Dr. Lauren Emberson (she/her/hers) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia. At UBC, Dr. Emberson’s lab is a part of the Early Development Research Group, a consortium of several research centers interested in the development of perception, language, learning, and social understanding in infants and children. Prior to UBC, Dr. Emberson was an Assistant Professor at Princeton University where she co-founded and co-directs the Princeton Baby and Princeton Kid Labs: a developmental group comprising several research labs.
Dr. Emberson serves on the editorial board of Infancy (the journal of the International Congress of Infancy Studies) and is a consulting editor for the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (the Journal of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society). Dr. Emberson has published her research in many top journals including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Current Biology, Psychological Science, Cognition, Developmental Science, Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, and many more.
Dr. Emberson’s research is in the areas of learning, perception (audition, vision, crossmodal or multisensory), language development, face/object perception, and attention. Emberson investigates these capacities in young infants using behavioral and neuroimaging techniques (e.g., fNIRS: functional near infrared spectroscopy). Dr. Emberson works primarily with very young infants (starting at birth through 1 year) and also investigates preterm/premature infants who are at-risk for developmental delays.
The overarching goal of Dr. Emberson’s research is to understand the incredible learning capacities of the infant brain, and how these learning abilities contribute to an infant’s rapid development of perception (vision, audition, crossmodal perception). Dr. Emberson is driven to understand perception in its ecological context (i.e., what infants sees and hears all day long), so her work is often conducted in the contexts of language and face or object perception. Her work bears on the question of how early life learning and development contribute to later life outcomes and investigates this with premature infants and infants being raised in adverse early life conditions (e.g., lower socioeconomic status in the developing world).
Dr. Emberson’s research has been funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the James S. McDonnell Foundation, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH in the US).
Dr. Emberson’s secondary research area is Cognitive.
For an up-to-date list of publications (with PDFs when possible), visit Dr. Lauren Emberson’s website.
Dr. Emberson is currently accepting graduate students.