People

We will be looking for undergraduate researchers to join the lab starting Fall 2023. See the page "Joining the Lab" for more information.

Lab Director: Shari Liu, PhD

curriculum vitae // short bio // request a rec letter


Every day, we look out into the world and see scenes of people in motion, and make sense of these scenes by appealing to their underlying causes. We appreciate that other people have mental lives, including desires, percepts, and beliefs, and we also understand that people are solid bodies, who can exert forces and navigate themselves through a physical world. How do our minds and brains get so much meaning from this input, and how we grow to this knowledge over development?


I am committed to making science more open (transparent, reproducible, and inclusive). Part of this commitment is providing high-quality mentorship to students from all backgrounds. As a first-generation immigrant to the US who stumbled into science, I am aware that without supportive mentors, and a great deal of personal development, I would have stumbled out. Here is a working draft of my mentorship philosophy.

Postdoctoral Researchers

Minjae Kim


I'm interested in how we reason about people's mental states and traits, generate explanations for unexpected events, and use our models of people and situations to predict future events. I received my BA in Neuroscience from Swarthmore College in 2015, and my PhD in Psychology and Neuroscience from Boston College in 2023. 

Graduate Students

Joseph Outa [website]


Humans have a remarkable ability to reason and behave flexibly in the physical and social world. This stems from our ability to form abstract representations rooted in intuitive, domain-specific, causal knowledge about objects, agents, and their properties. I am interested in using behavioral and computational methods to study how this knowledge emerges in infancy and childhood.

Lab Manager / Technician

Sam Maione


My biggest interest is where developmental cognitive neuroscience and clinical research intersect. Many neuropsychiatric disorders have developmental roots, and I wish to understand why these disorders form and how treatment can change alongside development. I received my BS in Integrative Neuroscience from Binghamton University in 2023, and hope to go on someday to attain an MD/PhD, eventually working as a researcher with part time work as a psychiatrist.