Ryan Cannistraci

I study:My expertise is in speech perception and language development. One of the first language learning challenges infants face is to learn how the sound categories of their native language(s) are used contrastively, that is, to convey meaning. I have studied infants’ speech perception using ecologically relevant audiovisual speech from talking faces as well as prosodic cues such as pitch contours found in tonal languages like Mandarin Chinese. Infants’ early perceptual learning is an important area of study since the formation of these perceptual categories scaffolds later language abilities, such as speech production (i.e., babbling) and word learning.”

This fall I’m teaching:Quantitative Methods in Psychology and Lifespan Development I”

What students can expect from me: “We will focus on how biological, social, and psychological factors interact in meaningful ways to facilitate an individual’s emergent development across the lifespan.” 

I’m excited to be here because: “I am most excited about being on campus and interacting with the students face-to-face. In my Quantitative Methods classes, I am looking forward to teaching the fundamentals of the research designs and analyses used in psychological research to bolster the students’ scientific literacy in the rest of their coursework and in their future careers. In Lifespan Development, I am excited for the students to consider how developmental change is integral to our human experience.”

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At Lafayette, psychology majors examine behavior, thinking, emotions, and physiological processes. The department courses encompass experimental fields, such as learning, cognition, and physiological psychology.

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