35 Beebe Hall
Marianella Casasola earned her undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Spanish Literature from the University of California, Berkeley. She earned her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Her expertise is in infant cognitive development and early word learning with a particular interest in the interaction between thought and language during the first years of development. Along with her students, she examines various aspects of early cognitive and linguistic development, but is especially interested in the emergence of spatial concepts, the early acquisition of spatial language, and the interplay between spatial cognition and spatial language in infants and young children.
My students and I examine various aspects of cognitive development and language learning in infants and young children. I am particularly interested in the interaction between cognition and language from infancy into early childhood. Much of my work has focused on the early development of spatial skills, the acquisition of spatial language, and links and causal relations across these two domains.
Our research team seeks to develop new methodological approaches that can
In more recent work in collaboration with Kimberly Kopko, we examine parental beliefs of young children's learning and to link these beliefs with parents' language input to their children during play.
In other work, my students and I have
Casasola, M., Wei, W., Suh, D., Donskoy, P., & Ransom, A. (in press). Children’s exposure to spatial language promotes their spatial skill. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. doi:10.1037/xge0000699
Casasola, M., &
Casasola, M., Bhagwat, J., Doan, S. & Love, H. (2017). Getting some space: Infants’ and caregivers’ containment and support constructions during play. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 159, 110-128.
Park, Y., & Casasola, M. (2017). The impact of
Vredenburgh, C., Kushnir, T., & Casasola, M. (2015). Pedagogical cues encourage toddlers’ transmission of recently
Chen, J., Meng, X.Z., Zhu, L.Q., Casasola, M. & Tardif, T. (2015). English- and Mandarin-learning infants’ discrimination of actions and objects in dynamic events. Developmental Psychology. http://dx/doi.org/10.1037/a0039474
Casasola, M., & Park, Y. (2013). Developmental changes in infant spatial categorization: When more is better and less is enough. Child Development, 84, 1004-1019.
Casasola, M., Bhagwat, J., & Burke, A. S. (2009). Learning to form a spatial category of tight-fit relations: How experience with a label can give a boost. Developmental Psychology, 45, 711-723.
Casasola, M., Cohen, L.B., & Chiarello, E. (2003). Six-month-old infants’ categorization of containment spatial relations. Child Development, 74, 679-693.
Board member, International Congress on Infant Studies
Editorial Board, Journal of Cognition and Development
My research integrates outreach and public engagement with the studies we conduct. As a former Faculty Fellow with the Brofenbrenner Center for Translational Research, I developed important partnerships with Cornell Cooperative Extension to explore ways to expand our study of early spatial skills to more diverse samples of young children throughout NY state. Thanks to the
In my courses, I strive to help students develop their writing and critical thinking, skills which I hope will be useful regardless of their career path. For students who are undergraduate research assistants in my lab, I strive to instill a sense of excitement for the process of discovery and encourage students to use their creativity in tackling a research question.
HD 2830: Research Methods in Human Development
HD 3460: Serious Fun: The Role of Play throughout Development
HD 4380: Language and Thought throughout the Lifespan
HD4340: Seminar on Cognitive Development
HD 6310: Graduate seminar in Cognitive Development
B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1992; Psychology and Spanish
Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 2000; Developmental
Dean's Fellow for Program Development, January 2019 - present