My research examines early cognitive development, focusing on the following topics:
1. Attention, memory, and representation: This project explores the process by which infants direct their attention to relevant information and make use of it. How do infants keep track of objects and events around them when facing an enormous amount of information? What might help infants direct their attention more efficiently?
2. The role of experience in early learning: Visual and action experiences are crucial for learning. This project explores the process by which infants detect regularities and extract rules. Can infants learn a physical rule after watching a set of examples? Do action experience and visual observation affect early learning in the same way?
3. Theory of mind: Psychological knowledge constitutes an important domain of human cognition; this project explores early understanding about people. How do infants interpret others' actions? Do they impute in others preference, desire, or belief? Current projects focus on infants' use of communicative cues (such as facial expressions and linguistic input) to interpret others' actions.
4. Young children's use of new technologies: I am currently studying young children's use of video communication (e.g., Skype, FaceTime) and how it affects family communication and cognitive development. Another strand of this line of research examines children's use of touch-screen device (e.g., iPad) as a play medium.
Frick, A., & Wang, S. (in press). Mental spatial transformations in 14- and 16-month-old infants: Effects of action and observational experience. Child Development.
Hoicka, E., & Wang, S. (2011). Fifteen-month-olds match vocal cues to intentional actions. Journal of Cognition and Development, 12, 1-16. PDF
Wang, S. (2011). Priming 4.5-month-old infants to use height information by enhancing retrieval.
Developmental Psychology, 47, 26-38. PDF
Wang, S., & Mitroff, S. R. (2009). Preserved visual representations despite change blindness in infants.
Developmental Science, 12, 681-687.
Wang, S., & Baillargeon, R. (2008). Can infants be "taught" to attend to a new physical variable in an event category? The case of height in covering events.
Cognitive Psychology, 56, 284-326.
Wang, S., & Baillargeon, R. (2008). Detecting impossible changes in infancy: A three-system account.
Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 12, 17-23.
Wang, S., & Kohne, L. (2007). Visual experience enhances infants' use of task-relevant information
in an action task. Developmental Psychology, 43, 1513-1522.