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Our Team

Principal Investigator

Jessica Hay

Jessica Hay


Ph.D. 2005, University of Texas at Austin
My research interests focus primarily on early language acquisition and speech perception. I am specifically interested in how human infants learn elements of language during early development and particularly in how their experience with statistical regularities in the world (and in the laboratory) interacts with their perceptual sensitivities to facilitate learning.

Contact: (865) 974-0514 |

Current Lab Members

Rebecca Robb

Rebecca Crum, BA

Becca is a fourth-year graduate student in the Experimental Psychology program at UT. She graduated in May 2019 from the University of Tennessee at Martin with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Becca’s research focuses on the relationship between early language exposure, especially infant-directed speech, and statistical learning abilities. In her spare time, she enjoys snuggling with her cats and reading good books.

Kenzie Mullins, BS

Kenzie is a third-year graduate student in the Experimental Psychology Ph.D. program at UT.  She graduated from The University of Virginia’s College at Wise in May of 2020 with a B.S. in Psychology and minors in English and Sociology. Her primary research interests are related to the role of short-term memory and attention in statistical learning. In her spare time, Kenzie enjoys reading, snuggling with her cats, and rewatching old TV shows for comfort. 

Daniela Santos Oliveira


Daniela Santos Oliveira, PhD


Daniela earned her Ph.D. in Speech Science from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). Her research interests are phonology, phonetics, and language learning. Her research work has been mainly dedicated to second language acquisition. Before her time at UTHSC, she earned a Master’s degree in Portuguese Studies and Applied Linguistics from the University of Aveiro, Portugal, where she also earned a teaching degree.

Contact: (865) 974-0514 |

Undergraduate Research Assistants