Contact Us

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7141 Sherbrooke West, PY-033
Montreal, QC, H4B 1R6
Canada

514-848-2424 ext.5831

Our research investigates how infants from different language backgrounds, both monolingual and bilingual, grow and learn about their language(s).

Our team consists of Dr. Krista Byers-Heinlein and a group of dedicated students and research assistants. On our website you can meet the research team, learn about our research projects, download our publications, and find out how to participate in our studies or join our team. 

Meet the Team

Meet the team

 

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DIRECTOR

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Dr. Krista Byers-Heinlein is an associate professor in the psychology department at Concordia University, and is the director of the Concordia Infant Research Laboratory.  Originally from Fredericton, New Brunswick, she completed her undergraduate work at McGill University in 2003, before completing MA and PhD degrees at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Byers-Heinlein’s research investigates language acquisition and cognitive development, with a focus on bilingualism in infancy. She has published papers on topics such as language discrimination in newborn infants, and word learning by young bilinguals and trilinguals. Another line of research investigates how parental input influences bilingual development.  Her research approach is multi-pronged, integrating techniques such as eye tracking, neuroimaging, high amplitude sucking, habituation, preferential looking, and parental report. Her work has two overarching aims: 1) To use data from bilingual infants to inform and extend theories of language acquisition, and 2) To provide empirical data that can inform the decisions of parents wishing to raise bilingual children.

(Languages: English & French)

Click here to download her CV (last updated August 2018)


RESEARCH COORDINATOR

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Melanie Brouillard completed her Honours Bachelor's degree in Psychology with Great Distinction at Concordia University. Having grown up in Montreal learning English and French simultaneously, she identified herself as a bilingual from a young age and has been fascinated with the phenomenon ever since. This fascination led her to join the Concordia Infant Research Lab, which she is proud to have been a part of since 2013. Here, she has studied shared book reading and bilingual children’s word-learning, and is currently interested in parental attitudes and beliefs regarding bilingualism and how these influence bilingual development. Melanie plans on pursuing her studies in clinical psychology.

(Languages: English & French)


graduate students

 
estherschott

Esther Schott is a Ph.D. student in Psychology at Concordia University. Esther is particularly interested in how bilingual and monolingual infants learn to recognize words in the face of variability inherent in speech. For example, “apple” sounds different when it is pronounced by different speakers and with different accents, yet adults have little problem recognizing words across speakers and accents. How do infants achieve this? Specifically, do infants use the context (both immediate and their lifelong experience) to guide their word recognition? In a second line of research, Esther is studying whether infants are able to detect a language switch across single words, and whether infants can associate a language with a speaker. Esther’s master thesis (at McGill University) investigated which pairs of languages are hard or easy to discriminate.

(Languages: English, French, German)

Click to access Esther's academic website

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Ana Maria Gonzalez is a postdoctoral fellow in Psychology at Concordia University. She joined the Infant Research Lab in Fall 2017. Ana Maria is a Speech-Language Pathologist. She also completed a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology at McGill University and a Ph.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a specialization in Language Acquisition at McGill University. Ana Maria’s research interests focus on language acquisition in bilinguals and multilinguals and on the effects of bilingualism on language and cognition in typically-developing children as well as in children with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Languages (English, French, Spanish)

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Lena Kremin is a PhD student in psychology at Concordia University. Lena is interested in studying how bilingual infants tell apart the languages they hear, and learn two separate languages, instead of combining them into one. She is also looking at the speech patterns of parents and how they switch between French and English when speaking to their child. Lena joined the lab in 2018 after completing her Master’s degree in linguistics at Utrecht University.

(Languages: English, Spanish, Dutch, Italian)

Click to access Lena’s academic website


RESEARCH ASSISTANTs

Maria Tamayo completed a B.A. double degree in Honours Spanish and Major Psychology. She always felt great curiosity for language acquisition and bilingualism, and became even more passionate about the topic after taking classes on linguistics and psychology of language in both of her programs. Before joining Dr. Byers-Heinlein’s lab, Maria gained experience conducting research with bilingual adults, and now she is eager to extend her knowledge about second language acquisition to early language development in infants and children. Her previous volunteer experiences include providing care for malnourished children, teaching Spanish as a second language, and working with adults with Aphasia. Maria's long-term goal is to become a Speech-Language therapist, and she is confident that volunteering at the Infant Research Lab will provide her with valuable skills and knowledge for her future career.

