Dr. Laura Lakusta


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


Associate Professor
Montclair State University Department of Psychology
Montclair, NJ, USA

Cognitive and Language Development Lab

Click here to view Dr. Lakusta’s CV

Academic Positions

  • Associate Professor, 2014 – Present: 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

Research Areas

  • 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


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.