Research Focus

Face Perception

Faces provide a wealth of information about other people, including their identity, gender, approximate age, ethnicity, and emotional state. The ability to perceive this information is critical for social interactions. In the BEE Lab, we investigate the process of face learning: how do infants, children, and adults learn to recognize faces? Using EEG, eye-tracking, and behavioural studies, we are interested in discovering what kinds of experiences are required to learn faces, what strategies people use to learn and recognize faces, and why people find it more difficult to learn and recognize some kinds of faces compared to others.

Emotional Development

Successfully navigating our social world requires proficiency in multiple socioemotional abilities. In the BEE Lab, we are particularly interested in how infants develop the ability to recognize others’ emotional expressions and use that information to guide their own behaviour. Using EEG, EMG, and eye-tracking, along with behavioural studies, we investigate infants’ developing ability to discriminate, recognize, and respond appropriately to others’ emotional expressions. We also investigate individual differences in these abilities, what factors influence these individual differences, and how they relate to differences in later-developing socioemotional abilities, like emotion regulation.

Current Studies

Do uncertainty and ethnicity affect a toddler’s learning?

Participant ages: 36-42 months

We’re interested in seeing how toddlers learn online when dealing with uncertainty, and whether or not they learn better from adults who are reliable or unreliable. We also want to see if adults having a same or different ethnic background affects this as well.

How do infants use touch to aid their social learning?

Participant ages: 6 months

For this study, we are investigating how infant touch promotes their socialization and communication when it comes to their interactions with caregivers. Participation involves recording playtime sessions at home! 

Recognising others in face masks

Participant ages: 18-40 years

How do face masks change the way we see faces? This study is investigating how face masks impact own-and other-race face processing, and how cultural differences may impact face perception. 

Recognising newly-learned faces after a long delay

Participant ages: 18-40 years

In everyday life, we have to recognise faces of newly-learned people after time passes and in different contexts (e.g., recognising the new colleague you met last week at the grocery store). This study is investigating how people learn faces well enough to recognize them after a long delay.