(Languages: English, French, Spanish)

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Meghan Mastroberardino is currently an undergraduate student at Concordia University pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in Honours Psychology. She hopes to pursue graduate school to obtain a Masters degree in either Child Psychology or Industrial/Organizational Psychology, keeping her doors open for both.  She also volunteers at the Montreal children’s Hospital in hopes of learning more about research and child development. She is very interested in how children acquire languages at different rates and how the environment plays an important role. By working in Dr. Byers-Heinlein’s lab, she hopes to gain more experience in research and in children’s cognitive developments.

(Languages: English & French)

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Nicholas Salama-Siroishka is an undergraduate student at Concordia University who is pursuing a BA in Honours Psychology. Over the years he’s gained ample experience working with children of all ages as an aquatic and lifesaving instructor, and as a coach for children with special needs. Nicholas has numerous passions (notably human behaviour and playing music) and hopes to one day apply his skills and passions in a field that will benefit the well-being of others. Nicholas joined Krista's team at Concordia's Infant Psychology Lab to gain experience in research, as well as further his understanding of human behaviour and cognitive development.

(Languages: English & French)


volunteers

 
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Julia Alves is currently an undergraduate student at Concordia University pursuing her BA in Honours Psychology. She was raised in a trilingual environment, speaking both English and Portuguese at home, and French at school; thus, her interest in the research being conducted in the Infant Research Lab stems from her own personal experiences of growing up in a multilingual environment. After the completion of her Bachelor of Arts degree, Julia hopes to go on to Graduate School and pursue her interests in Developmental Psychology. She believes that working in this lab will help her acquire the necessary research skills and knowledge for her future studies.

(Languages: English, French, & Portuguese)

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Nathalie Germain is currently an undergraduate student at Concordia University pursuing her BA in Honours Psychology. Her previous experience working with children includes  facilitating a community art studio in collaboration with Concordia's own Art Hives program. Having worked as a tutor for primary school students, she is interested in how children learn and how to make learning fun and interactive. With a background in the visual arts and psychology, she is especially interested in exploring how children respond to and recognize visual stimuli. She is excited to have been welcomed to the Concordia Infant Research Laboratory, where she aims to gather experience and contribute to the lab's research. She plans on attending graduate school after earning her Bachelors, aiming to pursue a Masters degree in Art Therapy or Conflict Resolution and Mediation.

(Languages: English and French)

ciara

Ciara Di Giovanni is currently an undergraduate student at Concordia University, completing her BSc in Behavioural Neuroscience. She has always been interested in working with children. Growing up in a trilingual environment sparked her interest in language acquisition, particularly among early childhood development. As a member of this lab, she hopes to gain research experience and further understand the cognitive development of children. She is very excited to be a part of this lab and hopes the knowledge gained from this experience will help her pursue further studies involving childhood development.

(Languages: English, French, & Italian)

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Stephanie Côté is a Concordia Psychology undergraduate student and a daycare educator to 3-4 year olds. She grew up in a bilingual home and now instructs her class in both French and English. She is curious about how to teach these two languages most efficiently, which brings her to the Infant Research Lab. The seemingly effortlessness of her pupils in learning a second language fascinates her. She wishes to continue in a field that combines psychology with her love for working with young children.

(Languages: French & English)

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Alexa Fogel is currently an undergraduate student at Concordia University pursuing a BA in Honours Psychology. Her interest in working with children stems from her many years of experience working at a children’s day camp as a camp counselor. She is interested in learning more about the research process and furthering her knowledge of child psychology and cognitive development, which is what led her to the Concordia Infant Research Laboratory. In the future, she plans on continuing to pursue a Masters Degree and eventually a Ph.D. in the field of psychology.


(Languages: English & French)


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Elizabeth Di Flumeri is an Honours student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience at Concordia University. She has had ample experience working with children of a wide variety of ages as a camp counsellor, a babysitter and a passionate volunteer at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. Her love for children began at a very young age and has continued to progress ever since. Growing up bilingual and later learning two new languages has sparked her interest in understanding the implications in acquiring new vocabulary and its impacts on future quality of speech. In Dr. Byers-Heinlein’s Infant Research lab, she hopes to gain a better grasp of the infant world as well as a more thorough comprehension of how social interactions and environmental conditions can shape behavior. Elizabeth strives to one day apply her knowledge in a medical career focused on caring for others as this is her heartfelt passion.

