Barbara Landau

Dick and Lydia Todd Professor of Cognitive Science
The Johns Hopkins University

Barbara Landau is the Dick and Lydia Todd Professor of Cognitive Science at The Johns Hopkins University. Her interests are in the nature of the human mind and brain and how they change during early development, from infancy to middle childhood. Barbara carries out research on language learning in children and second language learning in adults, spatial understanding in children and adults, and the relationship between our knowledge of space and language. Barbara is particularly interested in how these relationships allows us to talk about our spatial experience, including the objects, events, and spatial relationships around us– and may be the foundation upon which many other skills are built. Although most of Barbara’s work focuses on normally developing children, she is also interested in how unusual experiences of the learner may change the growth of knowledge. She has worked on this by studying spatial and language development in children who are born blind, and in children and adults with Williams syndrome– a relatively rare genetic deficit that is accompanied by strong language skills but severely impaired spatial abilities.