvard Graduate School of Education
2000, B.A., Applied Mathematics-Economics, Brown University

Research Interests

Cognitive development and language acquisition in infants and children; word learning and sentence comprehension; inductive learning; physical reasoning.


Publications

Yuan, S., Perfors, A., Tenenbaum, J., & Xu, F. (in press). Learning individual words and learning about words simultaneously. To appear in Proceedings of the Thirty-Third Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. [pdf]

Sim, Z., Yuan, S., & Xu, F. (in press). Acquiring word learning biases. To appear in Proceedings of the Thirty-Third Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. [pdf]

 Yuan, S., Fisher, C., Kandhadai, P., & Fernald, A. (2011). You can stipe the pig and nerk the fork: Learning to use verbs to predict nouns. Proceedings of the 35th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 665-677). Boston, MA: Cascadilla Press. [pdf]

 Qi, Z., Yuan, S., & Fisher, C. (2011). Where does verb bias come from? Experience with particular verbs affects online sentence processing. Proceedings of the 35th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 500-512). Boston, MA: Cascadilla Press. [pdf]

Fisher, C., Gertner, Y., Scott, R., & Yuan, S. (2010). Syntactic boostrapping. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 1, 143-149. [pdf]

Yuan, S., & Fisher, C. (2009). “Really? She blicked the baby?”: Two-year-olds learn combinatorial facts about verbs by listening. Psychological Science, 20, 619-626. [pdf]

Baillargeon, R., Li, J., Ng, W., & Yuan, S. (2009). An account of infants’ physical reasoning. In A. Woodward & A. Needham (Eds.), Learning and the infant mind (pp. 66-116). New York: Oxford University Press. [pdf]

Baillargeon, R., Wu, D., Yuan, S., & Luo, Y. (2009). Young infants’ expectations about self-propelled objects. In B. Hood & L. Santos (Eds.), The Origins of Object Knowledge (pp. 285-352). New York: Oxford University Press. [pdf]

Snedeker, J. & Yuan, S. (2008). Effects of prosodic and lexical constraints on parsing in young children (and adults). Journal of Memory and Language, 58, 574-608. [pdf

Yuan, S. & Fisher, C. (2006). “Really? He blicked the cat?”: Two-year-olds learn distributional facts about verbs in the absence of a referential context. Proceedings of the 30th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development. Boston, MA: Cascadilla Press. [pdf]

Snedeker, J., Li, P. & Yuan, S. (2003). Cross-cultural differences in the input to early word learning. Proceedings of the Twenty-Fifth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. [pdf]


Manuscripts Submitted and In Preparation:


Yuan, S., Fisher, C., & Snedeker, J. (under review). Counting the Nouns: Simple Structural Cues to Verb Meaning. Manuscript under review at Child Development.

Yuan, S., Fisher, C., Li, N., Cheung, H., Chen, S-Y., Lin, J., & Tsao, F-M. (in preparation). Mandarin-speaking 2-year-olds use simple syntactic cues in interpreting novel verbs.

Messenger. K., Yuan, S., & Fisher, C. (in preparation). Toddlers learn combinatorial properties of verbs from listening.

Yuan, S., & Baillargeon, R. (in preparation). Differential expectations about the support of inert and self-propelled objects at 2.5 months.

Yuan, S., Baillargeon, R., Raschke, H., & Keeler, M. (in preparation). The development of infants’ reasoning about the support of asymmetrical objects.



Presentations

Yuan, S., Perfors, A., Tenenbaum, J., & Xu, F. (2011, July). Learning individual words and learning about words simultaneously. Poster to be presented at the Thirty-Third Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.

 Sim, Z., Yuan, S., & Xu, F. (2011, July). Acquiring word learning biases. Paper to be presented at the Thirty-Third Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.

 Yuan, S., Bernard, A., Esseily, R., & Baillargeon, R. (2011, March). 2.5-year-olds’ reasoning about the support of asymmetrically-shaped objects: Continuity from infancy. Poster presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Montreal, QC, Canada.

