Shari Liu

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dept Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT

curriculum vitae // short bio // request a rec letter

Every day, we look out into the world and see scenes of people in motion, and make sense of these scenes by appealing to their underlying causes. We appreciate the mental lives of others, including their desires, percepts, and beliefs, and we also see these actors as solid bodies, who can exert forces and navigate themselves through a physical world. How do our minds get so much meaning from this input, and how we grow to this knowledge over development?

I am currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Saxelab at MIT. Prior to this, I was a graduate student at the Lab For Developmental Studies at Harvard.

Starting in July 2023, I will be an Assistant Professor in the Psychological and Brain Sciences Department at Johns Hopkins. I will not be recruiting this cycle (2021-2022). My lab will investigate the origins of intelligence in the minds and brains of infants, children, and adults.

I am committed to making science more open (transparent, reproducible, and inclusive). Part of this commitment is providing high-quality mentorship to students from all backgrounds. As a first-generation immigrant to the US who stumbled into science, I am aware that without supportive mentors, and a great deal of personal development, I would have stumbled out. Here is a working draft of my mentorship philosophy.


Sep 11, 2021 New working paper on automatic gaze coding. Check it out!
Jul 1, 2021 It’s official - Shari will be starting a lab in July 2023 at Johns Hopkins!
Aug 20, 2020 New blog posts about testing babies online, Part 1 and Part 2.

selected publications

  1. PNAS
    Origins of the concepts cause, cost, and goal in prereaching infants
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 2019
  2. working paper
    iCatcher+: Robust and automatic gaze classification of infant webcam videos
    Cao, P., Tan, X., Scott, K. M., and Liu, S.