Shannon M. Pruden

Shannon M. Pruden


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Spatial Intelligence Learning Center, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • NRSA Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Psychology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • M.A., Developmental Psychology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
  • B.A., Psychology, B.A., Cognitive Science, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA

Research Interests

Dr. Pruden’s primary research interests lie at the intersection between developmental psychology, cognitive science, linguistics, and education. Employing a variety of methodologies (e.g., eye-tracking and naturalistic studies of language), and age groups (0-5 years), her research focuses on the development of early language abilities, with an emphasis on the growth of children’s spatial language. More specifically, she has been examining which factors influence children’s early language development, such as the role of cognitive, biological, and environmental factors, including early conceptual knowledge, child gender, and socioeconomic status. She also studies the development of spatial abilities and how language influences the development of spatial skills. Her research has been published in the most prominent journals in the field of Developmental Psychology and Education, including Child Development and Developmental Science. She has been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and from private foundation grants.

Select Publications

1. Pruden, S.M., & Levine, S.C. (in press). Parents’ spatial language mediates a sex difference in preschoolers’ spatial language use. Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/0956797617711968

2. Pruden, S.M., & Odean, R. (2018). Language development: Motion verb and spatial-relational term acquisition from a developmental systems perspective. In A. Dick & U. Müller (Eds.), Advancing developmental science: Philosophy, theory, and method (pp.133-144). New York: Psychology Press/Taylor & Francis.

3. Nazareth, A., Odean, R., & Pruden, S.M. (2017). The use of eye tracking in spatial thinking research. In C.A. Was, F.J. Sansosti, & B.J. Morris (Eds.), Eye-tracking technology applications in educational research (pp.239-260). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1005-5

4. Konishi, H., Pruden, S.M., Golinkoff, R.M., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2016). Finding semantic components of dynamic realistic events: Infants categorize path and manner of motion. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 152, 54-70. DOI: 10.1016/j.jecp.2016.07.002

5. Song, L., Pruden, S.M., Golinkoff, R.M., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2016). Prelinguistic foundations of verb learning: Infants discriminate and categorize dynamic human actions. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. DOI: 10.1016/j.jecp.2016.01.004

6. Odean, R., Nazareth, A., & Pruden, S.M. (2015). Novel methodology to examine cognitive and experiential factors in language development. Frontiers in Developmental Psychology, 6, 1266. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01266

7. Vieites, V., Nazareth, A., Reeb-Sutherland, B.C., & Pruden, S.M. (2015). A new biomarker to examine the role of hippocampal function in the development of spatial reorientation in children: A review. Frontiers in Developmental Psychology, 6, 490. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00490

8. Garcia, D., Bagner, D.M., Pruden, S.M., & Nichols-Lopez, K. (2015). Language production in children with and at risk for delay: Mediating role of parenting skills. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 44, 814-825. DOI: 10.1080/15374416.2014.900718

9. Abad, C. & Pruden, S.M. (2013). Do storybooks really break children’s gender stereotypes? Frontiers in Developmental Psychology, 4, 986. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00986

10. Nazareth, A., Herrera, A., & Pruden, S.M. (2013). Explaining sex differences in mental rotation: Role of spatial activity experience. Cognitive Processing, 14, 201-204. DOI: 10.1007/s10339-013-0542-8

11. Pruden, S.M., Roseberry, S., Göksun, T., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R.M. (2013). Infant categorization of path relations during dynamic events. Child Development, 84, 331-345. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01843.x

12. Pulverman, R., Song, L., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Pruden, S. M., & Golinkoff, R. M. (2013). Preverbal infants’ attention to manner and path: Foundations for learning relational terms. Child Development, 84, 241-252. DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12030

13. Pruden, S.M., Göksun, T., Roseberry, S., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R.M. (2012). Find your manners: How do infants detect the invariant manner of motion in dynamic events? Child Development, 83, 977-991. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01737.x

14. Pruden, S.M., Levine, S., & Huttenlocher, J. (2011). Children’s spatial thinking: Does talk about the spatial world matter? Developmental Science, 14, 1417-1430. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2011.01088.x

15. Pruden, S.M., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R.M., & Hennon, E.A. (2006). The birth of words: Ten-month-olds learn words through perceptual salience. Child Development, 77, 266-280. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2006.00869.x

Courses Taught

  • Psychology of Infancy and Childhood (DEP 2001)
  • Language Acquisition (LIN 4710)
  • Cognitive Development (Graduate; DEP 5065)
  • Language and Literacy Development (Graduate; PSY 5939 Special Topics)
  • Proseminar in Infancy, Childhood & Adolescence (Graduate; DEP 5099)