(Languages: English, French, Italian & Spanish)

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Beatrice Necsa has been pursuing an undergraduate degree in the Faculty of Arts with a concentration in Specialization Psychology. She has had various volunteer experiences ranging from rehabilitating patients back into their community at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, to accompanying people with intellectual disabilities go about their daily routines. With a curiosity for the world of tiny humans, Beatrice joined the Concordia Infant Research Laboratory and is eager to be surrounded by a research environment which seeks to explore the numerous facets that language has to offer in the area of cognitive development, particularly in the rapidly growing brains of children and how they can benefit from learning two languages simultaneously.

Languages (English, French, & Romanian)

 

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Michelle Lawee is an undergraduate student doing her specialization degree in Psychology. She previously attended McGill university, where she obtained her Bachelors of Kindergarten and Elementary education, and after which she taught grades 1 and 2 full time in London, England. After leaving teaching, she managed a busy downtown restaurant but realized that she longed to work with children and pursue her passion for understating social and emotional development in children. She joined the Concordia Infant Research Laboratory because she is passionate about understanding the processes by which children learn, and having grown up bilingual herself, language acquisition is something that interests her. She plans to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology.


(Languages: English & French)

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Emily Burdman is currently an undergraduate student at Concordia University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Specialization Psychology. Her interest in working with children comes from her experience working as a camp counselor to pre-school aged children and her relationship with her young niece and nephews. Her desire to explore topics in the areas of cognitive development and early childhood experience led her to the Concordia Infant Research Laboratory. Upon completion of her BA, she plans to pursue a Masters degree in the field of psychology.

(Languages: English and French)

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Erica Chelini is currently an undergraduate student pursuing her BSc in Honours Psychology with a Minor in Linguistics at Concordia University. She is very passionate about volunteering and has various experience working with elementary school children such as being a teacher's assistant, instructing and organizing an after school activity, and now volunteering with Let's Talk Science Concordia. With a strong interest in language acquisition and cognitive development, Erica had been drawn to the Concordia Infant Research Laboratory upon beginning her studies at the university. She is incredibly grateful to join the team and she is eager to further expand her knowledge and understanding of these topics while helping out as much as she can with the fascinating research studies that are being conducted.

(Languages: English, French, and Italian)

Amanda Cabugao is currently an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Specialization Psychology. Her interest in working with children stems from her many years of experience as a swimming instructor for toddlers and children. She joined the Concordia Infant Research Laboratory to gain experience in research and further expand her knowledge on the cognitive development of young children. Upon completion of her Bachelor of Science, Amanda hopes to attend graduate school and pursue her interests in childhood development.

 

(Languages: English and French)

Ethan Katz-Zeitlin is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts at Concordia University in the Faculty of Arts and Science, with a Specialization in Psychology. He has gained experience working with children from both years of volunteering at the Special Needs Family camp and working at summer camps as a counsellor and has now developed this experience into a passion. This passion has sparked interest in language development and the cognitive effects that occur with it in early childhood. He plans to acquire as much knowledge as possible on this particular subject and eventually pursue a PhD in the field of psychology.

 

(Languages:English and French)

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Orly Dayan is an undergraduate student at Concordia University pursuing a BA in Honours Psychology with a minor in Education. She loves children and wants to be able to make a difference in their lives. She joined the Concordia Infant Research lab to contribute to the research in any way she can and hopes to learn more about the research process throughout her experience. She also does external recruitment for the lab. She plans on pursuing her studies in either Clinical Psychology or Educational Psychology. 

(Languages: French, English, Hebrew) 

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Melina Longo completed her Honours BA in Psychology at the University of Ottawa. With a passion for languages, she grew up speaking English, French and Spanish and learned Italian during her travels. She gained more hands on experience with bilingualism by teaching English to children in Italy and Austria. Fascinated by the differences in learning between the two countries, her curiosity for bilingualism grew stronger and drew her to join the Concordia Infant Research Lab. She hopes to gain more knowledge and experience in children’s language acquisition and multilingualism as well as the research process. Melina plans to pursue graduate studies in psychology and to help children/Teens with a variety of challenges or desires for improvement in a clinical or school setting. 

(Languages: English, French)

Giannina Webber has completed her Bachelor of Arts degree with a Specialization in Psychology and is currently an ABA therapist. Her love for children and deep interest in language acquisition and development has been what drives her for many years. She has gained much experience working with children as a teacher teaching English in Italy, a daycare educator, an ABA therapist and a dedicated volunteer at Mackay School Center. Her experience teaching children in the bilingual setting has amplified her desire for a more in-depth understanding of the effects bilingualism has on children’s development both intellectually and socially. This has led her to join the Concordia Infant Research Laboratory. She hopes to attend graduate school and pursue her Masters in the field of Speech Language Pathology. 

