Developmental & Computational Affective Cognition Lab

University of Toronto Scarborough

Dr. Yang Wu

Lab Director

Yang is interested in how humans reason about emotion or affect, an interdisciplinary domain called Affective Cognition. Yang studies affective cognition in humans from infancy to adulthood and uses a variety of approaches, including behavioral experiments, exploratory play,  eye tracking, and computational modeling.

Yang is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto Scarborough. She obtained her Ph.D. in Cognitive Science at MIT in 2018 and received her postdoctoral training at Stanford University from 2018 to 2022. 

Dr. Tiffany Doan

Post Doc

Tiffany’s research focuses on cognitive development in early childhood, specifically social cognitive development. She is interested in how children and adults use probability to infer other people's emotions and the relationship between close counterfactual reasoning and emotion inferences. She’s also interested in children's desire-based reasoning, self-directed learning, and exploration.

Tiffany received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Waterloo.

Hanqi Chen

Lab Manager

Hanqi completed her BSc degree in Psychology at UTSC. She is interested in investigating how children perceive emotions, and how it would influence their behaviour. She is also interested in understanding interpersonal relationships, and hopes to pursue a career in these fields. Outside of the lab, Hanqi enjoys cooking and travelling.

Georgina Mariyadas

Research Assistant

Georgina is an undergraduate student pursuing a major in Psychology at UTSC. She is broadly interested in how our behavior is shaped by our perceptions of others throughout early childhood to late adulthood, as well as cultural differences in emotional expression. In her free time, she enjoys roller skating and finding new music to listen to.

Kelly Ma

Research Assistant

Kelly is interested in how the interaction between parents and infants, including motherese, contributes to the development of infants’ inferences of emotion and their recognition of the world.

Kelly is a 2nd-year student at UTSC and enrolled in both Specialist Psychology Program and Economics Major Program.

Nora Boghossian

Research Assistant

I’m an undergraduate student at UTSC doing a specialist in Psychology and major in Linguistics. I’m interested in the psychological mechanisms of language and how emotional expressions displayed in motherese influences language acquisition during childhood. On my free time I like to sing, play piano and cook!

Valery Sit

Research Assistant

I am an undergraduate student in the Specialist Mental Health Studies Co-Op program with a Minor in Biomedical Ethics. I am interested in how parent’s emotional expressions shape children’s recognition and memory of emotional stimuli. In my spare time I like to cook, do crosswords and hike! 

Firdous Kareemuddin

Research Assistant

Firdous is completing her HBSc in Psychology and Human Biology from UTSC. She is generally interested in bilingualism and how this trait impacts the development of affective cognition milestones. In her free time, Firdous likes to spend time with her friends and family, horse ride, do crafts and travel.

Tzu-Ling Wang

Research Assistant

I'm an undergraduate student double majoring in Psychology and Public Policy. I am interested in how adults' emotional expression impact how infant/children navigate the world, and how these emotional cues can contribute to how they mature and behave throughout their growth. I'm also interested in how children with developmental disabilities, such as Autism, that actively avoid eye contact can interpret emotional cues. In my free time, I love to write stories, cook, listen to music, and watch musicals.

Aicha Belghiti

Research Assistant

Aicha is an undergraduate student completing her HBSc in Psychology and Population Health at UTSC. She is interested in how children perceive emotional stimuli and how they use stimuli such as other people's emotional expressions to make inferences about the world. In her free time, she enjoys painting, reading, and baking new recipes.

Julie (Duofei) Liu

Research Assistant

I am an undergraduate student pursuing a double major in psychology and anthropology. I am interested in how social learning and emotion, including empathy, influence children’s development in affective cognition. In addition, I am keen to explore whether children use emotional expression as an inference through intuition or error trials. Outside of academics, I love playing the piano, reading, and snowboarding!

Grace Sun

Research Assistant

I am an undergraduate student completing a Research Specialist program in Psychology. I am interested in how children use emotion as a source of information to guide their learning and reasoning about the world and how this influences their exploration, motivation, persistence, etc. In my free time, I love baking, reading, and playing with my cat!


Hayah Siddiqui, Research Assistant 2023

Hanqi Zhang, Supervised Study Student  2022-2023

October 2023

The lab had a blast tackling an escape room together!
(March 2023)

The lab was born!!

(September 2022)