Listen: Psychologist Stella Christie on Development of Language and Thought

Assistant Professor of Psychology Stella Christie recently delivered a lecture, "With and Without Words: Development of Language and Thought," as part of the Second Tuesday Social Sciences Cafe series.

Language pervades our life, yet there are times when language is absent from our life and periods when we barely use and acquire language. What does the mind look like when language is absent? How does acquiring language change our thoughts? In this talk, Christie describes what we know of the state of the mind without language and how we came to know it. She also discusses the role of language in structuring our mental lives, including precisely how learning language impacts cognition. 

Christie studies cognitive development and her research examines how the mind acquires knowledge through analogy and comparison, the effects of language on cognition in development, and cross-linguistics and multilingual acquisition. Christie runs the Cognition and Development Lab at Swarthmore, where she and her students research how infants and children acquire concepts and language and how language development shapes children's learning about the world. 

Sponsored by the Aydelotte Foundation, Second Tuesday Social Sciences Cafes are monthly events that encourage faculty and staff to come together for a light lunch and learning. The 2014-15 series features presentations by faculty members on topics ranging from the economics of MOOCs to motivation. Events are geared for individuals with no formal background in the social sciences. The only requirement is curiosity.