Faculty Spotlights


Lisa Cantrell: Child Development professor looks at how we remember

cantrell_2014.jpgLisa Cantrell is an Assistant Professor in the Child Development Department, teaching cognitive development as well as a course called Mind and Brain.

She earned her doctorate from Indiana University and did a post-doctoral fellowship at UC Davis.

“I conduct research in young children's memory and attention,” she says. “I am particularly interested in how experience (our language and culture) shapes how we perceive the world.  I have published studies looking at how children in the US, Mexico, and Japan perceive number in different ways, as well as studies asking how the language we speak changes the way we remember and categorize objects.”

She produces a podcast about human psychology called An Inexact Science. It has been featured in the Sacramento Bee as well as Science Magazine and is funded in part by a grant from the Association for Psychological Science.

Dr. Cantrell says she first became interested in how experiences (culture) affects perception while living in Chile.

“Trying to learn another language – along with all the mishaps that occur in trying to function in culture that is not your own – highlighted for me how our environment can play a huge role in our understanding of the world,” she says. “The experience has had a huge impact on the kind of research I am interested in as well in my daily life.”

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