Assistant Professor

Ph.D., University of Arizona



Dr. Lany studies early cognitive development, with a focus on how infant and children learn language. Very young infants are adept at learning statistical regularities, such as sequential structure and correlations between stimulus dimensions in novel artificial languages. However, little is known about how performance on these laboratory tasks relates to real world language development. Moreover, statistical learning is itself poorly specified. Dr. Lany’s current research addresses questions such as “What role does statistical learning play in language development?”, “What are the underpinnings of infants’ statistical learning ability?”, and “How does language input affect the mechanisms that support language learning?”.  Her research is supported by a NSF CAREER grant.

Recent Publications:

Lany, J. (in press). Judging words by their covers and the company they keep: Probabilistic cues support word learning. Child Development.

Lany, J., & Saffran, J.R. (2013) Statistical learning and language acquisition in infancy. In J.L.R. Rubenstein and P. Rakic (Eds). Comprehensive Developmental Neuroscience.  

Lany, J., & Gomez, R.L. (2012). Probabilistically-cued patterns trump perfect cues in statistical language learning. Language Learning and Development, 9, 66-87. 

Lany, J., & Saffran, J.R. (2011). Interactions between statistical and semantic information in infant language development. Developmental Science, 14, 1207-121.

Lany, J., & Saffran, J.R. (2010). From Statistics to Meanings: Infants’ Acquisition of Lexical Categories. Psychological Science, 21, 284-291.

Lany, J., & Gomez, R.L. (2008). 12-Month-Olds Benefit from Prior Experience in Statistical Learning. Psychological Science, 19, 1274-1252.

Lany, J., & Gomez, R.L., & Gerken, L.A. (2007). The role of prior experience in language acquisition.  Cognitive Science. 31, 481-507.

Infant Studies Lab:

View Curriculum Vitae (PDF)


Contact Information

Office:  118C Haggar

Notre Dame, Indiana 46556

Phone:  574-631-4524