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?
My work aims to get at these questions through behavioral studies of human infants, and is also deeply informed by tools and theories from computational cognitive science. My research is funded by the Center for Brains, Minds and Machines and the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program.
These electronic articles are posted for individual,
Liu, S., Ullman, T. D., Tenenbaum, J. B., & Spelke, E. S. (under review). Dangerous ground: Thirteen-month-old infants are sensitive to peril in other people’s actions. [pdf]
Liu, S., Brooks, N. B., & Spelke, E. S. (2019). Origins of the concepts cause, cost, and goal in prereaching infants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(36), 17747-17752
Liu, S., Cushman, F. A., Gershman, S. J., Kool, W., & Spelke, E. S. (2019). Hard choices: Children’s understanding of the cost of action selection. Proceedings of the 41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. [pdf]
Liu, S., McCoy, J. P., & Ullman, T. D. (2019). People's perception of others' risk preferences. Proceedings of the 41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. [pdf]
Liu, S., Gonzalez, G.*, & Warneken, F. (2018). Worth the wait: Children trade off delay and reward in self- and other-benefiting decisions. Developmental Science, e12702. doi:10.1111/desc.12702 [pdf] [osf] [supplement]
Liu, S., Ullman, T. D., Tenenbaum, J. B., & Spelke, E. S. (2017). What's worth the effort: Ten-month-old infants infer the value of goals from the costs of actions. Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. [pdf]
Parkinson, C., Liu, S., & Wheatley, T. (2014). A common cortical metric for spatial, temporal, and social distance. The Journal of Neuroscience, 34(5), 1979-1987. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.2159-13.2014 [pdf]