Assistant Professor, Psychology
Director, Baby Learning Lab

Dr. Emberson’s research is in the areas of learning, perception (audition, vision, crossmodal or multisensory), language development, face/object perception, and attention. Emberson investigates these capacities in young infants using behavioral and neuroimaging techniques (e.g., fNIRS: functional near infrared spectroscopy). Dr. Emberson works primarily with very young infants (starting at birth through 1 year) and also investigates preterm/premature infants who are at-risk for developmental delays.

The overarching goal of Dr. Emberson’s research is to understand the incredible learning capacities of the infant brain, and how these learning abilities contribute to an infant’s rapid development of perception (vision, audition, crossmodal perception). Dr. Emberson is driven to understand perception in its ecological context (i.e., what infants sees and hears all day long), so her work is often conducted in the contexts of language and face or object perception. Her work bears on the question of how early life learning and development contribute to later life outcomes and investigates this with premature infants and infants being raised in adverse early life conditions (e.g., lower socioeconomic status in the developing world).

Dr. Emberson’s research has been funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the James S. McDonnell Foundation, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH in the US).

Dr. Emberson’s secondary research area is Cognitive.

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