Nadja Althaus


School of Psychology, University of East Anglia
Norwich, UK

My research investigates language processing and development, using eye tracking and computational models (neural networks).

I am interested in phonology and speech processing, as well as the interface between language and object knowledge in word learning.

Child Scientist Open Day at UEA

Current Projects

Information about some of my current and recent projects can be found on the PROJECTS page.

I'm a Visiting Researcher at the Language & Brain Lab, University of Oxford.

BlikSSt Project
With Gilbert Ambrazaitis (Linnæus-University Växjö, Sweden), Susan Sayehli (University of Stockholm, Sweden) and Anna Sara Hexeberg Romøren (OsloMet, Norway): Project about the acquisition of focus prosody, investigating children's and adults' processing and production of contrastive focus in two dialects of Swedish that differ in saliency.

BLoCKS (Baby Language and Conceptual Knowledge Study)
With Teodora Gliga (UEA), Evelyne Mercure (Goldsmiths) and Marie Smith (Birkbeck) -- In this ESRC funded project we investigate the role of language in early conceptual development in hearing and deaf infants.

Swedish embodied pronunciation training
New grant with Gilbert Ambrazaitis (PI, Linnæus-University Växjö, Sweden), Frida Splendido (University of Lund), Marieke Hoetjes (Radboud University), which will investigate whether gestures can help second language learners' acquisition of pronunciation.

Selected publications

Phonology / Psycholinguistics

Althaus, N., Kotzor, S., Schuster, S. & Lahiri, A. (2022). Distinct orthography boosts morphophonological discrimination: Vowel raising in Bengali verb inflections. Cognition, 222, 104963.

Althaus, N., Wetterlin, A., & Lahiri, A. (2021). Features of low functional load in mono- and bilinguals’ lexical access: evidence from Swedish tonal accent. Phonetica.

Computational Models of Cognitive Development

Althaus, N., Gliozzi, V., Mayor, J., & Plunkett, K. (2020). Infant categorization as a dynamic process linked to memory. Royal Society Open Science, 7(10).

Althaus, N., & Mareschal, D. (2013). Modeling Cross-Modal interactions in early word learning. IEEE Transactions on Autonomous Mental Development, 5(4), 288–297.

Cognitive Development

Sučević, J., Althaus, N., & Plunkett, K. (2022). Discovering category boundaries: The role of comparison in infants’ novel category learning. Infancy, 27(3), 533-554.

Sučević, J., Althaus, N., & Plunkett, K. (2021). The role of labels and motions in infant category learning. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 205.

Althaus, N., & Westermann, G. (2016). Labels constructively shape object categories in 10-month-old infants. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 151.

Althaus, N., & Plunkett, K. (2016). Categorization in infancy: labeling induces a persisting focus on commonalities. Developmental Science, 19(5), 770–80.

Althaus, N., & Plunkett, K. (2015). Timing matters: The impact of label synchrony on infant categorisation. Cognition, 139.

Althaus, N., & Mareschal, D. (2014). Labels direct infants’ attention to commonalities during novel category learning. PLoS ONE, 9(7).

Althaus, N., & Mareschal, D. (2012). Using Saliency Maps to Separate Competing Processes in Infant Visual Cognition. Child Development, 83(4), 1122–1128.


2006     MA Linguistics, Computer Science & Psychology  University of Tübingen, Germany

2010     PhD Psychology   CBCD, Birkbeck, University of London, UK

2009-2010  Oxford Brookes BabyLab, Oxford Brookes University

2010-2016  Oxford University BabyLab, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford

2014-2016  Language & Brain Lab, Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics, University of Oxford

2012-2016  Winkler Career Development Fellow, St Hugh's College, University of Oxford

Since 2016  Lecturer, School of Psychology, UEA

Lab & Research Team

Current Lab Team:

Haben Gebrehiwot, MSc Developmental Science

Barbara Zapior, 3rd year research student

Lydia De'Ath, 3rd year research student

More information about our infant research at UEA can be found on the website of the Developmental Dynamics Lab.


Lawrence Stenhouse Building 01.10
Phone: +44 (0)1603 59 2522
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