University of Wisconsin–Madison


Zettersten, M., Potter, C., & Saffran, J. R. (2020). Tuning in to non-adjacent dependencies:  Experience with learnable patterns supports discovery otherwise difficult novel structures. Cognition.

Wang, T., Potter, C., & Saffran, J. R. (2020). Plasticity in second language learning: The case of Mandarin tones. Language Learning and Development.

Saffran, J. R. (2020). Statistical language learning in infancy. Child Development Perspectives.

Venker, C. E., Pomper, R., Mahr, T., Edwards, J., Saffran, J., & Ellis Weismer, S. (2019). Comparing Automatic Eye Tracking and Manual Gaze Coding Methods in Young Children with Autism Spectrum DisorderAutism Research.

Benitez, V., Bulgarelli, F., Byers-Heinlein, K., Saffran, J. R., & Weiss, D. (2019). Statistical learning of multiple speech streams: A challenge for monolingual infants. Developmental Science. 

Breen, M., Pomper, R., & Saffran, J. R. (2019). Phonological learning influences label-object mapping in toddlers. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research.

Pomper, R., Ellis Weismer, S., Saffran, J. R., & Edwards, J. (2019). Specificity of phonological representations for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Santolin, C., Russo, S., Calignano, G., Saffran, J. R., & Valenza, E. (2019). The role of prosody in infants’ preference for speech: A comparison between speech and birdsong. Infancy. DOI: 10.1111/infa.12295

Santolin, C., & Saffran, J. R. (2019) Non-linguistic grammar learning for 12-month-old infants: Evidence for constraints on learning. Journal of Cognition & Development. DOI: 10.1080/15248372.2019.1604525.

Venker, C. E., Edwards, J., Saffran, J. R., & Ellis Weismer, S. (2019). Thinking Ahead: Incremental Language Processing is Associated with Receptive Language Abilities in Preschools with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 49, 1011-1023.

Peng, Z. E., Hess, C., Saffran, J. R., Edwards, J. R., & Litovsky, R. Y. (2019). Assessing Fine-Grained Speech Discrimination in Young Children With Bilateral Cochlear Implants. Otology & Neurobiology, 40, e191-e197.

Saffran, J. R. (2018). Statistical learning as a window into developmental disabilities. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 10,

Benitez, V., & Saffran, J. R. (2018). Predictable events enhance word learning in toddlers. Current Biology.

Pomper, R., & Saffran, J. R. (2018). Familiar object salience affects novel word learning. Child Development. doi:10.1111/cdev.13053.

Zettersten, M., Wojcik, E. W., Benitez, V., & Saffran, J. R. (2018). The company objects keep: Linking referents together during cross-situational word learning. Journal of Memory & Language, 99, 62-73.

Santolin, C., & Saffran, J. R. (2018). Constraints on statistical learning across species. Trends in Cognitive Sciences22, 52-63.

Saffran, J.R., & Kirkham, N. Z. (2018). Infant Statistical Learning. Annual Review of Psychology, 69, 2.1-2.23.

Potter, C. E., & Saffran, J. R. (2017). Exposure to multiple accents supports infants’ understanding of novel accents. Cognition, 166, 67-72.

Potter, C. E., Wang, T., & Saffran, J. R. (2017). Second Language Experience Facilitates Statistical Learning of Novel Linguistic Materials. Cognitive Science. 913-927.

McMillan, B. T. M. and Saffran, J. R. (2016), Learning in Complex Environments: The Effects of Background Speech on Early Word Learning. Child Development. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12559.

Pomper, R., & Saffran, J. R. (2016). Roses are red, socks are blue: Switching dimensions disrupts young children’s language processing. PLoS ONE 11(6): e0158459. doi:10.1371/journal.

Ellis Weismer, S., Haebig, E., Edwards, J., Saffran, J. R., & Venker, C. E. (2016). Lexical processing in toddlers with ASD: Does weak central coherence play a role? Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 46, 3755-3769.

Cashon, C. H., Ha, O. R., Graf Estes, K., Saffran, J. R., & Mervis, C. B. (2016). Infants with Williams Syndrome detect statistical regularities in continuous speech. Cognition, 154, 165-168.

Venker, C. E., Haebig, E., Edwards, J., Saffran, J. R., & Ellis Weismer, S. (2016). Brief Report: Early lexical comprehension in young children with ASD: Comparing eye-gaze methodology and parent report. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 46, 2260-2266.

Perry, L. K., & Saffran, J. R. (2016). Is a Pink Cow Still a Cow? Individual Differences in Toddlers’ Vocabulary Knowledge and Lexical Representations. Cognitive Science. doi: 10.1111/cogs.12370.

Potter, C. E., & Saffran, J.R. (2015). The role of experience in children’s discrimination of unfamiliar languages. Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01587.

Mahr, T., McMillan, B. T. M., Saffran, J. R., Ellis Weismer, S., & Edwards, J. (2015). Anticipatory coarticulation facilitates word recognition in toddlers. Cognition, 142, 345-350.

Wojcik, E. H., & Saffran, J. R. (2015). Toddlers encode similarities among novel words from meaningful sentences. Cognition, 138, 10-20.

