Alexis Smith

Alexis SmithLab Manager

I received a B.A. in Psychology from Boston University, where I worked as the Head Research Assistant for the Developing Minds Lab. I’m interested in the bridge between socio-emotional development and cognition. Specifically, how does children’s understanding of others’ emotions and mental states effect their performance on tasks involving working memory, Theory of Mind, and object representations. I’m excited to explore these questions in the Laboratory for Child Development!

Post-Doctoral Fellows

nicolocesanaarlotti.jpgNicolò Cesana Arlotti 

Faced with ordinary ambiguities or puzzling events we generate hypotheses and take advantage of their logical relations as a compass to navigate through them. In my research, I investigate the developmental foundation of the human capacity for logical reasoning. Can infants engage in early forms of logical deduction? What role does the acquisition of logical words, ubiquitous in our language, play in the development of logical reasoning? Do logical concepts help infants and kids face the outstanding learning challenge of becoming an adult?

Graduate Students

Jasmin Perez

Jasmin Perez | 4th year graduate student

I am interested in the kinds of early hypotheses infants form about an object’s behavior within and outside of a prescribed spatial context. Moreover, I’d like to learn how these early hypotheses change throughout development to allow children and adults to form accurate and flexible representations of more complex object interactions.


Emily Sanford | 3rd year graduate student

I’m interested in how young children develop numerical, logical, and linguistic skills. I am specifically interested in how innate numerical intuitions interact facilitate the development of symbolic mathematics. I am also curious about the ways that we teach children about number and what that can tell us about numerical representations.

Qiong Cao

Qiong Cao | 2nd year graduate student

How do children accomplish so much even though they experience so little? What are the fundamental representations and computations children have to support their effective information processing? My research interests lie in the realm of cognitive development, focusing on how young children develop representations of number and probability. Moreover, I’m interested in how children and adults utilize quantitative information to make inferences and solve problems.

Undergraduate Students

Madeleine Cuan
Madeleine Cuan
I am a Senior at Johns Hopkins University majoring in Public Health and minoring in Psychology. In addition to being an elementary school tutor and teaching children’s Jiu Jitsu classes, I am thrilled to join the Lab for Child Development. Being a research assistant will allow me the opportunity to continue learning about children’s cognitive capabilities.
Peter Zhu
Peter Zhu 
I am a Junior Psychology and Cognitive Science major with a minor in English. Working with children presents a special opportunity to learn more about the mind, and I can’t wait to learn more about infant and child cognition from the very best in the field. In the future, I hope to pursue a career in psychology and use the research to help guide public policy.
Crystal Chang 
I am a Senior, double majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Psychology.  I have always been very passionate about working with children! As a research assistant, I am looking forward to being able to make a valuable contribution to meaningful research and uncovering some of the complex mysteries behind the developing human mind.
Mikayla Bisignani 
I am a Junior studying Biology and Psychology at Johns Hopkins University. I am thrilled to join the lab! I think children provide an incredible opportunity to explore how people understand the world around them and I hope to make a contribution to that research. When I am not in the lab, I am also on the Swimming and Track and Field teams at Johns Hopkins!
Sofía Jauregui
I am a Sophomore Molecular and Cellular Biology and Psychology major with a minor in Spanish. I am thrilled to be working with the Lab for Child Development team for the next four years as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow! After working with children in various settings before coming to JHU, I’m eager to develop an understanding of how children perceive and process the world around them.
Sabrina Tsai
I am a Junior studying Psychology and English at Johns Hopkins and I am excited to work at the Lab for Child Development! I enjoy working with kids and am greatly interested in how mindsets of children develop. I can’t wait to learn more about children’s cognitions and in the future I hope to work as a psychologist for children suffering from traumatic events.
Michelle Zhang
I am a Sophomore majoring in Molecular Cellular Biology and Psychology, and I couldn’t be more excited to join the Lab for Child Development! Through my experiences at the Johns Hopkins Hospital PICU, I’ve found working with children to not only be fulfilling, but also inspiring. I’m looking forward to contributing to meaningful research and learning more about how developing minds experience the world!
Camille Redmond
I am a sophomore at Johns Hopkins majoring in Cognitive Neuroscience. I love working with children because the way they see the world is so unique! I am tremendously excited for the opportunity to learn more about their cognition and development at the Lab for Child Development. In the future, I hope to pursue a career in research, and I am thrilled to be able to begin that journey now!