Prof. Dr. Sho Tsuji, Principal Investigator

Sho is the principal investigator of the IRCN babylab. She is fascinated by the question of why babies are so good at learning language. She came to University of Tokyo after studying Psychology and language acquisition in Germany, the Netherlands, France, and the USA.

Dr. Monica Barbir, Postdoc

Monica is a postdoctoral researcher at the IRCN babylab. She is interested in the cognitive mechanisms that make learning language easy for babies but hard for adults. Her goal is to innovate novel language learning methods that would ultimately allow adults to learn language as well as babies. Monica studied language acquisition at the University of Toronto and the Ecole Normale Supérieure, taught English as a foreign language with the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Programme, and designed novel tools for learning language during her MA in comic book design.

Dr. Irena Lovcevic, Postdoc

Irena is a Posdoctoral Researcher at the IRCN BabyLab. She is interested in how different family and environmental factors influence language acquisition in infants. Irena completed her PhD at the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development, Western Sydney University, investigating early language development in infants with hearing loss.

Dr. Hiromichi Hagihara, Visiting Researcher, Assistant Professor of Osaka Universit. 

Hiromichi is a Visiting Researcher at the IRCN BabyLab. He is interested in how word meanings emerge and change along with childhood development. He completed his Ph.D. at the Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, Japan. He is also an occupational therapist and a certified public psychologist, engaging in developmental support for children with special needs. Twitter

Dr. Li Jiarui, Postdoc (with Yazaki-Sugiyama lab and Tsuji lab)

My research focuses on analyzing and modeling the data of cognitive development, social intelligence, and human factors in machine learning. In my research, I try to explore the formation and development of the brain’s learning mechanism according to age. Also, I am interested in the influence of social factors during the cognitive development process. The acquired theories are hoped to be applied in the applications of artificial intelligence.

Youtao Lu, Postdoc

Youtao is a postdoctoral researcher at the IRCN BabyLab. His current project (under JEWEL project) investigates the role social cues, especially contingency, play in young children’s word learning, and how that differs across different languages and cultures. Youtao received his PhD in cognitive science from Brown University. His dissertation research compared adults’ auditory processing of homophones in English, Mandarin and Japanese. He is also planning to expand the project to children’s homophone learning.

Ganna Mamonova – PhD in Physics and Mathematics, Associate Professor

I am a specialist in probability theory and mathematical statistics, a graduate of the Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics of Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University. I teach mathematical disciplines at the Kyiv National University of Economics named after Vadym Hetman. I was invited for research within the “Emergency Relief Program for Scholars and Students at Risk Following the Invasion of Ukraine by Russia”
I am also the author of the idea and script for the multidisciplinary comic “Blaise Pascal and Combinatorics”. The two key goals of my work in the laboratory are research on the effectiveness of mathematics through comics and the analysis of statistical data obtained as a result of observations in Babylab.

Cécile Crimon, PhD candidate

Cécile works on the role of social environment in the language acquisition process, doing an intervention study in daycares. She is a PhD candidate at the Cognitive Science and Psycholinguistics Lab, at ENS, Paris.

《Lab Manager》

Tomoko Takashima, Master(Management of Technology)

Tomoko has a Master of Management of Technology (MOT). After working as an IT engineer, she have experience in research of providing information to parents on the childhood injury prevention research Team. She is also interested in data analysis and holds a Senior Web Analytics Consultant qualification.

Rie Ono,B.A.(early education)

Rie obtained a kindergarten teacher license at university.
Experience as a university employee and working in a nursery school.

《Research support staff》

Aaron Nakamura, Project Academic Specialist

Aaron’s research focuses lie primarily in the fields of clinical, developmental, and cultural psychology. His research interest has two distinct and overarching goals. The first goal is to examine the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) to brain structures and functional connectivity. The second goal is to investigate how we can support healthy cultural identity development through ACEs. He is also broadly interested in language acquisition. He has a background in working as a counselor for youth at a mental health treatment center.

Kyoko Hamanaka, Master (Language and Culture), Project Academic Specialist (concurrently at Nagai Lab)

Kyoko is interested in clarifying mechanisms in second language acquisition and language learning from the perspective of language, brain, and mind. In her master’s program, she conducted research on Willingness to Communicate (WTC) in elementary school foreign language activities. She has a First Class and Specialized Certificate (English) for junior high and high school teachers and have experience teaching at junior high and high schools.

《Former Member》

Megumi Ishikawa (Master of Arts and Science), University of Kansas, Adjunct Researcher

Megumi is interested in grammar acquisition in young children. She graduated from Department of Language and Information Sciences, The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo (expected doctoral degree).

Sarah der Nederlanden, master

Sarah is a master’s student at the University of Amsterdam who is doing an online eye-tracking study on toddlers’ word processing. She is interested in anything related to language acquisition and cognitive development.

Sara El-Shawa, Intern

Sara is an IRCN research intern interested in infant-robot interaction.
She completed her undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Biology at the University of Toronto.

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