Shannon M. Pruden

Shannon M. Pruden

Contact Information

Office: DM Room 296A
Phone: (305) 348-2784


  • Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • M.A., Developmental Psychology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
  • B.A., Psychology, B.A., Cognitive Science, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA

Research Interests

Dr. Pruden’s primary research interests lie at the intersection between developmental psychology, cognitive science, linguistics, and education. Employing a variety of methodologies (e.g., eye-tracking and naturalistic studies of language), and age groups (0-5 years), her research focuses on the development of early language abilities, with an emphasis on the growth of children’s spatial language. More specifically, she has been examining which factors influence children’s early language development, such as the role of cognitive, biological, and environmental factors, including early conceptual knowledge, child gender, and socioeconomic status. She also studies the development of spatial abilities and how language influences the development of spatial skills. Dr. Pruden has been an author of more than a dozen peer-reviewed papers and chapters and has presented at more than 25 national and international conferences. Her research has been published in the most prominent journals in the field of Developmental Psychology and Education, including Child Development and Developmental Science.

Select Publications

Pruden, S.M., Roseberry, S., Goksün, T., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R.M. (in press). Infant categorization of path relations during dynamic events. Child Development.

Pulverman, R., Song, L., Pruden, S.M., Golinkoff, R. M., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (in press). Preverbal English-learning infants’ attention to manner and path: Foundations for learning relational terms. Child Development.

Pruden, S.M., Goksün, T., Roseberry, S., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R.M. (2012). Find your manners: How do infants detect the invariant manner of motion in dynamic events? Child Development. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01737.x

Pruden, S.M., Levine, S., & Huttenlocher, J. (2011). Children’s spatial thinking: Does talk about the spatial world matter? Developmental Science, 14, 1417-1430. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2011.01088.x

Cartmill, E., Pruden, S.M., Levine, S.C., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (2010). The role of parent gesture in children’s spatial language development. In K. Franich, K.M. Iserman & L.L. Keil (Eds.), Proceedings of the 34th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp.70-77). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Parish-Morris, J., Pruden, S.M., Ma, W., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R.M. (2010). A world of relations: Relational words. In B. Malt & P. Wolff (Eds.), Words and the mind: How words capture human experience (pp.219-242). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Pruden, S.M., Shallcross, W.L., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R.M. (2008). Foundations of verb learning: Comparison helps infants abstract event components. In H. Chan, H. Jacob & E. Kapia (Eds.), Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp.402-414). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Pruden, S.M., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R.M. (2008). Current events: How infants parse the world and events for language. In T.F. Shipley & J.M. Zacks (Eds.), Understanding events: How humans see, represent, and act on events (pp.160-192). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Brandone, A., Golinkoff, R.M., Pulverman, R., Maguire, M.J., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Pruden, S.M. (2007). Speaking for the wordless: Methods for studying cognitive linguistic constructs in infants. In M. Gonzalez-Marquez, I. Mittelberg, S. Coulson, & M.J. Spivey (Eds.), Methods in cognitive linguistics (pp.345-366). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Pruden, S.M., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R.M., & Hennon, E.A. (2006). The birth of words: Ten-month-olds learn words through perceptual salience. Child Development, 77, 266-280. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2006.00869.x

Pulverman, R., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Pruden, S.M., & Golinkoff, R. (2006). Frühkindliche Voraussetzungen für das Erlernen von Verben (Precursors to verb learning: Infant attention to manner and path). Frühförderung Interdisziplinär (Journal of Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Intervention), 25, 3-14.

Pruden, S.M., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2006). Foundations of verb learning: Labels promote action category formation. In D. Bamman, T. Magnitskaia & C. Zaller (Eds.), Proceedings of the 30th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp.476-488). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Pulverman, R., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R.M., Pruden, S.M., & Salkind, S. (2006). Conceptual foundations for verb learning: Celebrating the event. In K. Hirsh-Pasek & R.M. Golinkoff (Eds.), Action meets word: How children learn verbs (pp.134-159). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Pruden, S.M., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Parish, J. (2006). Can infants resolve philosophical questions? A review of Rakison and Oakes’ Early Category and Concept Development: Making Sense of the Blooming, Buzzing Confusion. Philosophical Psychology, 19, 123-127.

Pruden, S.M., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R.M. (2005). The social dimension in language development: A rich history and a new frontier. In P.J. Marshall & N.A. Fox (Eds.), The development of social engagement: Neurobiological perspectives (pp.118-152). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Pruden, S.M., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Maguire, M.J., & Meyer, M.A. (2004). Foundations of verb learning: Infants form categories of path and manner in motion events. In A. Brugos, L. Micciulla & C.E. Smith (Eds.), Proceedings of the 28th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp.461-472). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Hirsh-Pasek, K., Hennon, E., Golinkoff, R.M., Pence, K., Pulverman, R., Sootsman, J., Pruden, S.M., & Maguire, M. (2001). Social attention need not equal social intention: From attention to intention in early word learning. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 24, 1108-1109. DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X01270137