(Languages: English & French)


 
 

ALUMNI

 
  Elizabeth Morin-Lessard   Doctoral student, 2013-2018  2018- Post-doc, University of Calgary   Click to access Elizabeth's academic website

Elizabeth Morin-Lessard

Doctoral student, 2013-2018

2018- Post-doc, University of Calgary

Click to access Elizabeth's academic website

  Alexandra Laoun-Rubenstein   Research assistant, 2016-2018

Alexandra Laoun-Rubenstein

Research assistant, 2016-2018

  Daphnée Dubé   Research assistant & honours student, 2015-2018  2018- Speech Language Pathology, McGill

Daphnée Dubé

Research assistant & honours student, 2015-2018

2018- Speech Language Pathology, McGill

  Sadaf Pour Iliaei   Master’s student, 2016-2018

Sadaf Pour Iliaei

Master’s student, 2016-2018

 
  Carine Azerad   Research assistant, 2016-2018

Carine Azerad

Research assistant, 2016-2018

  Amel Jardak   Master's student, 2015-2017

Amel Jardak

Master's student, 2015-2017

  Sonia Giulione   Research assistant, 2016-2017

Sonia Giulione

Research assistant, 2016-2017

  Alisha Colantuono   Volunteer, 2016

Alisha Colantuono

Volunteer, 2016

 
  Stephanie Iacuessa   Research assistant,   2015-2016

Stephanie Iacuessa

Research assistant, 2015-2016

  Erika Pettorelli   Recruitment coordinator, 2016

Erika Pettorelli

Recruitment coordinator, 2016

  Michela Martiniello   Research assistant, Honours, 2013-2016  2016- Qualifying Year Social Work, McGill

Michela Martiniello

Research assistant, Honours, 2013-2016

2016- Qualifying Year Social Work, McGill

  Kay Goly   Specialization student, 2014-2016

Kay Goly

Specialization student, 2014-2016

 
  Alexandria Pistilli   Volunteer, 2015-2016

Alexandria Pistilli

Volunteer, 2015-2016

  Madeleine Borgeat   Honours & NSERC, 2014-2015  2016- BA Student in Speech Pathology, Université de Montréal

Madeleine Borgeat

Honours & NSERC, 2014-2015

2016- BA Student in Speech Pathology, Université de Montréal

  Cleo Donnelly   Honours, 2014-15  2016- M.Sc.(A) in Speech-Language Pathology

Cleo Donnelly

Honours, 2014-15

2016- M.Sc.(A) in Speech-Language Pathology

  Michelle Dolla   Volunteer, 2014-15  2016- Research Assistant at the Institut Universitaire de Geriatrie de Montréal

Michelle Dolla

Volunteer, 2014-15

2016- Research Assistant at the Institut Universitaire de Geriatrie de Montréal

 
  Emmett Anderson   Volunteer, 2014-15  2016- International Tutor at The Education University of Hong Kong

Emmett Anderson

Volunteer, 2014-15

2016- International Tutor at The Education University of Hong Kong

  Kenza Iraki   Research Assistant, 2014  2016- Mobile Application Engineer at Samsao

Kenza Iraki

Research Assistant, 2014

2016- Mobile Application Engineer at Samsao

  Virginia Tsekova   Volunteer, 2014-15  2016- Research coordinator at Concordia University

Virginia Tsekova

Volunteer, 2014-15

2016- Research coordinator at Concordia University

  Nadia Laccitiello   Honours, 2013-15

Nadia Laccitiello

Honours, 2013-15

 
  Alexandra Maduro   Volunteer, 2014

Alexandra Maduro

Volunteer, 2014

  Chelsea da Estrela   Research Coordinator, 2012-14  2016- PhD student in Clinical Psychology, Concordia University

Chelsea da Estrela

Research Coordinator, 2012-14

2016- PhD student in Clinical Psychology, Concordia University

  Tiago Muzzi-Magalhaes   Volunteer, 2013-14

Tiago Muzzi-Magalhaes

Volunteer, 2013-14

  Saidah Adisa   Volunteer, 2013-2014

Saidah Adisa

Volunteer, 2013-2014

 
  Katherine Poirier   Honours, 2013-14

Katherine Poirier

Honours, 2013-14

  Daria Karbainova   Volunteer, 2013  2016- MSc by Research Clinical Psychology program, University of Edinburgh

