Priya Silverstein

PhD student

Research Overview I am in the second year of my PhD at Lancaster University, studying how infants comprehend pointing gestures. The ability to refer to objects and events is one of the most important parts of human communication. Around 10-14 months, infants start to produce their first words, and by 11 months they produce their first pointing gestures. My PhD will be focused on the question of whether or not infants understand that pointing gestures are referential (i.e., that the gesturer intends to refer to something by using this gesture). I will be using a variety of methods to answer this question, including eye-tracking, near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and electroencephalography (EEG). Before coming to Lancaster, I completed my undergraduate and master’s degrees at Aston University (studying psychology and then cognitive neuroscience). I also worked as a research assistant at the University of Warwick Communication Development Lab. This is what got me interested in infant research, and specifically how we can study the development and evolution of communication.

The role of ostensive and referential cues in infant object memory
Silverstein, P., Westermann, G., Gliga, T., Parise, E. 26/08/2017