Current Lab Members

Marjorie Rhodes

MARJORIE RHODES
Associate Professor of Psychology
Website: http://www.psych.nyu.edu/rhodes
Email: marjorie dot rhodes at nyu dot edu
CV: click here

My research examines conceptual development and the development of social cognition. In conceptual development, my work focuses on categorization: How do children categorize different kinds of objects? Does category structure vary by domain? How do children use categories to guide their inferences and behavior? How does information about within-category variability influence individuals' concepts? In the development of social cognition, my work examines how children categorize people, as well as the implication of social categories for children's behavior, social inference, and moral cognition.

EMILY FOSTER-HANSON
Graduate Student
Email: emily dot fosterhanson at nyu dot edu

As a graduate student in the lab, my research focuses on how category reasoning is shaped by cultural input. I am particularly interested in how the language we use to talk about things leads children to think about the world in different ways. When I have time, I enjoy hiking with my dog and spending time with my family and friends.

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KELSEY MOTY
Graduate Student
Email: moty at nyu dot edu

I am currently a graduate student within the CDSC lab. Before NYU, I received my B.A. in Psychology and Linguistics (with a minor in Polish Lang/Lit) from UC Berkeley, then worked as a pre-doctoral research associate within the psychology department at Lehigh University. My research explores how kids learn about categories: how does the language kids hear influence the way they think about categories; how do kids consolidate what they hear about categories versus what they see when the two sources conflict; and what kinds of inferences do kids make about categories based on incomplete or ambiguous information. 

TARA MANDALAYWALA
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Email: tmandalaywala at nyu dot edu
CV: click here

I am currently a postdoctoral fellow in the CDSC. My research takes a comparative approach to investigating the effects of experience on the development of social cognition and behavior in human and non-human primates. After studying lemurs and monkeys in college and graduate school, my work in the CDSC will examine whether racial identity mediates acute stress responses to social categories in human children. In my free time, I love to travel and explore new places.

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RYAN LEI
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

I am currently a postdoctoral fellow in the CDSC. My research takes an intersectional approach at examining processes of stereotyping and prejudice. Specifically, I examine how social biases such as racism differ depending on whether prototypical (e.g., male) or non-prototypical (e.g., female) members are being evaluated. With the CDSC, I plan to examine how these processes emerge developmentally and what factors influence potential shifts along the developmental trajectory.

KATHRYN YEE
Lab Manager
Email: kathryn dot yee at nyu dot edu

 After receiving my BA in psychology at NYU, I worked in marketing and later provided educational and mentoring services to at-risk adolescents before joining the CDSC Lab as lab manager. Though I coordinate various research projects, my primary work examines how subtle linguistic cues affect children's motivation in science. In addition to CDSC, I conduct research in Dr. Maureen Craig's lab, where we study how adults' social attitudes and behavior change in response to diversity. More broadly, I am interested in investigating how concepts of identity develop and the mechanisms by which they contribute to behavior and social evaluation.

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RACHEL LESHIN
Research Coordinator

As a research assistant at CDSC, I help coordinate and administer a range of studies. I developed my passion for developmental psychology as an undergraduate at Northwestern, where I conducted independent research on implicit racial bias in preschoolers. After graduating in 2015, I taught at a high school in the Bronx, and I'm now thrilled to be back in the world of research; specifically, I'm excited to delve deeper into the psychological phenomena of stereotyping, prejudice, and bias. Outside of CDSC, I can be found lab-managing at the Cognitive Development Lab down the hall, searching for my next delicious meal, or listening to a new podcast. 

EMMY GREEN
Research Staff
Email: erg280 at nyu dot edu

I am currently working as a research assistant in the lab, running studies at pre-k centers and after school programs. I also help process and transfer data from a variety of different studies. I graduated from NYU with a BA in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work. When I'm not in the lab or at a data-collection site, I'm working on a different project that examines the impact of poverty on Hispanic children and families. I am most interested in developmental research that investigates how children reason about social groups and the effect of language on children's motivation in science. 

