Umay Suanda

Assistant Professor

Psychological Sciences


Ph.D., 2012. Emory University

Research Interests

  • Early communication and language development, the input and the learning environment, the dynamics of early social interactions, statistical learning, mechanisms of word learning.

Research Synopsis

The typical child lives in a sea of data: countless words, numerous objects, and many social interactions. Despite what seems like a daunting flood of information, children learn quickly and efficiently about their world. I am interested in the processes that underlie this prodigious learning. Although I have broad research interests in early cognitive, social and language development, the focus of much of my work is around how infants, toddlers, and young children learn words.



  • General Psychology I (PSYC 1100)


  • Cognitive Development Graduate Seminar (PSYC 5420)



Suanda, S. H., Barnhart, M., Smith, L. B., & Yu, C. (2019). The Signal in the noise: The visual ecology of parents’ object naming. Infancy, 24, 455-476.

Yu, C., Suanda, S. H., & Smith, L. B. (2019). Infant sustained attention but not joint attention to objects at 9 months predicts vocabulary at 12 and 15 months. Developmental Science, 22: e12735


Suanda, S.H., Smith, L.B., & Yu, C. (2016). The multisensory nature of verbal discourse in parent-toddler interactions. Developmental Neuropsychology, 41, 324-341.

Suanda, S.H., Mugwanya, N., & Namy, L.L. (2014). Cross-situational statistical word learning in young children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 126, 395-411.

Smith, L.B., Suanda, S.H., & Yu, C. (2014). The unrealized promise of infant statistical word-referent learning. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 18, 251-258.

Suanda, S.H., & Namy, L.L. (2013). Young word learner’s interpretations of words and symbolic gestures within the context of ambiguous reference. Child Development, 84, 143-153.

Umay Suanda
Contact Information
Mailing AddressUnit 1020
Office LocationBousfield 151
LinkCommunication and Development Lab