Lindsey Powell

Principal Investigator | ljpowell@ucsd.edu

I study the early development of social cognition and motivation. How do infants and young children understand others' minds, interactions, and relationships? What motivates them to attend to and engage with social partners? How do we develop the abilities to cooperate, communicate, and learn from each other in just the first few years of life?

Alexis Smith-Flores

Graduate Student | alexis-smith@ucsd.edu

My research investigates the intersection of socio-emotional development and cognition. Specifically, how does children’s understanding of others’ emotions, and evaluation of social interactions, shape their representations of objects and other agents.

Bill Pepe

Graduate Student | wpepe@ucsd.edu

My research examines how children identify people as being affiliated and/or belonging to a group, as well as the resultant attitudes and beliefs they express regarding affiliated dyads, and in/out-group members.

Madison Pesowski

My research investigates how children use objects’ physical features and non obvious properties to reason about people’s actions, emotions, and preferences.

Paloma Iniguez

I received a B.A. in Psychology from UC Riverside, where I worked as a research assistant for the Childhood Cognition Lab. My own research interests have focused on language use and language patterns of minority communities across the lifespan.


Isabel Herrera

I am a fourth-year undergraduate student at UC San Diego working on my B.S. in Psychology and minor in Biology. I am passionate about cognitive and developmental psychology, especially in the physical and emotional interaction through behaviors. Apart from education, I enjoy dance and walks by the beach.

Anushka Bajaj

I'm a third-year undergraduate student passionate about child cognition. Outside of research, I enjoy analyzing contemporary literature, living vicariously through coming-of-age films, and attempting to air-fry every ingredient in existence.

Khanh Nguyen

I am a third-year undergraduate majoring in cognitive psychology and cognitive and behavioral neuroscience. I am passionate about how the brain supports complex social and cognitive behaviors. Outside of research, I enjoy writing and playing the violin.

Jenny Yue

I’m a third-year undergraduate double majoring in developmental psychology and neurobiology. I’m passionate about how child develop and how their brain is changing in general. Outside of research, I really enjoy spending time with my cats and going to movies!

Michael Lin

I'm a second-year undergraduate student majoring in Psychology interested in how human development is affected by interactions with others and the environment. I am also interested in cooking, gaming, watching tv shows/movies, and going to the beach and aquarium!

After a successful year of research and academics (done online) the members of the SoCal Lab met up to celebrate all their hard work!

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The SoCal Lab Team met up for a socially distanced hike and a friendly, but competitive, game of Bocce Ball. Overall it was a day spent in good company


STARS Summer Interns

Jazlyn Armendariz - California State University, Northridge

Natalie Gevoglanian - California State University, Northridge

Joanna Ramirez - California State University, Northridge

Kelsea Jackson - Spelman College

Mi'Anjel Jack - Xavier University of Louisiana

UCSD Undergraduates

Juliana Gutierrez - B.A. in Psychology

Justine Wang - B.S. in Psychology

Anne Abney- B.A. in Social Psychology

Haley Amin - B.A. in Psychology

Carmen Blum - B.A. in Psychology