Laura Schulz

Professor of Cognitive Science, MIT

The infrastructure of human cognition -- our commonsense understanding of the physical and social world -- is constructed during early childhood. Professor Schulz studies the representations and learning mechanisms that underlie this feat. Professor Schulz's research looks at 1) how children infer the concepts and causal relations that enable them to engage in accurate prediction, explanation, and intervention; 2) the factors that support curiosity and exploration, allowing children to engage in effective discovery, and 3) how these abilities inform and interact with social cognition to support intuitive theories of the self and others.

Professor Schulz received her BA in philosophy from the University of Michigan in 1992 and spent seven years working in experiential and alternative education. She received her PhD in developmental psychology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2004. Professor Schulz has been honored with a Troland award from the National Academy of Sciences, a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from the National Science Foundation, a American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Early Career Scientific Contributions, a Society for Research in Child Development Award for Early Career Research Contributions, and a MIT Macvicar Faculty Fellow award.

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