Lauren H Howard Associate Professor of Psychology & Scientific and Philosophical Studies of Mind



Ph.D. Psychology, University of Chicago, 2015

M.A. Psychology, University of Maryland, 2010

B.Phil Psychology & Anthropology, Magna Cum Laude, University of Pittsburgh, 2007


Research Interests

The ability to learn and remember social information is important for human development. This is particularly true in infancy and early childhood, when learning about things like cultural norms, language, and moral values is dependent on the information provided by social partners. 

Professor Howard's  resarch focuses on the social contexts that form the foundation for early learning and memory. How and when do children choose which type of person to learn from? How does early social experience shape this selective learning? Are social situations fundamentally better for learning and memory early in life? By combining behavioral, eye-tracking, and electrophysiological (event-related potential; ERP) methodologies, the Early Social Cognition Lab examines the importance and intricacies of social learning across early development.

In addition to studying human memory development, Professor Howard has expanded her research paradigms to non-human primates such as Gorillas, Chimpanzees,  Macaque and Capuchin monkeys. 

More information about the Early Social Cognition Lab (part of F&M's Development and Experience Center) can be found at

Interested in Gaining Research Experience?

 If you are interested in early development, social cognition, or memory, contact Professor Howard about volunteer research opportunities.


Selected Publications & Proceedings 

Howard, L.H. & Decety, J. (forthcoming, 2021). A cognitive neuroscience perspective on moral development. In M. Killen and J. Smetana (Eds.), Handbook of moral development. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Howard, L. H. & Lonsdorf, E.V. (forthcoming, 2021).). The eyes have it: Using non-invasive eye tracking to advance comparative social cognition research. In  Primate Cognitive Studies. Cambridge University Press.

Wakefield, E., Novack, M., Congdon, E., & Howard, L.H. (2021). Individual differences in gesture interpretation predict children’s propensity to pick a gesturer as a good informant. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

Hopper, L., Gulli, R., Howard, L. H., Kano, F., Krupenye, C., Ryan, A., Paukner, A. (2020). The application of noninvasive restraint-free eye tracking methods for use with nonhuman primates. Behavior Research Methods. doi: 10.3758/s13428-020-01465-6

Hopper, L., Jacobson, S., & Howard, L.H. (2020). Problem solving flexibility across early development. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2020.104966

Wakefield, E., Novack, M., Congdon, E., & Howard, L.H. (2020). Is she a good teacher? Children learn to use gestures as a marker of a good informant. Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.

ManyBabies Consortium (2020). Quantifying sources of variability in infancy research using the infant-directed speech preference. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science.

Howard, L.H., & Woodward, A. (2019). Human actions support infant memory. Journal of Cognition and Development, 20(5), 772-789.

Howard, L.H., Riggins, T., & Woodward, A. (2019). Learning from others: The effects of agency of event memory in young children. Child Development. doi: 10.1111/cdev.13303

Lonsdorf, E.V., *Engelbert, L & Howard, L.H. (2019). A competitive drive? Same-sex attentional preferences in capuchins. American Journal of Primatology. doi: 10.1002/ajp.22998

Howard, L.H., *Festa, C., & Lonsdorf, E. (2018). Through their eyes: The influence of social models on attention and memory in capuchin monkeys. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 13(2), 210-109.

Liberman, Z., Howard, L.H., *Vasquez, N., Woodward, A. (2017). Children's expectations about conventional and moral behaviors of ingroup and outgroup members. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 10.1016/j.jecp.2017.03.003

Howard, L.H., Wagner, K., Woodward, A., Ross, S., Hopper, L. (2017). Social models enhance apes memory for novel events. Scientific Reports, 7, 40926.

Howard, L.H., Henderson, A., *Carrazza, C. & Woodward, A. (2015). Infants' and young children’s imitation of linguistic ingroup and outgroup informants. Child Development 86, 259-275.

Howard, L.H., *Carrazza, C., & Woodward, A. (2014). Neighborhood linguistic diversity predicts infants’ social learning. Cognition, 133, 474-479.



Prof. Howard typically teaches:

CNX 199. Memory and the Self

Psy 100. Introduction to Psychology Laboratory

Psy 304. Developmental Psychology

Psy 305. Cognitive Psychology

Psy 483. Collaborative in Human Cognition