Cognitive Science JHU Banner
Cognitive Science JHU Logo
nav-bar spacerKrieger School of Arts and SciencesUniversity CalendarUniversity NewsSearch JHU
Home > People > Faculty > Landau
Barbara Landau
Barbara Landau
Research Interests
Language and Cognition Lab
Biographical Information
Selected Publications
Courses
Contact Information
Complete Vita

Dick and Lydia Todd Professor 
Cognitive Science Department Chair

landau@cogsci.jhu.edu
Phone: 410-516-5255
Office: Krieger 241A


Research Interests

LANGUAGE AND SPACE:
REPRESENTATION AND LEARNING

My work focuses on language learning, spatial representation, and the relationships between these foundational systems of human knowledge.

Central questions:

  • What are the semantic and syntactic representations that guide language learning?
  • What is the nature of our representations of space-- in particular, objects and locations?
  • How are these spatial representations recruited during the process of language learning?
  • Are linguistic representations "special," separate from non-linguistic representations?

 In thinking about these problems, we use a variety of methods, and study a variety of populations.

Specific areas of research:

  • The representation and acquisition of object names ( for everyday objects as well as"natural kinds")
  • The representation and acquisition of verbs' semantic and syntactic structure
  • The representation and acquisition of spatial terms
  • The relationships between spatial language and spatial cognition

Groups we study include:

  • Normally developing children and adults learning English
  • Normally developing children and adults learning languages other than English
  • Neurologically impaired individuals, who show disruption of normal space-language relationships -- specifically, children and adults with Williams Syndrome
     

 Methods we use include:

  • Formal linguistic analyses
  • Traditional experimental and developmental methods
  • Eye-tracking (in collaboration with Professor James Hoffman)
  • Event-related potentials (in collaboration with Professor James Hoffman)

We currentlyhave two eye trackers. One is a head-mounted eye-tracker which can be used to examine visual fixations of young children and adults as they carry out spatial tasks (such as constructing spatial patterns, above) and linguistic tasks (such as following directions to place objects in specific locations.) The second eye tracker does not require any head mount, so allows the viewer to freely move his or her head as he/she explores the world.


Language and Cognition Lab

Please see our lab web page


Biographical Information

Education

 Ph.D. Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, 1982

 Ed.M  Educational Psychology, Rutgers University, 1977

 B.A.  Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, 1970
 

Positions Held

2006-presentChair, Department of Cognitive Science, Johns Hopkins University
2003Acting chair, Department of Cognitive Science, Johns Hopkins University
2001-presentDick and Lydia Todd Professor, Cognitive Science, Johns Hopkins University
1997-

Professor, Psychology and Linguistics
Director, Cognitive Science Program, University of Delaware

1995- 1997Associate - Full Professor, Psychology and Linguistics, University of Delaware
1990- 1996Associate- Full Professor of Psychology, University of California, Irvine
1992- 1993Visiting Scientist, University of Pennsylvania Institute for Research in Cognitive Science
1983- 1991Assistant- Associate Professor of Psychology, Columbia University
1983Visiting Instructor of Psychology, Princeton University
1982- 1983Sloan Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania

Special Committies

2006-2009Board of Scientific Advisors, American Psychological Association
2000

External Review Committee, Cognitive Science Program, University of Virginia.

National Science Foundation Site Visit Team, Science and Technology Center, Carnegie-Mellon and University of Pittsburgh

1999National Science Foundation Committee of Visitors: Cogntive, Linguistic, and Psychological Cluster

 Awards, Honors

2006Fellow, Cognitive Science Society
2005Master Lecture Series, University of Arizona.

Keynote, Conference on Spatial Information Theory (COSIT -5), Buffalo, NY.

