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Personal profile


To view Professor Samuelson's CV please click here.

To visit the Developmental Dynamics Laboratory Webpage please click here.

Key Research Interests

Professor Samuelson's research examines processes of cognitive development with a focus on early word and category learning and incorporates neural network and dynamic neural field models. 


Larissa Samuelson joined the School of Psychology as a professor in 2015. She received a BS with honors from Indiana University in 1993 and a joint Ph.D. in Psychology and Cognitive Science from Indiana University in 2000. From 2000-2015 she was in the Psychology Department at the University of Iowa. In 2010 Larissa received the American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology in the area of developmental psychology. She has had continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health since 2004 and is an affiliate of the DeLTA Center.

Indicative Publications

Bhat. A.A., Spencer, J.P., & Samuelson, L.K. (2021). Word-Object Learning via Visual Exploration in Space: A Neural Process Model of Cross-Situational Word Learning. Psychological Review.

Samuelson, L.K., (2021). Towards a Precision Science of Word Learning: Understanding Individual Vocabulary Pathways. Child Development Perspectives, 15 (2) 117-124.

Kucker, S.C., McMurray, B. & Samuelson, L.K. (2020). Sometimes it is better to know less: How known words influence referent selection and retention in 18 to 24-month-old children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 189.

Perone, S., Plebanek, D., Lorenz, M.G., Spencer, J.P., & Samuelson, L. K., (2019). Empirical tests of a brain-based model of executive function development. Child Development, 90(1) 210-226.

Samuelson, L.K., & McMurray, B. (2016). What does it take to learn a word? WIREs Cognitive Science, doi: 10.1002/wcs.1421


Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Indiana University

30 Aug 19931 Aug 2000

Award Date: 8 Jan 2000


  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Development
  • Language development
  • Computational Models
  • Dynamic Systems Theory
  • Perceptual Development
  • Word Learning
  • Categorization


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