Hay, J. F., Graf Estes, K., Wang, T., & Saffran, J. R. (2015). From flexibility to constraint: The contrastive use of lexical tone in early word learning. Child Development, 86(1), 10-22. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12269

Wang, T., & Saffran, J. R. (2014). Statistical learning of a tonal language: The influence of bilingualism and previous linguistic experience. Front. Psychol. 5:953. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00953.

Willits, J.A., Seidenberg, M.S., & Saffran, J.R. (2014). Distributional structure in language: Contributions to difficulty differences in infant word recognition. Cognition, 132(3), 429-436.

Wojcik, E. H., & Saffran, J. R. (2013). The Ontogeny of Lexical Networks: Toddlers Encode the Relationships Among Referents When Learning Novel Words. Psychological Science, 24(10), 1898-1905. doi: 10.1177/0956797613478198

Wojcik, E. H. (2013). Remembering new words: Integrating early memory development into word learning. Frontiers in Developmental Psychology, 4, 151.

Venker, C. E., Eernisse, E. R., Saffran, J. R., & Ellis Weismer, S. (2013). Individual differences in the real-time comprehension of children with ASD. Autism Research, 6, 417-432.

Lany, J., & Saffran, J. R. (2013). Statistical learning mechanisms in infancy. In Rubenstein, J. L. R. & Rakic, P. (eds.) Comprehensive Developmental Neuroscience: Neural Circuit Development and Function in the Brain, 3, pp. 231-248. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Willits, J. A., Wojcik, E. H., Seidenberg, M S., & Saffran, J. R. (2013). Toddlers activate lexical semantic knowledge in the absence of visual referents: Evidence from auditory priming. Infancy. doi: 10.1111/infa.12026.

Romberg, A. R. & Saffran, J. R. (2013). All together now: Concurrent learning of multiple structures in an artificial language. Cognitive Science. doi: 10.1111/cogs.12050.

Romberg, A. R. & Saffran. J R. (2013). Expectancy learning from probabilistic input by infants. Frontiers in Psychology. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00610

Hay, J.H., & Saffran, J.R. (2012). Rhythmic grouping biases constrain infant statistical learning. Infancy, 1-32.

Lew-Williams, C., & Saffran, J.R. (2012). All words are not created equal: Expectations about word length guide infant statistical learning. Cognition, 2012, 241-246.

Brandon, M., & Saffran, J. R. (2011). Apparent motion enhances visual rhythm discrimination in infancy. Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics, 76, 1016-1020.

Lany, J., Saffran, J.R. (2011). Interactions between statistical and semantic information in infant language development. Developmental Science, 14, 1207-1219

Hay, J.F., Pelucchi, B., Graf Estes, K., & Saffran, J.R. (2011). Linking sounds to meaning: Infant statistical learning in a natural language. Cognitive Psychology, 63, 93-106.

Lew-Williams, C., Pelucchi, B., & Saffran, J. R. (2011). Isolated words enhance statistical language learning in infancy. Developmental Science.

Graf Estes, K., Edwards, J., & Saffran, J.R. (2011). Phonotactic constraints on infant word learning. Infancy, 16, 180-197.

Romberg, A. R., Saffran, J.R. (2010). Statistical learning and language acquisition. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, n/a. doi:10.1002/wcs.78

Sahni, S. D., Seidenberg, M., Saffran, J.R. (2010). Connecting cues: Overlapping regularities support cue discovery in infancy. Child Development, 81, p. 727-736.

Lany, J., Saffran, J.R. (2010). From statistics to meaning: Infants’ acquisition of lexical categories. Psychological Science, published online 8 January 2010. doi:10.1177/0956797609358570

Grieco-Calub, T., Saffran, J.R., Litovsky, R. (2009). Spoken Word Recognition in Toddlers Who Use Cochlear Implants. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 52, 1390-1400.

Pelucchi, B., Hay, J.F., Saffran, J.R. (2009). Learning in reverse: Eight-month-old infants track backwards transitional probabilities. Cognition, 113, 244-247.

Jonaitis, E.M., Saffran, J.R. (2009). Learning Harmony: The Role of Serial Statistics. Cognitive Science, 33, 951-968.

Thiessen, E.D., Saffran, J.R. (2009). How the Melody Facilitates the Message and Vice Versa in Infant Learning and Memory. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1169, 225-233.

Pelucchi, B., Hay, J.F., Saffran, J.R. (2009). Statistical learning in a natural language by 8 month-old infants. Child Development, 80(3), 674-685.

Evans, J.L., Saffran, J.R., Robe-Torres, K. (2009). Statistical learning in children with specific language impairment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 52, 321-335.

Saffran, J.R., Hauser, M., Seibel, R.L., Kapfhamer, J., Tsao, F., Cushman, F. (2008). Grammatical pattern learning by infants and cotton-top tamarin monkeys. Cognition, 107, 479-500.

Baldwin, D., Andersson, A., Saffran, J., Meyer, M. (2008). Segmenting dynamic human action via statistical structure. Cognition, 106(3), 1382-1407.

