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Sarah C. Kucker, PhD

Assistant Professor

Office: Clow Faculty 23

Phone: (920) 424-7175

Email: kuckers@uwosh.edu

 

  • B.S. (Psychology) & B.A. (Philosophy), Drake University (Des Moines, IA) - 2008
  • M.A. (Psychology), The University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA) - 2011
  • Ph.D. (Psychology, Developmental Science focus), The University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA) - 2013
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Callier Center for Communication Sciences and Disorders & the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, The University of Texas at Dallas (Dallas, TX) - 2013-2016

 

My program of research takes an experimental approach to examining the factors that influence learning and the structure of knowledge that results, especially in the case of language development. Specifically, I take a dynamic systems perspective to studying development which emphasizes the interaction of multiple factors and change over time. For instance, I examine how a child’s own biases toward novelty shape how they interact with novel objects, and such familiarity and exploration of an item in turn changes how they learn a new label for that object. As a child’s vocabulary grows, so do the roles of context/environment, competition, temperament, stimuli characteristics, and prior experience. More recently, I have begun to look at this same word learning processes in children with language delays with a focus on their understanding of the semantics or meaning of both known and novel words.

Currently teaching: Developmental Psychology

 

Recent Publications

  • Samuelson, L.K., Kucker, S.C., & Spencer, J. (2016). Moving word learning to a novel space: A dynamic systems view of referent selection and retention. Cognitive Science, epub ahead of print. doi: 10.1111/cogs.12369
  • Kucker, S.C., McMurray, B., & Samuelson, L.K. (2015). Slowing down fast mapping: Redefining the dynamics of word learning. Child Development Perspectives, 9(2), 74-78.
  • McMurray, B., Zhao, L., Kucker, S.C., & Samuelson, L.K. (2013). Pushing the envelope of associative learning: Internal representations and dynamic competition transform association into development. Invited chapter for L. Gogate and G. Hollich (Eds). Theoretical and Computational Models of Word Learning: Trends in Psychology and Artificial Intelligence. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
  • Kucker, S.C., & Samuelson, L.K. (2012). The first slow step: Differential effects of object and word-form familiarization on retention of fast-mapped words. Infancy, 17(3), 295-232.
  • Horst, J.S., Samuelson, L.K., Kucker, S.C., & McMurray, B. (2011). What’s new? Children prefer novelty in referent selection. Cognition, 118(2), 234-244.


Recent Conference Presentations

  • Kucker, S.C. (2016, June). Semantic-conceptual information in the vocabularies of children with SLI. Poster session presented at the Society for Research on Children with Language Disorders, Madison, WI.
  • Kucker, S.C., McMurray, B., & Samuelson, L.K. (2015, June). Optimizing ambiguity: Word learning from uncertainty in vocabulary knowledge. Paper session presented at the 45th Annual Meeting of the Jean Piaget Society, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • Kucker, S.C., McMurray, B. & Samuelson, L.K. (2015, June). Measuring real-time change in word learning. Poster session presented at the International Conference on Interdisciplinary Advances in Statistical Learning, San Sebastian, Spain.
  • Kucker, S.C., McMurray, B., & Samuelson, L.K. (2015, March). Word learning from uncertainty in vocabulary knowledge. In Kucker, S.C. (Chair). From initial exposure to retention: The impact of non-linguistic and linguistic factors on word learning. Paper symposium presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Kucker, S.C., McMurray, B., & Samuelson, L.K. (2014, November). When attending is not learning: The role of novelty in word learning in both 18-month-old children and computational models. Poster session presented at “The Science of Learning” pre-conference for the 2014 International Mind Brain and Education Society Conference, Fort Worth, Texas.
  • Kucker, S.C., Samuelson, L.K., & McMurray, B. (2013, November). When attending is not learning: The role of novelty in word learning in both 18-month-old children and computational models. Poster session presented at the Learning to Attend, Attending to Learn: Neurological, Behavioral, and Computational perspectives workshop, San Diego, California.
  • Kucker, S.C., Samuelson, L.K., & McMurray, B. (2013, April). The benefit and detriment of novelty in word learning. In Kucker, S.C. (Chair). The role of novelty in categorization and word learning. Paper symposium presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, Washington.
  • Kucker, S.C., Samuelson, L.K., & Spencer, J.S. (2013, April). When less structure can help: Fast mapping names for nonsolid substances. Poster session presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, Washington.
  • Kucker, S.C., Samuelson, L.K., & McMurray, B. (2012, June). Word knowledge and vocabulary experience: Referent selection and retention in fast-mapping. In Kucker, S.C., Samuelson, L.K., & McMurray, B. (Chairs). Integrating fast-mapping into the process of word learning. Paper symposium presented at the 18th Biennial International Conference in Infant Studies, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • Kucker, S.C., & Samuelson, L.K. (2012, June). When less structure in language can help: Fast mapping non-solid substances. Poster session presented at the 18th Biennial International Conference in Infant Studies, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • Kucker, S.C., Samuelson, L.K., & Spencer, J.P. (2012, May). When less structure in language can help: Fast mapping non-solid substances. Poster session presented at the 42nd Annual Jean Piaget Society Conference, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • Kucker, S.C., & Samuelson, L.K. (2012, March). When less structure in language can help: Learning names for non-solid substances. Poster session presented at the 14th Annual James F. Jakobsen Conference, Iowa City, Iowa.
  • Kucker, S.C., & Samuelson, L.K. (2011, October). Structure, or lack thereof, in children’s word learning: Fast-mapping names for non-solid substances. Poster session presented at the biennial meeting of the Cognitive Development Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Kucker, S.C., & Samuelson, L.K. (2011, July). Familiarity of objects and domain knowledge in retention of newly fast-mapped words. In Rohlfing, K. & Nachtigaller, K. Factors influencing retention of newly learned words. Paper symposium presented at the 12th International Congress for the Study of Child Language in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
  • Kucker, S.C., & Samuelson, L.K. (2010, August). Visual and auditory familiarization differentially boost retention in fast-mapping. Paper presented at the 32nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Portland, Oregon.
  • Kucker, S.C., & Samuelson, L.K. (2010, March). Boosting mapping and retention in fast-mapping. In Samuelson, L.S. & Kucker, S.C. (Chairs). The interaction of auditory and visual information in early word and category learning. Paper symposium presented at the 17th Biennial International Conference in Infant Studies, Baltimore, Maryland.
  • Kucker, S.C., & Samuelson, L.K. (2009, October). Familiarization boosts retention in fast-mapping. Poster session presented at the biennial meeting of the Cognitive Development Society, San Antonio, Texas.

by Miron, Anca M last modified Aug 22, 2016 10:06 AM
2016 Fall Colloquium Series

Oct 14th from 1:00-2:30 in Clow 240

Demi Schwingle - Stereotype Threat and its Effect on Women's Career Choices

Amy Schlueter - Promotion of Other-Oriented Helping Behavior Towards a Target with Dementia: Using Perspective Taking to Enhance Empathic Concern and Reduce Pity

 


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