Daria Karbainova

Volunteer, 2013

2016- MSc by Research Clinical Psychology program, University of Edinburgh

  Bianca Garcia   Volunteer, 2012-13

Bianca Garcia

Volunteer, 2012-13

  Alexandra Polonia   Research Coordinator, 2011-13  2016- Social Worker, Lakeshore General Hospital

Alexandra Polonia

Research Coordinator, 2011-13

2016- Social Worker, Lakeshore General Hospital

 
  Catherine Hudon   Volunteer, 2012-13

Catherine Hudon

Volunteer, 2012-13

  Dr. André L. Souza   Postdoctoral Fellow, 2012-13  2016- User Experience Researcher at Google

Dr. André L. Souza

Postdoctoral Fellow, 2012-13

2016- User Experience Researcher at Google

  Maya Rossi   Volunteer, 2012-13

Maya Rossi

Volunteer, 2012-13

  Karina Tamburrino   Volunteer, 2012-13

Karina Tamburrino

Volunteer, 2012-13

 
  Laura Emily Evans   Volunteer, 2013  2016- M.Sc.A. in Speech-Language Pathology, McGill

Laura Emily Evans

Volunteer, 2013

2016- M.Sc.A. in Speech-Language Pathology, McGill

  Leah Modlin   Volunteer, 2012-13

Leah Modlin

Volunteer, 2012-13

  Luana Zappitelli   Volunteer, 2013

Luana Zappitelli

Volunteer, 2013

  Valérie Sirois-Delisle   Research Assistant, 2012-13  2016- Elementary school teacher

Valérie Sirois-Delisle

Research Assistant, 2012-13

2016- Elementary school teacher

 
  Arashdeep Rao   Project Student, 2012-13  2016- Master of Audiology Studies, University of Queensland (Australia)

Arashdeep Rao

Project Student, 2012-13

2016- Master of Audiology Studies, University of Queensland (Australia)

  Jessica Londei-Shortall   Honours, 2012-13  2016- Ph.D student in Organisational Psychology at Université de Montréal

Jessica Londei-Shortall

Honours, 2012-13

2016- Ph.D student in Organisational Psychology at Université de Montréal

  Arielle Ben-Zaken   Volunteer, 2012-2013  2016- Masters at McGill in social work.

Arielle Ben-Zaken

Volunteer, 2012-2013

2016- Masters at McGill in social work.

  Sarah Lantagne   Volunteer, 2013  2016- Research Coordinator at Concordia

Sarah Lantagne

Volunteer, 2013

2016- Research Coordinator at Concordia

 
  Jessica Bergevin   Volunteer, 2013

Jessica Bergevin

Volunteer, 2013

  Alexandra Boxer   Volunteer, 2012

Alexandra Boxer

Volunteer, 2012

  Veronica Kost   Volunteer, 2012  2016- Student- Master's Social Work at McGill

Veronica Kost

Volunteer, 2012

2016- Student- Master's Social Work at McGill

  Marie-Lisa Porten   Volunteer, 2011-12

Marie-Lisa Porten

Volunteer, 2011-12

 
  Stacy Pollack   Volunteer, 2012

Stacy Pollack

Volunteer, 2012

  Poppy Wilkinson   Honours, 2011-12  2016- Doctoral student in Psychology (Clinical stream), Concordia University

Poppy Wilkinson

Honours, 2011-12

2016- Doctoral student in Psychology (Clinical stream), Concordia University

  Stefan Faina   Project Student, 2011-12

Stefan Faina

Project Student, 2011-12

  Andrea Quintero   Volunteer, 2011-12

Andrea Quintero

Volunteer, 2011-12

 
  Brian Florez   Volunteer, 2011-12

Brian Florez

Volunteer, 2011-12

  Liane Rebner   Honours, 2011-12

Liane Rebner

Honours, 2011-12

  Philippe Warlop   Research Assistant, 2011-12

Philippe Warlop

Research Assistant, 2011-12

  Roxanna Ibrahim   Volunteer, 2011  2016- Full-time speech language pathologist at Commission Scolaire Marguerite Bourgeoys

Roxanna Ibrahim

Volunteer, 2011

2016- Full-time speech language pathologist at Commission Scolaire Marguerite Bourgeoys