Recent Lab News

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We always have new and exciting things happening in the lab! Read below to learn more about our ongoing research activities, students’ achievements, and more.

• • • • •
2017

August

  • Graduate students, Amanda Woodward and Brandon Terrizzi, and undergraduate student, Jonas Ventimiglia, will be representing the LESC at CDS in October! Three presentations--two posters and one symposium talk--have been accepted at CDS.

  • July

  • Undergraduate Nora Pelaez presented her poster as part of UMD's Summer Research Initiative (SRI)! Nora worked on a project examining young children's concern for the reputations of others and how they respond when another's reputation is threatened unfairly. To learn more about the SRI Program, click here.

  • June

  • Congratulations to all of our graduating seniors and welcome our new lab manager, Shirley Duong!
  • Best of luck to our former lab manager, Noor Qasmieh, who will be starting her journey towards a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at UMD in the fall!
  • Graduate Student Brandon Terrizzi presented at the Society for Philosophy and Psychology Conference.
  • May

  • Congratulations to our graduating seniors: Rachel, Nicole, Elisabeth. Thank you for all your hard work!
  • April

  • Undergraduates Nora Pelaez and Jonas Ventimiglia received funding for summer research in the lab. Nora will participate in UMD’s Summer Research Initiative, and Jonas will be a UMD Summer Scholar. Congratulations, Nora and Jonas!
  • Graduate student Amanda Woodward presented a research poster at the Society for Research in Child Development conference in Austin, Texas.


  • Both Dr. Beier and graduate student Brandon Terrizzi gave talks at the Society for Research in Child Development conference in Austin, Texas.
  • March

  • The Lab for Early Social Cognition represented the Infant and Child Studies Consortium at a local elementary school science fair. So many families learned about the research we conduct!


  • Graduate student Brandon Terrizzi won the SRCD Student Travel Award to attend the SRCD conference.
  • Graduate student Amanda Woodward won the UMD Goldhaber travel grant to attend the SRCD conference.
  • Lab manager Noor Qasmieh has decided to attend UMD’s Clinical Psychology doctoral program, to begin this fall. Congratulations, Noor!
  • January

  • Graduate student Brandon Terrizzi presented a research poster at the Budapest CEU Conference on Cognitive Development.


  • 2016

    December

  • Graduate student Amanda Woodward proposed her master’s thesis, and is ramping up to begin data collection.
  • September

  • Welcome back, everyone! Good luck for the fall semester!
  • August

  • Dr. Beier's paper about social helpfulness in young children was accepted for publication in Child Development, with co-authors Amanda Woodward, Brandon Terrizzi, and Emma Larson.
  • Brandon Terrizzi's paper about cueing covert spatial attention was accepted for publication in Cognitive Development, with co-author Dr. Beier. Way to go Brandon!
  • July

  • Our Summer Research Initiative students presented posters of their summer research! Great job Jose and Alec!

  • Jose with his graduate student mentor, Brandon Alec with his graduate student mentor, Amanda

    May

  • Our new lab manager, Noor Qasmieh, has begun at the LESC. Welcome!
  • Three of our undergraduate research assistants received funding for summer research within the lab. Congratulations to Danayt, Jose, and Alec!
  • Dr. Beier and Brandon Terrizzi attended the Society for Philosophy and Psychology Conference in Austin, TX.
  • Dr. Beier, Brandon Terrizzi, and Amanda Woodward presented posters at the International Congress on Infant Studies Conference in New Orleans.

  • April

  • Graduate student, Brandon Terrizzi, received the 2016 PSYC Outstanding Graduate Student award for his excellence in teaching,
  • research, and service to the department. Way to go, Brandon!

    March

  • Dr. Beier gave an invited talk at George Mason University.
  • Lab Manager, Emma Larson, has decided to attend LSU's School Psychology doctoral program for her graduate studies.

  • • • • • •
    2015
    December
  • Congratulations to our graduating seniors: Hallie and Chris. Thank you for all of your hard work!
  • Our undergraduate RAs presented end-of-the-semester presentations on topics related to early social cognition. Presentation topics included:
  • The interaction between friendship and language skills.
  • The manifestation of social helping behaviors in children with psychological disorders.
  • The influence of minority and majority groups on dominance behaviors in children.
  • The relationship between social exclusion and mental health.
  • The impact of the internet on children's social relationships.
  • Evidence of Autism Spectrum Disorders predicted by eye tracking technology.
  • The impact of shyness on sociability in children.
  • The link between face trait attributions and helping behavior in children.
  • The development of facial judgments and decision making ability in children.
  • November
  • Dr. Beier received a Research and Scholarship Award from the Graduate School, to support research on children's
  • expectations for prosocial behavior among friends.

    October

  • Graduate students Amanda Mae Woodward and Brandon Terrizzi each presented research posters at the meeting of the
  • Cognitive Development Society in Columbus, Ohio. View the posters here and here.
  • Graduate student Minoo Ahmadi completed and defended her first year project: a task for adults that assessed
  • the influence of dominance attributions on gaze cueing.