KAAJAL SAGAR
Research Assistant

I am currently an undergraduate at NYU studying Psychology and double-minoring in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies and Business. Many of my past jobs have involved working with children in a variety of settings, and this work has made me more interested in their development and how they learn to perceive the world. I hope to explore how children form gender and racial stereotypes, and in the future, I want to pursue my Ph.D. in clinical psychology. In my free time I enjoy finding new spots in NYC, doing yoga, and drinking lots of coffee. 

RIHAB MAHMOOD
Research Assistant

I am currently an undergraduate at NYU studying an interesting mix of Psychology, Computer Science, Politics, and South Asian Studies. I am particularly interested in the development of internalized racism or social attitudes- and particularly what happens at a child’s developing age that causes these prejudices and stereotypes. I am also interested in learning about how children make sense of the social world around them and at what point they feel they understand social constructs. 

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MEREDITH MANNIX
Research Assistant

I am currently an undergraduate studying Psychology with a minor in Mandarin.  I have worked closely with children in both academic and recreational settings for many years, being both a tutor as well as a gymnastics coach.  My interests lie in how children take information from their environments, peers, and authorities and create their own opinions and world views.  In the future, I hope to attend medical school and become a pediatric physician who is cognizant of both physical ailments as well as how these medical circumstances affect children and their families.  In my free time, I enjoy coaching gymnastics, hanging out with my dog, Pegi, and doing DIY projects.  

RASHEL REIZIN
Research Assistant

I am currently an undergraduate studying Neuroscience and Psychology with a minor in Business and liberal arts.  I teach at the New York Preschool of the Arts and am fascinated by the way my students view the world around them.  In the future, I hope to pursue my Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology.  In my free time, I like to do yoga, spend time with friends and family, and come up with creative lesson plans for my preschoolers! 

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DARYL OCAMPO
Research Assistant

I am an undergraduate at the NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a working concentration of Cognitive Development. My concentration combines aspects of cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy to explore how we develop our minds and the way we think and the thoughts we think. After exposure to developmental courses in psychology and cognitive neuroscience, I realized that I wanted to focus my study of the mind and the brain on children. In my free time, I enjoy taking scenic photos and exploring hidden gems in the city. I am also a big geek who enjoys sci-fi movies, fantasy novels, and anime.

MAGNOLIA BYRNE
Research Assistant

I am currently an undergraduate double majoring in Psychology and Biology. I have worked closely with children throughout the years as a tutor, book club leader, and as a volunteer at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth Texas. In the future, I hope to attend medical school and become a pediatric surgeon. When not working or studying; I love to read, run, hang out with my friends, and discover new music.

MEENA JAIN
Research Assistant

I am currently an undergraduate at NYU studying a mix of computer science, neural science, and psychology with a minor in dance. I spent a couple of years working closely with children in a dance classroom setting and it was a joy seeing them learn. I am interested in their developmental process and associated behaviors. I hope to learn more about children and how they see the many mysteries of the world. In the future, I hope to attend medical school. In my free time I enjoy board games, Legos, dancing, and movies.

PAUL SPANO
Research Assistant

I am an undergraduate at NYU interested in both developmental and clinical psychology. Broadly speaking, I am interested in the way in which a child will incorporate novel, challenging stimuli into preexisting categories. Is there an age at which some of these categories are cemented? Also fascinating is the way in which a child copes with the resulting cognitive dissonance. My goal is to eventually be in a position to treat and advocate for youths and their mental health. In my free time, I enjoy horror movies, being outdoors, and reading!

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GABRIELA MEMBA
Research Assistant

I am an undergraduate at  NYU studying psychology at the College of Arts and Sciences. In the past, I have done research with various topics such as autism, interpersonal dynamics, and behavioral genetics. I am currently interested in studying how family and peer relationships can mediate the effects of trauma in children. I am also especially interested in how culture and upbringing interact with mental health. After undergrad, I plan to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology. In my free time I enjoy reading, hanging out with friends, and looking at dog pictures!

 

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SARAH MOCHKIN
Research Assistant

My interest in developmental and cognitive psychology developed over my six years of teaching preschool and through volunteering as a research assistant. I am interested in how young children develop their understanding of their social and physical worlds and how their comprehension evolves as they mature. I graduated with a B.A. in psychology from Brooklyn College and continue to teach at Preschool of the Arts, combining theory and practice. In my free time, I enjoy painting, making flower crowns, and spending time with family and friends.