Dr. Laura Lakusta

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Email: LakustaL@mail.montclair.edu
Office: Dickson 247
Office Telephone: (973) 655- 7951
Lab Telephone: (973) 655- 4045              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BIO: Full-Time Professor
Montclair State University Department of Psychology
Montclair, NJ, USA

Cognitive and Language Development Lab

Click here to view Dr. Lakusta’s CV   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


  • Professor, 2018 – Present: Department of Psychology,                                               Montclair State University
  • Associate Professor, 2014 – 2018: Department of Psychology,
     Montclair State University
  • Assistant Professor, 2008 – 2013: Department of
     Psychology, Montclair State University
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, 2005 – 2008: Department of
     Psychology, Harvard University



  • Language Development
  • Conceptual Development
  • Spatial Language
  • Spatial Representations
  • Williams Syndrome



  • Ph.D, 2005: Psychological and Brain Science/Cognitive
    Science, Johns Hopkins University Developmental Psychology
  • Doctoral Thesis: Source and Goal Asymmetry in Non-Linguistic Motion Event Representations
  • M.A., 2001 Psychological and Brain Sciences, Johns
    Hopkins University
  • Master’s Thesis: Infant Category Acquisition: The First Step
  • B.A., 2000: Psychology, Lehigh University
  • Semester Abroad: Department of Psychology, University
    College of London, 1999




9/1/21 – 8/30/24
National Science Foundation, # 2052245, RUI: Servant Leadership in
Organizations: What are Its Cognitive Antecedents and How Does it Develop?
(in collaboration with Dr. Jennifer Bragger), $474,080

3/1/17 – 3/1/21
National Science Foundation, #1650861, RUI: Interactions between language
and cognition in the early acquisition of spatial language, $500,000

6/15/12 – 5/31/15
National Science Foundation, #1145762, RUI: Conceptual Foundations of
Language: Infants’ Representations of Sources and Goals in Events, $384,460

9/05 – 8/08
National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, Individual Ruth L.
Kirschstein National Research Service Award, $136,840. Scored at 1.3 percentile


PUBLICATIONS: (* denotes MSU student co-authors)

Lakusta, L., *Hussein, Y., *Wodzinski, A., Landau, B. (2021). The privileging of ‘support-from-below’ in early spatial language acquisition. Special Issue, Language and Cognition, Infant Behavior and Development. DOI: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2021.101616

Lakusta, L., *Wodzinski, A., Landau, B. (2021).  Providing support for ‘support’: Parents’ use of verbs and prepositions when describing support configurations to their children. Journal of Cognition and Development. DOI: 10.1080/15248372.2021.1908292

Lakusta, L., *Brucato, M., Landau, L. (2020). Evidence for a core representation for support in early language development. Language Learning and Development, 16(2), 180-195. DOI: 10.1080/15475441.2020.1721291

Lakusta, L., *Spinelli, D., & *Garcia, K., (2017). The relationship between pre-verbal event representations and semantic structures: The case of goal and source paths, Cognition, 174-187.

Lakusta, L. & *DiFabrizio, S., (2016). And, the Winner Is…A Visual Preference for End Points over Starting Points in Infants’ Motion Event Representations, Infancy, 1-21, DOI: 10.1111/infa.12153

Lakusta, L. &  Muentener, P., *Petrillo, L., *Mullanaphy, N., & *Muniz, L., (2016). Does making something move matter? Representations of goals and sources in causal motion events. Cognitive Science, 1-13, DOI:10.1111/cogs.12376.

Lakusta, L. &  Carey, S. (2015).Twelve-month-old infants’ encoding of goal and source Paths in agentive and non-agentive motion events. Language Learning and Development, 11(2), 152-175. DOI: 10.1080/15475441.2014.8966168

Lakusta, L. & Landau, L. (2012). Language and memory for motion events: Origins of the asymmetry between goal and source paths. Cognitive Science, 1-28, DOI: 10.1111/j.1551-6709.2011.01220.x.

Muentener, P. & Lakusta, L. (2011). The intention-to-CAUSE bias: Evidence from children’s causal language. Cognition, 119, 341-355.

O’Hearn, K., Lakusta, L., Schroer, E., Minshew, N., Luna, B. (2011). Deficits in adults with autism spectrum disorders when processing multiple objects in dynamic scenes. Autism Research, 4(2), 132-142, PMID: 21254449

Lakusta, L., Dessalegn, B., & Landau, B. (2010). Impaired geometric reorientation caused by genetic defect. PNAS, 107(7), 2813-2817. PMID: 20133673.

Landau, B. & Lakusta, L. (2009). Spatial representations across species: geometry, language, and maps. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 19, 1-8.

McRoberts, G.W., McDonough, C., & Lakusta, L. (2009). The role of verbal repetition in the development of infant speech preference from 4- to 14-months of age. Infancy, 14(2), 162-194.

Wagner, L. & Lakusta, L. (2009). Using language to navigate the infant mind. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 4(2), 177-184.

Lakusta, L., Wagner, L., OHearn, K., & Landau, B. (2007). Conceptual foundations of spatial language: Evidence for a goal bias in infants. Language Learning and Development, 3(3), 179-197.

Landau, B. & Lakusta, L. (2006). Spatial language and spatial representation: Autonomy and interaction. In M. Hickmann & S. Roberts (Eds.), Space in languages: linguistic systems and cognitive categories. Part of the Typological Studies in Language series. John Benjamin Publishers.

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