Robin Panneton, Ph.D

Associate Professor

Robin Panneton graduated with a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1985. Under the supervision of Dr. Tony DeCasper, she studied fetal and newborn perception of sounds associated with the mother's voice during late human gestation. She went on to post-doctoral positions at the University of Rochester (Dr.  Dick Aslin) and the Rose F. Kennedy Center (Dr. Diane Kurtzberg) before joining the faculty in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech in 1989.

Research Interests: Speech Perception in infancy; face+voice integration during language learning; developing speech and language; eye tracking; heart-rate defined attention

Graduate Students

Tyler McFayden, M.S.

Clinical/Developmental Grad Student

Tyler graduated from Davidson College with her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. She approaches research from a developmental psychopathology systems lens, thus incorporating research from both clinical and developmental fields. Tyler's work centers on evaluating social and attentional precursors to language development in infancy and toddlerhood, specifically investigating language outcomes and their connections to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other clinical phenotypes.

Research Interests: Social Attention, Expressive and Receptive Language, Prosody & Pitch, Early ASD identification/diagnosis

Madeleine Bruce, M.S.

Developmental Grad Student

Maddie graduated with a Master of Science degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northwestern University, having previously obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Indiana University. She has now obtained her second M.S. in Developmental Psychology and is working on her Ph.D. qualifying exam.  Maddie's work centers around how parenting and socio-cultural factors interact to impact language development and attention.

Research Interests: Infant Language Learning and Attention, Multisensory Integration, Socioeconomic Status and Race/Ethnicity, Maternal Sensitivity/Parenting

Caroline Taylor, B.S.

Developmental Grad Student

Caroline graduated from Emory & Henry College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Caroline is interested in language learning and the underlying mechanisms that accompany this process. She is also interested in the potential impact parenting has on language development.

Research Interests: Infant Emotion and Attention, Language Learning and Development, and Socioeconomic Status

Undergraduate Research Assistants - Spring 2020

Lexi Brownell

Lexi is a senior at Virginia Tech studying Psychology. She aspires to pursue a masters degree or PhD in developmental or clinical psychology. Lexi hopes to use her last year of undergraduate studies to explore the different fields of Psychology in order to find what she is most passionate about. 

Hillary Hettinger

Hillary is a sophomore at Virginia Tech from Richmond, VA majoring in Human Development with a double minor in Disability Studies and Language Sciences. After she completes her undergraduate studies at Virginia Tech, Hillary hopes to become a Speech Language Pathologist specializing in children with disabilities. Hillary has spent her summer’s at home as a special needs aide for a young boy with down syndrome and interned at Treehouse Pediatric Therapy in Midlothian, VA. 

Chandler Gavin

Chandler is a junior at Virginia Tech majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in Spanish. She aspires to attend Physician’s Assistant School after graduation and pursue a career working with children. She is interested in studying cognitive behavior in infants and children.  

Sarah Banks

Sarah is a junior at Virginia Tech majoring in Psychology and German. Sarah hopes to research language and speech development, and the genetic and environmental factors that influence them. She plans to do further research in this topic in graduate school.

Natalie Boyle

Natalie Boyle is a junior at Virginia Tech majoring in Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, minoring in Psychology. She intends to pursue Physician Assistant School after graduation and continue her passion for research in genetics. She is interested in studying the psychological changes made throughout childhood development.

Rachel Williams

Rachel is a sophomore at Virginia Tech majoring in Biological Sciences and Psychology, and is from Quartz Hill, California. She hopes to attend Physician's Assistant School after graduation, with a focus on pediatrics. She is interested in the cognitive development of infants and children

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