Carnegie Mellon University

Jessica Cantlon

Dr. Jessica Cantlon


5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


I am interested in the origins of human concepts, both in terms of how concepts have evolved over millions of years and in terms of how human concepts develop over an individual lifespan. My research domains include numerical cognition, magnitude estimation, the alphabet, and everyday concepts such as 'face' and 'shoe'. I use fMRI and behavioral measures to study the cognitive and brain mechanisms involved in conceptual processing in pre-school children, non-human primates, and human adults. Using this comparative approach, we can identify both the shared and unique brain functions underlying conceptual knowledge across species and stages of development—with the goal of understanding the stucture of the human mind.