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Sarah Wiesen

Graduate Student
Research Area: Developmental Science


Reaching, grasping, and object exploration during infancy

I'm interested in how facilitating early reaching experience affects various areas of infants’ perception, both immediately as well as later in development. I'm currently investigating what it is about the sticky mittens early motor intervention that encourages three-month-old infants' object exploration skills. I'm also exploring how postural experience influences infants' reaching, grasping, and interest in toys. 

Lab Website

Representative Publications

Publications

Wiesen, S. E., & Ashmead, D. H. (Submitted). Human Infancy. In E. Braaten (Ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Intellectual and Developmental Disorders. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Wiesen, S.E., Watkins, R. M., & Needham, A. (2015). Active Motor Training has Long-term Effects on Infants’ Object Exploration. In review.

Needham, A., Wiesen, S. E., Gibson, J.N., Libertus, K., Tsolo, M. & Christopher, C. (2015). Increases in object exploration after brief sticky mittens experience: Effects of active object movement and intersensory redundancy. In review.

Needham, A., Goldstone, R.L., & Wiesen, S.E. (2014). Learning after brief experience in 10-month-old infants. Cognitive Science, 38(7), 1507-1519.

Needham, A., Joh, A. S., & Wiesen, S.E. (2014). Effects of contingent reinforcement of actions on infants' object-directed reaching, Infancy, 19(5), 496-517.

Reynolds, E., Wiesen, S.E., & Needham, A. (2013). The role of comparison in infant problem solving when using a spoon. Young Scientist, 4, 56-58.

Presentations

Wiesen, S. E., & Needham, A. (2015, October). Benefits of extensive versus brief active mittens training. Poster presented at the Cognitive Development Society conference, in Columbus, OH.

Wiesen, S. E., & Needham, A. (2015, October). Benefits of extensive versus brief active mittens training. Poster presented at Tennessee Psychological Association convention, in Nashville, TN.

Wiesen, S. E., & Needham, A. (2015, September). Benefits of extensive versus brief active mittens training. Poster presented at Vanderbilt University Kennedy Center Science Day, in Nashville, TN.

 Wiesen, S. E., Watkins, R., & Needham, A. (2015, March 21). Experience with sticky mittens has long-term effects on object exploration. In K. West (Chair), Many moving parts: Examining the role of motor ability in cognitive development. Symposium conducted at the meeting of Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, PA.

Wiesen, S.E., Watkins, R., & Needham, A. (2014, October). Experience with sticky mittens has long-term effects on object exploration. Poster presented at the Tennessee Psychological Association Convention in Nashville, TN.          

Wiesen, S.E., Needham, A., & Hirtle, J.A. (2014, July). Sticky mittens reaching intervention affects infants’ looking preferences. Presented at the International Conference on Infant Studies in Berlin, Germany.

Wiesen, S.E., Needham, A., & Hirtle, J.A. (2013). Sticky mittens reaching intervention affects infants’ looking preferences. Presented at the Tennessee Psychological Association Convention in Nashville, TN.                                  

Reynolds, E., Wiesen, S.E., Reiss, C. & Needham, A (2013). The role of comparison in infant problem solving when using a spoon.  Presented at a poster session for high school students organized by the Vanderbilt Center For Science Outreach in Nashville, TN.

Needham, A., Joh, A., Wiesen, S.E., & Williams, N. Action-specific experience affects young infants’ reaching (2013). Presented at the Society for Research in Child Development in Seattle, WA.                          

Needham, A., Joh, A., Wiesen, S.E., & Williams, N. Action-specific experience affects young infants’ reaching (2013). Presented at Kennedy Center Science Day at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.

Needham, A., Joh, A., Wiesen, S.E., & Williams, N. Action-specific experience affects young infants’ reaching (2012). Presented at the Tennessee Psychological Association Convention in Nashville, TN.                                  


Honors

  • 2014 Outstanding contribution to strengthening scientific literacy at Wright Middle School, Scientist in the Classroom, Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach
  • 2014-2015 Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND), Trainee, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center
  • 2014 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program                                            
  • 2013 Third prize, graduate student poster session, Tennessee Psychological Association Convention in Nashville, TN                
  • 2013 Graduate award winner in clinical, behavioral, and intervention research, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Science Day at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.           
  • 2012 First prize, graduate student poster session, Tennessee Psychological Association Convention in Nashville, TN