Adena Schachner

Assistant Professor

My research explores how children and adults reason about the social world, with a particular focus on links between music and social cognition. How do we use mental states (like intentions, goals and preferences) to explain others’ actions, and to understand the artifacts that people own and create? I employ a variety of experimental methodologies, including looking time with infants, computational modeling, and behavioral methods with children and adults, both in the lab and around the world via the internet. For more, see
  • Schachner, A., & Kim, M. (2018). Entropy, order and agency: The cognitive basis of the link between agents and order. Proceedings of the Fortieth Cognitive Science Society.
  • Schachner, A., Brady, T.F., Oro, K., & Lee, M. (2018). Intuitive archeology: Detecting social transmission in the design of artifacts. Proceedings of the Fortieth Cognitive Science Society.
  • Schachner, A., Zhu, L., Li, J., & Kelemen, D. (2017). Is the bias for function-based explanations culturally universal? Children from China endorse teleological explanations of natural phenomena. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 157, 29-48.
  • Hannon, E., Schachner, A., & Nave-Blodgett, J. (2017). Babies know bad dancing when they see it: Older but not younger infants discriminate between synchronous and asynchronous audiovisual musical displays. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 159, 159-174.

Updated April 2018