Viridiana Benitez’s research is in the area of cognitive development, with a focus on understanding how young children learn words, how they track the statistical patterns of their environment, and how language experience, such as bilingualism, affects word learning, attention, and memory. To answer these questions, Professor Benitez works with infants, children, and adults who have monolingual or bilingual language learning experiences. Benitez received a bachelor's in psychology at the University of Houston, a doctorate in developmental psychology at Indiana University, and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Zettersten, M., Wojcik, E., Benitez, V.L., & Saffran, J.R. (2018). The company objects keep: Linking referents together during cross-situational word learning. Journal of Memory and Language, 99, 62-73.
Benitez, V.L.*, Vales, C.*, Hanania, R., & Smith, L.B. (2017). Sustained selective attention predicts flexible switching in preschoolers. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 156, 29-42. *Equal authorship contribution
Bulgarelli, F., Benitez, V.L., Saffran, J.R., Byers-Heinlein, K., Weiss, D.J. (2017). Statistical learning of multiple structures by 8-month-old infants. Proceedings of the 41st annual BUCLD, ed. Maria LaMendola and Jennifer Scott, 128-139. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.
Benitez, V.L., Yurovsky, D., & Smith, L.B. (2016). Competition between multiple words for a referent in cross-situational word learning. Journal of Memory and Language, 90, 31-48.
Morse, A F., Benitez, V.L., Belpaeme, T., Cangelosi, A., & Smith, L.B. (2015). Posture affects how robots and infants map words to objects. PLoS ONE, 10(3): e0116012.
Benitez, V.L., & Smith, L.B. (2012) Predictable locations aid early object name learning. Cognition, 125(3), 339-352.
Yoshida, H., Tran, D.N., Benitez, V., & Kuwabara, M. (2011). Inhibition and adjective learning in bilingual and monolingual children. Frontiers in Developmental Psychology, 2, 1-14.