Skip to main content

Megan Saylor

Associate Professor of Psychology and Human Development
Member, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development

Dr. Saylor's research focuses on how children learn about language and the mind. In recent studies she has focused on the intersection between language and representation. In particular, she asks how weak versus strong representations affect language comprehension during infancy. In other research she asks how infants and children use information about others' minds (what they know and want) to figure out what they mean when they use novel words or ask for absent things. In other research she studies what adults and preschoolers understand about the minds of computers and robots.

Representative Publications

  • Ganea, P. & Saylor, M. M. (in press). Talking about the near and dear: Infants' comprehension of displaced speech. Developmental Psychology.
  • Ganea P. & Saylor, M. M.* (in press). Cognitive constraints on language development: Thinking and learning about absent things. Child Development Perspectives *Authorship is Alphabetical
  • Osina, M., Saylor, M. M., Ganea, P. (in press). Object individuation, memory, and language understanding at 12 months. Infancy
  • Osina, M. A., Saylor, M. M., & Ganea, P. (2013). When familiar is not better: 12-month- old infants respond to talk about absent objects. Developmental Psychology.
  • Herberg, J. S., Levin D. T., Saylor, M. M. (2012). Social audiences can disrupt learning by teaching. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 48(1), 213-219.
  • Vázquez, M. D., Delisle, S. & Saylor, M. M. (2012). Children use others’ conversational competence to guide learning of words. Journal of Child Language, 1(1), 1-16.
  • Killingsworth, S., Saylor, M. M., & Levin, D. T. (2011). Analyzing action for agents with varying cognitive capacities. Social Cognition, 29, 56-73.
  • Saylor, M. M., Ganea, P, & Vazquez, M. D. (2011). What’s mine is mine: Twelve-month-olds use possessive pronouns to identify referents. Developmental Science, 14, 859-864.
  • Somanader, M. C.  Saylor, M. M., & Levin, D. T. (2011). Remote control and children’s understanding of robots. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 109, 239-247.
  • Saylor, M. M., Sabbagh, M. A., Fortuna, A. & Troseth, G. (2009). Preschoolers use speakers’ preferences to learn words. Cognitive Development, 5, 125-132.
  • Saylor, M. M., & Carroll, C. B. (2008). Direct and Indirect cues to knowledge states during word learning. Journal of Child Language, 35, 1-11,
  • Herberg, J., Saylor, M. M., Levin, D. T., Ratanswasd, P., & Wilkes, D. M. (2008).  Audience-contingent variation in action demonstrations for humans and computers. Cognitive Science, 32, 1-19.
  • Saylor, M. M., Baldwin, D. A., Baird, J. A., & LaBounty, J. (2007). Infants' on-line segmentation of dynamic human action. Journal of Cognition and Development, 8, 113-128.
  • Saylor, M. M., & Ganea, P. (2007). Infants interpret ambiguous requests for absent objects. Developmental Psychology, 43, 696-704
  • Saylor, M. M. (2004). 12- and 16-month-old infants recognize properties of mentioned absent things. Developmental Science, 7, 599-611.
  • Saylor, M. M., & Sabbagh, M. A. (2004). Different kinds of information affect word learning in the preschool years: The case of part-term learning. Child   Development,75, 395-408.
  • Saylor, M. M., Sabbagh, M. A., & Baldwin, D. A. (2002). Children use whole-part juxtaposition as a pragmatic cue to word meaning. Developmental Psychology, 38, 993-1003.