Saffran, J.R., Pollak, S.D., Seibel, R.L., Shkolnik, A. (2007). Dog is a dog is a dog: Infant rule learning is not specific to language. Cognition, 105, 669-680.

Thiessen E.D., & Saffran, J.R. (2007). Learning to learn: Infants’ acquisition of stress-based strategies for word segmentation. Language Learning & Development, 3, 73-100.

Graf Estes, K.M., Evans, J., Alibali, M.W., & Saffran, J.R. (2007). Can infants map meaning to newly segmented words? Statistical segmentation and word learning. Psychological Science, 18, 254-260.

Saffran, J.R., & Thiessen, E.D. (2007). Domain-general learning capacities. In E. Hoff & M. Shatz (Eds.), Handbook of Language Development. Cambridge: Blackwell (p. 68-86).

Saffran, J.R., Werker, J., & Werner, L. (2006). The infant’s auditory world: Hearing, speech, and the beginnings of language. In R. Siegler and D. Kuhn (Eds.), Handbook of Child Development. New York: Wiley (p.58-108).

Saffran, J.R., & Graf Estes, K.M. (2006). Mapping sound to meaning: Connections between learning about sounds and learning about words. In R. Kail (Ed.), Advances in Child Development and Behavior. New York: Elsevier (p. 1-38).

Kaschak, M.P., & Saffran, J.R. (2006). Idiomatic syntactic constructions and language learning. Cognitive Science, 30, 43-63.

Saffran, J. R., Reeck, K., Niehbur, A., & Wilson, D. P. (2005). Changing the tune: Absolute and relative pitch processing by adults and infants. Developmental Science, 8, 1-7.

Thiessen, E. D., Hill, E., & Saffran, J. R. (2005). Infant-directed speech facilitates word segmentation. Infancy, 7, 53-71.

Thiessen, E. D., & Saffran, J. R. (2004). Spectral tilt as a cue to word segmentation in infancy and adulthood. Perception & Psychophysics, 66, 779-791.

McMullen, E., & Saffran, J. R. (2004). Music and language: A developmental comparison. Music Perception, 21, 289-311.

Saffran, J. R. (2003). Musical learning and language development. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 999, 397-401.

Saffran, J. R. (2003). Statistical language learning: Mechanisms and constraints. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 12,110-114.

Saffran, J. R. (2003). Absolute pitch in infancy and adulthood: The role of tonal structure. Developmental Science, 6, 37-45.

Saffran, J. R., & Thiessen, E. D. (2003). Pattern induction by infant language learners. Developmental Psychology, 39, 484-494.

Saffran, J. R., & Wilson, D. P. (2003). From syllables to syntax: Multi-level statistical learning by 12-month-old infants. Infancy, 4, 273-284.

Thiessen, E. D., & Saffran, J. R. (2003). When cues collide: Statistical and stress cues in infant word segmentation. Developmental Psychology, 39, 706-716.

Seidenberg, M. S., MacDonald, M. C., & Saffran, J. R. (2002). Does grammar start where statistics stop? Science, 298, 553-554.

Saffran, J. R. (2002). Constraints on statistical language learning. Journal of Memory and Language, 47, 172-196.

Saffran, J. R., Senghas, A., & Trueswell, J. C. (2001). The acquisition of language by children. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 98, 12874-12875.

Saffran, J. R. (2001). Words in a sea of sounds: The output of statistical learning. Cognition, 81, 149-169.

Saffran, J. R. (2001). The use of predictive dependencies in language learning. Journal of Memory and Language, 44, 493-515.

Saffran, J. R., & Griepentrog, G. J. (2001). Absolute pitch in infant auditory learning: Evidence for developmental reorganization. Developmental Psychology, 37, 74-85.

Saffran, J. R., Loman, M. M., & Robertson, R. R. W. (2000). Infant memory for musical experiences. Cognition, 77, 15-23.

Saffran, J. R., Johnson, E. K., Aslin, R. N., & Newport, E. L. (1999). Statistical learning of tone sequences by human infants and adults. Cognition, 70, 27-52.

Aslin, R. N., Saffran, J. R., & Newport, E. L. (1999). Statistical learning in linguistic and non-linguistic domains. B. MacWhinney (Ed.), Emergentist approaches to language. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Aslin, R. N., Saffran, J. R., & Newport, E. L. (1998). Computation of conditional probability statistics by 8-month-old infants. Psychological Science, 9, 321-324.

Saffran, J. R., Newport, E. L., Aslin, R. N., Tunick, R. A., & Barrueco, S. (1997). Incidental Language Learning: Listening (And Learning) out of the Corner of Your Ear. Psychological Science, 8, 101-105.

Saffran, J. R., Aslin, R. N., & Newport, E. L. (1996). Statistical learning by 8-month-old infants. Science, 274, 1926-1928.

Saffran, J. R., Newport, E. L., & Aslin, R. N. (1996). Word segmentation: The role of distributional cues. Journal of Memory and Language, 35, 606-621.

Morgan, J. L., & Saffran, J. R. (1995). Emerging integration of segmental and suprasegmental information in prelingual speech segmentation. Child Development, 66, 911-936.