Horizons of Knowledge Lecture, Indiana University
2004Lecture, Inauguration for Centre for Human Communication, University College, London
2001Fellow, American Psychological Society
1999Fellow, American Psychological Association
1997European Society of Philosophy and Psychology, Plenary Session, Milan, Italy.
1992Keynote Address, Stanford Child Language Forum.  Stanford University.
1990Boyd McCandless Young Scientist Award, American Psychological Association
1987Plenary Session Address, 17th Annual Symposium of the Jean Piaget Society, Philadelphia.

Selected Publications
 

A. On Williams Syndrome (clickable link)

B. On Language Learning and Cognition:

Dessalegn, B. & Landau, B. (2008) More than meets the eye: The role of language in binding visualproperties. Psychological Science, 19 (2), 189-195.

P. Chilton and V. Evans (Eds.), Language, cognition and space: The state of the art

and new directions. Advances in Cognitive Linguistics Series (Ed, V. Evans, B. Bergen, J.

Zinken). London: Equinox Publishing.

Landau, B., Hoffman, J.E., Reiss, J.E., Dilks, D., Lakusta, L., and Chunyo, G. (2005). Specialization, breakdown, and sparing in spatial cognition: Lessons from Williams syndrome. In C. Morris, H. Lenhoff, & P. Wang (Eds.), Williams-Beuren syndrome: Research and Clinical Perspectives. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Press.

Lakusta, L. and Landau, B. (2005) Starting at the end: The importance of goals in spatial language. Cognition. 96 (1) 1-33.

Landau, B. and Hoffman, J.E. (2005) Parallels between spatial cognition and spatial language: Evidence from Williams syndrome. Journal of Memory and Language. 53 (2) 163-185.

Munnich, E. & Landau, B. (2003) The effect of spatial language on spatial representations: Setting some boundaries. In D. Gentner. & S. Goldin-Meadow (Eds.) Language in mind: Advances in the study of language and thought. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Landau, B. (2002) Early experience and cognitive organization. In L. Nadel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. Nature Publishing Group, England: Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

Munnich, E., Landau, B., & Dosher, B. (2001) Spatial language and spatial representation: A cross-llinguistic comparison. Cognition, 81, 171-207.

Landau, B.  (2000)  Language and space.  In B. Landau, J. Sabini, J. Jonides, and E.   Newport (Eds.), Perception, cognition, and language:  Essays in honor of Henry and Lila Gleitman.  Cambridge, Mass:  MIT Press.

Wright, C. E., & Landau, B. (1998). Language and Action: Current challenges to cognitive theory. In  J. Hochberg & J. E. Cutting (Eds.), Handbook of perception and cognition. Perception and cognition at century's end: History, philosophy, theory. Orlando, FL: Academic Press.

Landau, B.  (1998) Nativist perspectives on the acquisition of knowledge.  In   W. Bechtel & G. Graham (Eds.), A companion to cognitive science.  Oxford, UK: Blackwell.

Gleitman, L. R., & Landau, B. (Eds.) (1994). Acquisition of the lexicon. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Landau, B. (1986) Early map use as an unlearned ability. Cognition, 22, 201-223.

Landau, B., & Gleitman, L. R. (1985). Language and experience: Evidence from the blind child.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Landau, B., Spelke, E. & Gleitman, H. (1984) Spatial knowledge in a young blind child. Cognition, 16, 225-160.

Landau, B., Gleitman, H. & Spelke, E. (1981) Spatial knowledge and geometric representation in a child blind from birth. Science, 213, 1275-1278.

C. On the Acquisition and Representation of Nouns and Verbs:

Landau, B. (2003) Perceptual units and their mapping with language: How children can (or can't?) use perception to learn words. In D.G. Hall and S. Waxman (Eds.), Weaving a lexicon. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Nicol, T., Landau, B., and Resnik, P. (2003) The role of object typicality in children's acquisition of the implicit object construction. Poster, Boston University Conference on Language Development, November, Boston, MA.


Smith, L.B., Jones, S.S., Landau, B., Gershkoff-Stowe, L., & Samuelson, L. (2002) Object name learning provides on-the-job training for attention. Psychological Science. 13(1), 13-19.

