Abbie Thompson

Abbie Thompson

Abbie Thompson Assistant Professor 219.464.6941 College of Arts and Sciences (ASB) Room 256


Abbie Thompson joined the faculty at Valparaiso University in 2019. She grew up in northern California in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. She migrated to the Midwest to pursue her graduate education at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Thompson’s research focuses on how infants learn language and the mechanisms that support it. She investigates the question: How does the language input infants receive relate to their learning of words. Dr. Thompson welcomes students who are interested in language acquisition and cognitive development to join her lab. In her free time Dr. Thompson knits, bakes, and spends time with her houseful of pets (two dogs, three cats, and three goldfish).

Check out Dr. Thompson’s Learning and Language Acquisition Lab!


A.A. – Folsom Lake College
B.A. – University of California – Davis
M.A. – University of Notre Dame
Ph.D – University of Notre Dame

Courses Taught
  • PSY 110: General Psychology
  • PSY 111: Lab in General Experimental Psychology
  • PSY 215: Lifespan Development
Research Interests

Cognitive Development
Language Acquisition
Word Learning
Speaker Variability
Statistical Learning
Memory Development
Best Methods and Practices for Infant Research

Selected Contributions

Lany, J., Thompson, A., & Aguero, A., (2019) What’s in a name and when can a (beep) be the same? Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, Montreal, Canada.

Thompson, A. & Lany, J., (2019). Looking beyond mom: Language input from mothers and other individuals on infants’ vocabulary development. Poster presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Baltimore, Md.

Thompson, A., McGann, A., & Lany, J., (2018). Environmental influences on early vocabulary development: The impact of maternal education and language input. Poster presented at the International Congress on Infant Studies, Philadelphia, Pa.

Lany, J., Shoaib, A., Thompson, A., & Graf Estes, K. (2017). Infant statistical-learning ability is related to real-time language processing. Journal of Child Language, 45, 368-391.

Thompson, A., McGann, A., & Lany, J., (2017). Lexical recognition in 9-month-old: What factors matter?. Poster presented at the Cognitive Development Society Conference, Portland, Or.

Thompson, A., & Lany, J., (2017). Who’s talking? Acoustic variability in infants’ word-learning and recall. Poster presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Austin, Tx.

Lany, J., Shoaib, A., Thompson, A., & Graf Estes, K. (2016). Relationships Between Lexical and Grammatical Development: Does Statistical Learning Play a Role? Proceedings of the 37th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development. Cascadilla Press.