    September

  • Welcome back, everyone!
  • July

  • Dr. Beier gave invited talks at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.
  • Many thanks to everybody at both institutions for stimulating discussions and two great visits.
  • Graduate student Brandon Terrizzi presented a research poster at the meeting of the Society for Philosophy
  • and Psychology, held at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. View the poster here.

    June

  • Lab movie night! The entire lab attended a showing of the new movie Inside Out. Many discussions about children's
  • social development ensued!

    May

  • Congratulations to our graduating seniors: Jenna, Casey, Tyler, Jody, Dan, Sara, and Olivia. Thank you for all of your hard work!
  • Graduate student Brandon Terrizzi successfully defended his Master's thesis. Congratulations, Brandon!
  • Graduate student Brandon Terrizzi gave an invited talk on his Master's thesis data at the Social Minds Conference here at UMD.
  • April

  • We met over 150 families at Maryland Day! We are thrilled to see so many families interested in child development research.
  • The Infant and Child Studies Consortium releases their 2015 newsletter
  • March

  • The "Routes to Selective Helping" research grant was awarded by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council!
  • The team will be lead by Dr. Valerie Kuhlmeier (Investigator) and also involves Dr. Kristen Dunfield (Co-I).
    • • • • •
    2014

    November

  • Dr. Beier attended the Phillip Merrill Presidential Scholars reception to honor Lindsey Benjamin, a 2014-2015 Scholar
  • who took Dr. Beier's Early Social Cognition seminar. Lindsey selected Dr. Beier as her "most impactful faculty member at Maryland."
  • Our summer intern, Kara Watkins-Chow, presented a poster on her work at Montgomery-Blair High School's Research Ceremony.

  • September

  • Welcome back, everyone!
  • August

  • Both of our new graduate students, Amanda Mae Woodward and Minoo Ahmadi, received Dean's Fellowships to
  • support their research and studies. Congrats and welcome!
  • Our UMD Summer Research Initiative student Shonise Flowers (Howard University) presented a poster on her summer
  • work at the UMD Summer Research Initiative closing event. View the poster here.

    July

  • Graduate student Brandon Terrizzi presented a research poster at the International Conference on Infant Studies in
  • Berlin, Germany. View the poster here.
  • We are sad to see Dana Breakstone leave, but wish her well in her new position in Colorado. Thanks for being a great
  • Lab Coordinator, Dana!
  • Several huge additions to the lab this summer!
  • Emma Larson joins the lab as our new Lab Coordinator.
  • Amanda Mae Woodward (yes we know!) joins the lab as a graduate student.
  • Minoo Ahmadi also joins as a graduate student. She hails all the way from Iran!
  • Kara Watkins-Chow joins our laboratory as a summer intern from Montgomery-Blair High School. She is working under the advisement of graduate student Brandon Terrizzi.
  • May

  • Congratulations to our graduating seniors: LaRae, Kelly, Abby, and Julie. Thank you for all of your hard work!
  • Dr. Beier wins seed funding to study the development of top-down influences on gaze cueing, via a Dean's Research Award.
  • April

  • The Infant and Child Studies Consortium releases their 2014 newsletter.
  • Dr. Beier gave an invited talk at the University of Virginia.
  • March

  • Dr. Beier gave an invited talk at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Dr. Beier's paper on 3-year-olds' social helping was published in Developmental Psychology, with co-authors Harriet Over and Malinda Carpenter.
  • Dr. Beier's paper on the influence of social knowledge on infants' and adults' attributions of agency was published in Developmental Psychology, with co-author Susan Carey.
  • • • • • •
    2013

    September

  • Welcome back, everyone!
  • August

  • The lab celebrated the end of summer with a trip to the bowling lanes!

  • April

  • The Infant and Child Studies Consortium releases their 2013 newsletter.
  • Dr. Beier gave a talk describing influences of social exclusion on children's face scanning behavior, part of a symposium on nonverbal social behavior at the meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development in Seattle, Washington.
  • Dr. Beier gave a talk and participated in the interdisciplinary workshop on Beliefs and Desires, put on by PHLINT, a group of graduate students in Philosophy and Linguistics at UMD.
  • March

  • Brandon Terrizzi received a Dean's Fellowship to fund the next several summers of research.
  • • • • • •
    2012

    December

  • Dr. Beier gave a talk and participated in an interdisciplinary workshop on Morality, sponsored by the Developmental Science Field Committee at UMD and organized by Dr. Melanie Killen and her students.
  • September

  • Welcome undergraduate research assistants!
  • July

  • Summer brings big developments: major lab construction finishes, graduate student Brandon Terrizzi arrives, and Dana Breakstone joins as the LESC Lab Coordinator.
  • May

  • Dr. Beier gave a talk on young children's understanding of societal interactions and social relationships, at a colloquium sponsored by the Center for Children, Relationships, and Culture in the Department of Human Development at UMD.
  • April

  • The Infant and Child Studies Consortium releases their 2012 newsletter.
  • January

  • Dr. Jonathan Beier arrives at UMD.