Yuan, S., Messenger, K., & Fisher, C. (2011, March). Syntax and selection: Learning combinatorial properties of verbs from listening. Paper presented as part of a symposium on “Online studies of event representation: Developmental and crosslinguistic perspectives” to the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Montreal, QC, Canada.

Yuan, S., Fisher, C., Kandhadai, P., & Fernald, A. (2010, November). You can stipe the pig and nerk the fork: Learning to use verbs to predict nouns. Paper to be presented at the Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, Boston, MA.

Yuan, S., & Fisher, C. (2010, March). Learning combinatorial properties of verbs from listening. Paper presented at the Biennial International Conference on Infant Studies, Baltimore, MD.

 Yuan, S., & Fisher, C. (2009, April). 19-month-olds use simple syntactic cues in verb learning. Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting, Denver, CO.

 Yuan, S., & Baillargeon, R. (2009, April). The development of infants’ reasoning about the support of asymmetrically-shaped objects. Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting, Denver, CO.

 Yuan, S. (2008, November). 2-year-olds learn and retain combinatorial facts about a novel verb over a delay. Poster presented at the Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, Boston, MA.

 Yuan, S., Scott, R., Fisher, C., & Mintz, T. (2008, March). 21-month-olds learn distributional facts about a new verb via listening experience. Poster presented at the Biennial International Conference on Infant Studies. Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

 Yuan, S., & Baillargeon, R. (2008, March). 2.5-month-olds hold different expectations about the support of inert and self-propelled objects. Poster presented at the Biennial International Conference on Infant Studies. Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

 Yuan, S., Li, N., Cheung, H., Fisher, C., Chen, S-Y., Lin, J., & Tsao, F-M. (2007, November). Mandarin-speaking 2-year-olds use simple syntactic cues in interpreting novel verbs. Poster presented at the Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, Boston, MA.

 Yuan, S., Fisher, C., Gertner, Y., & Snedeker, J. (2007, March). Participants are more than physical bodies: 21-month-olds assign relational meaning to transitive novel verbs. Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting, Boston, MA.

 Yuan, S., & Baillargeon, R. (2006, April). Holding heavy and light objects primes 11-month-old infants to attend to weight information in support events. Paper presented at an invited symposium at the Conference on Human Development, Louisville, KY.

 Yuan, S. & Fisher, C. (2005, November). “Really? He blicked the cat?”: Two-year-olds learn distributional facts about verbs in the absence of a referential context. Paper presented at the Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, Boston, MA.

 Yuan, S., Baillargeon, R., & Fisher, C. (2005, April). Priming infants to attend to weight information in support events. Poster presented at the Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting, Atlanta, GA.

 Yuan, S., Li, P., Huang, B. & Snedeker, J. (2003, November).  Cross-cultural differences in the input to early word learning: Word-to-world mapping in Mandarin and English.  Paper presented at the Boston University Conference on Language Development, Boston, MA.

 Snedeker, J., Li, P., & Yuan, S. (2003, August).  Cross-cultural differences in the input to early word learning.  Paper presented at the Cognitive Science Society Conference, Boston, MA.

 Snedeker, J. & Yuan, S. (2003, April).  Mixing up the words and the melody: Children’s use of lexical and prosodic information in real-time language comprehension.  Paper presented at the Society for Research in Child Development, Tampa, FL.

 Snedeker, J., & Yuan, S. (2003, March).  Is it the words or the melody? The use of lexical and prosodic information in children’s parsing.  Paper presented at the Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Cambridge, MA.

 Snedeker, J., Yuan, S., & Martin, I. (2002, November). A limited role for prosody in children’s online sentence processing.  Paper presented at the Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, Boston, MA. 

 Li, J., Yue, X., & Yuan, S. (2001, April). Individual sef and social self in learning among Chinese adolescents. Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Minneapolis, MN.