Susan Hespos Associate Professor

Program Area(s):



Cognitive development, learning, language and concepts

Research Interests

My research focuses on the earliest evidence of our cognitive capacities in infancy and describes what changes over development. Through this process we gain information critical to understanding cognition in general. Some current lines of research include: 1) investigating the origin and development of analogical processing; 2) the intersection of language and thought in infancy; 3) physical reasoning about number, space, objects, and substances.

Selected Publications (See lab page for all publications)

Hespos, S. J., (in press). Core Knowledge. In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.) The SAGE Encyclopedia of Lifespan Human Development. Thousand Oakes, CA: Sage.

Hespos, S. J., Ferry, A., Anderson, E., Hollenbeck, E., & Rips, L. (2016). Five-month-old infants have expectations about how substances behave and interact. Psychological Science, 27(2), 244 - 256.

Ferry, A., Hespos, S. J., & Gentner, D. (2015). Prelinguistic relational concepts: Investigating analogical processing in infants. Child Development, 86 (5), 1386 - 1405.

Rips, L. J., & Hespos, S. J. (2015). Mental divisions of the physical world: objects and substances. Psychological Bulletin, 141(4), 786 - 811.

Ferry, A., Hespos, S.J., Waxman, S. (2013). Non-human primate vocalizations support categorization in very young human infants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 110(38), 15231 – 15235.

Ferry, A., Hespos, S.J., & Waxman, S. (2010). Categorization in 3- and 4-month-old Infants: An Advantage of Words Over Tones. Child Development, 81(2), 472 – 479.

Hespos, S. J. & Spelke, E. S. (2004). Conceptual precursors to spatial language. Nature, 430, 453 – 456.

Hespos, S. J. & Baillargeon, R. (2001b). Reasoning about containment events in very young infants. Cognition, 78, 207 – 245.

Hespos, S. J. & Baillargeon, R. (2001a). Infants’ knowledge about occlusion and containment: A surprising discrepancy. Psychological Science, 12(2), 141 – 147.

Rochat, P. & Hespos, S. J. (1997). Differential rooting response by neonates: Evidence for an early sense of self. Early Development and Parenting, 6(3 & 4), 105–112.

Hespos, S. J. & Rochat, P. (1997). Dynamic representation in infancy. Cognition, 64, 153–189.

Simon, T., Hespos, S. J., & Rochat, P. (1995). Do infants understand simple arithmetic?  A replication of Wynn (1992). Cognitive Development, 10(2), 253 - 269.