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Our Team

Our research team is made up of graduate students, undergraduate students completing theses and independent projects, and many undergraduate volunteers.


Dr. Stanka Fitneva

Lab Director

I direct the Language and Cognition Lab at Queen's University. My interests are in the development of language, communication, and social cognition. Outside the lab, you can catch me hiking, doing yoga, baking or practicing on the piano at home.


Kat Snelling

PhD Student

MA Developmental Psychology, 2021

BAH Psychology, 2018

I am in the third year of my PhD in Developmental Psychology. My research examines the role of prediction in language processing and learning.  From infancy, people make predictions while listening to speech. My research evaluates the impact of correct and incorrect predictions on language processing and word learning. One of my favourite things to do in Kingston is watching the sun set over Lake Ontario!


Anisha Imtiaz

Lab Manager

Joint Honours in Psychology and Sociology

Hi! My name is Anisha. I've just completed my third year as a joint honours student in Psychology and Sociology.  I am particularily interested in how expertise affects cognition, and the learning differences between children who are monolingual and bilingual. Outside of the lab I love fashion, baking and cooking. 

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Maya Dorantes

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Psychology Major

My name is Maya Dorantes, and I am a second-year Psychology student at Queen's University. My interest with cognitive psychology, particularly how language and cognitive processes shape and are shaped by social interactions, led me to join the Language and Cognition Lab and I am really excited to explore how developmental and cognitive aspects of language learning interact with social competence, interpersonal relationships and social contexts. Outside the lab, I am passionate about reading all kinds of books and trying out new baking recipes!


Alexandra Culbert

Honours Thesis Student

Psychology Major, History Minor

My name is Alexandra, and I am a fourth-year student majoring in psychology and minoring in history. This is my second year volunteering in the lab and I am excited to continue my work on the ongoing experiments from last year. I am particularly interested in children's word learning processes and the onset of awareness of expert knowledge. Outside of the lab I love reading, baking and listening to music.


Adelle Barksy-Moore

Honours Thesis Student

Psychology Major


Georgia Brunicke

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Psychology Major

My name is Georgia, and I am a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in psychology. This is my first year as a research assistant with the lab and I am excited to explore how children assign blame and gather information. Outside of the lab, I enjoy volunteering, listening to podcasts, spending time with friends, and going to the gym!


Yousif Al-Aboosi

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Health Sciences Major

Hello! I'm Yousif Ihsan Al-Aboosi, a third-year Health Science (Honors) student at Queen's University. My interest lies in exploring the incredible cognitive capabilities of the human brain and delving into the depths of its boundless potential. I am currently excited to be a part of the prestigious LCL lab, renowned for its groundbreaking research in language and cognitive psychology. This invaluable opportunity allows me to gain a comprehensive understanding of cognition and its applications, which align perfectly with my future career aspirations.


Ella Hands

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Psychology Major, Spanish and

Latin Studies Minor

Hi! I'm Ella, a fourth-year student majoring in Psychology and embarking on my honours thesis journey in the LCL. Initially, it was my fascination with the intricate realms of language learning and developmental psychology led me to this lab. In the current year, I am delving into the impacts of group membership on blame attribution. This marks my second year as part of the team, and I look forward to furthering my contributions alongside these hard-working individuals and brilliant minds. Beyond academics, I love to play guitar, do photography, and spend time with my golden retrievers!


Natalie Yang

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Psychology Major, French Minor

My name is Natalie and I just finished my second year majoring in Psychology & minoring in French! My research interests include developmental, social & clinical psychology, particularly in the development of children & teenagers in mental health. As a French minor, I am interested in the development & comprehension of language in children. Outside of the lab, I love dance, music & spending time with my friends :)


Madison Hyndman

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Biology and Psychology Specialization

My name is Madison, I am a third year student majoring in Biology and Psychology. This is my first year volunteering in the lab and I am excited to learn more about language acquisition and developmental psychology. Outside of the lab you can catch me hiking, reading, and enjoying music.


Dharsan Ravindran

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Computing Major

Hi my name is Dharsan! I'm currently in my fourth year of my BCMPH degree, with a specialization in Software Design. I am particularly interested in cognitive psychology to discover and learn more about cognitive structures and their interactions. Outside the lab in my free time, I enjoy watching basketball, watching T.V., and traveling.


Viswajit Kuttuva Sriganesh

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Health Sciences Major

Hello! My name is Viswajit Kuttuva Sriganesh, and I am in my second year pursuing my Bachelor of Health Sciences! I am particularly interested in the processes underlying human perception, decision-making, and particularly memory in cognitive psychology. Understanding how our minds work and how we process information like language is fascinating to me and stems from my curiosity concerning the primitive language that I speak at home. I joined this LCL lab led by Dr. Stanka Fitneva because it provides an excellent opportunity to immerse myself in cognitive psychology and gain hands-on research experience. By joining the lab, I aim to gain a deeper understanding of cognitive psychology theories while also contributing to ongoing research in this field. Outside of the lab, I have a keen interest in learning new languages and polishing my proficiency in languages such as Sourashtra, Tamil, French, and Spanish. Additionally, I hold deep interests in childhood cognitive development, neuroplasticity as well as orthopedic medicine. In the future, I plan to conduct research in these fields. Recreationally, I participate in soccer, swimming, and basketball and work as a lifeguard in the summer.

Lab Alumni

Honours Thesis Students

2023-2024: Elif Gokcek, Ella Hands, Samara Osten

2022-2023: Shiyi Bin

2021- 2022: Hannah Clark

2020-2021: Rina Gutzin, Bronwyn Bates

2019-2020: Joanna Mrowca-Migiel, Jamie Fournier, Sydney Thib

2018-2019: Alexis Winfield

2017-2018: Blake Noyes, Katherine Snelling

2016-2017: Jennifer Zhang

2015-2016: Ida Liao, Samantha Lenahan, Alexandra Macisaac

2014-2015: Peter Elliott, Katie Harper, Sandra Krause

2013-2014: Breanna Kelly, Alastair Hibberd

2012-2013: Nancy Dai

2010-2011: Amy Wainer

2009-2010: Laurel Dault, Justin Goddrad, Arielle Mida

2008-2009: Kristen Hadfield

2006-2007: Scott Ross

2005-2006: Bronwen Fullerton

2004-2005: Ketana Teav, Erin White


Graduate Students

Katharine Bailey (co-supervised with Dr. N. Im-Bolter), PhD 2021.

  • Now instructor, Concordia University of Edmonton.

Katherine Snelling, MA, 2021.

  • Now PhD student in Psychology, Queen’s University.

Michael Slinger, MSc, 2020.

  • Now PhD student in Sociology, Dalhousie University.

Rana Pishva, MSc, 2010.

  • Now in clinical practice.

Kristen Dunfield, MA, 2006.

  • Now associate Professor, Concordia University.


Lab Managers

  • Anya Den Hartog 

And many more directed lab students, summer interns, and volunteers! Thank you!

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