Landau, B. (2001) Perceptual units and their mapping with language. In T. F. Shipley and P. Kellman (Eds.) From fragments to objects: Segmentation and grouping in vision. Advances in Psychology Series, Elsevier Publishing.

Landau, B. & Shipley, E. (2001) Labelling patterns and object naming. Developmental Science, 4(1), 109-118.

Landau, B. and Leyton, M. (1999) Perception, object kind, and object naming
.  Spatial Cognition and Computation.

Landau, B., Smith, L., & Jones, S. (1998)  Object perception and object naming in early   development.  Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2(1), 19 24.

Landau, B., Smith, L., & Jones, S. (1997) Object shape, object function, and object name. Journal of Memory and Language, 36(1): 1-27.

Smith, L., Jones, S., & Landau, B. (1996). Naming in young children: A dumb attentional mechanism? Cognition, 60(2), 143-171.

Landau, B. (1994). Object shape, object name, and object kind: Representation and development. In D. L. Medin (Ed.), The psychology of learning and motivation, Vol. 31. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.


Landau, B. (1994). Where's what and what's where? The language of objects in space. In L. R. Gleitman & B. Landau (Eds.), Acquisition of the lexicon. Special Issue, Lingua, 92, 259-296. Reprinted by Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Landau, B., Jones, S., & Landau, B. (1992). Perception, ontology, and naming in young children: Commentary on Soja, Carey, & Spelke. Cognition, 43, 85-91

Landau, B., Smith, L., & Jones, S. (1992). Syntactic context and the shape bias in children's and adults' lexical learning. Journal of Memory and Language, 31.

Landau, B. & Stecker, D. (1990). Objects and places: Geometric and syntactic representation in early lexical learning. Cognitive Development, 5, 287-312.

Landau, B., Smith, L. B., & Jones, S. (1988). The importance of shape in early lexical learning. Cognitive Development, 3, 299-321.

D. On the Acquisition and Representation of Spatial Terms:

Munnich, E.,, Landau, B., & Dosher, B. (2001) Spatial language and spatial representation: A cross-linguistic comparison. Cognition, 81, 171-207.

Lakusta, L. and Landau, B. (2005) Starting at the end: The importance of goals in spatial language. Cognition. 96 (1), 1-33.

Landau, B. and Hoffman, J.E. (2005) Parallels between spatial cognition and spatial language: Evidence from Williams syndrome. Journal of Memory and Language. 53 (2) 163-185.

Kim, M., Landau, B., & Phillips, C. (1999)  Cross-linguistic differences in children's syntax for locative verbs. In A. Stringfellow (Ed.),  Proceedings of the Boston University Conference on Language Development, Vol. 23.  Brookline, Mass: Cascadilla Press

Landau, B. (1996). Multiple geometric representations of objects in languages and language learners. In P. Bloom, M. Peterson, L. Nadel, & M. Garrett (Eds.), Language and
space. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Landau, B., & Jackendoff, R. (1993). "What" and "where" in spatial language and spatial cognition. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 16(2), 217-238, 255-265.


Courses


Contact Information

e-mail: landau@cogsci.jhu.edu
Phone: (410) 516-5255
Fax: 410-516-8020
Office: 241A Krieger Hall
Lab: 234 Krieger Hall; (410)516-4087/6843

Lab Manager: Whitney Street (street@cogsci.jhu.edu)
  
Mailing address:
 Department of Cognitive Science
Johns Hopkins University
237 Krieger Hall
3400 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21218-2685


 


Cognitive Science Department
Johns Hopkins University
Room 237 Krieger Hall
3400 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
Telephone: 410-516-5250
Fax: 410-516-8020

Home | About the Department | Contact Info People | Research | IGERT Fellowships 
PhD Program | Undergraduate Program | Courses | Events | Department Members' Resources

 © The Johns Hopkins University. All rights reserved.