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 & SOMs).

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

At the Developmental Dynamics Lab (UEA): Interacting roles of phonological and visual similarity in infant word learning - funded by the British Academy.

As Visiting Researcher at the Language & Brain Lab, University of Oxford: MORPHON project on morphophonological alternations (PI: Aditi Lahiri)

With Gilbert Ambrazaitis (Linnæus-University Växjö, Sweden), Susan Sayehli (University of Stockholm, Sweden) and Anna Sara Hexeberg Romøren (OsloMet, Norway): BlikSSt Project about the acquisition of focus prosody in two dialects of Swedish.

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. (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:

Jacob Bowers, PhD Candidate

Hannah Johnson, MSc Developmental Science

Gabrielle Hunter-Short, MSc Developmental Science

Lydia De'Ath, Research Volunteer

I supervise 3rd year research projects. If you are a UEA BSc Psychology student interested in doing a project with me in 2022/23, please do get in touch.

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
initial dot lastname at