Haley Vlach, PhD
Credentials: Department of Educational Psychology
(School of Education)
Position title: Associate Professor
886 Educational Sciences
1025 West Johnson St.
Madison, WI 53706-1706
Keywords: Visual attention/learning in infancy and childhood, eye tracking
BS 2006, Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
MA 2007, Developmental & Cognitive Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
PhD 2012, Developmental & Cognitive Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
In the first few years of life, children accomplish seemingly impossible developmental feats in human cognition. Children learn one or more languages, acquire categories and complex concepts, and generate a broad understanding of the world. Given that children’s early experiences are the foundation for their later learning, Prof. Vlach’s lab seeks to elucidate the mechanisms that allow children to learn from these experiences. In particular, her lab studies how domain general processes, such as visual attention, contribute to cognitive development. To study the role of visual attention in learning, her lab uses a Tobii X3-120 eyetracker, in which fine-grained data is collected on children’s eye movements. A broad result of her work suggests that visual attention is a critical mechanism underlying learning and development.