image of elizabeth

Elizabeth Johnson


Area of Research

Dr. Johnson's Child Language and Speech Studies Lab is located on the fourth floor of UTM's Communication, Culture and Technology Building. Her main line of research is focused on understanding how children acquire their native language(s). A sampling of topics recently under study in her lab include the development of spoken word recognition, how infants learn to cope with connected speech processes and segment words from speech, audio-visual speech perception, infant multilingualism, accent and dialect perception, the development of word-learning heuristics, experiential effects on voice recognition, the link between early perception and production, and the acquisition of language-specific prosody. For a more detailed and up-to-date description of Dr. Johnson's research, please see her lab page.


Dr. Johnson received her undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester, where she majored in Brain & Cognitive Sciences and completed a Take Five program in Developmental Biology & Evolution. She then went on to earn her PhD in Psychological & Brain Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University. During her final year as a PhD student, Dr. Johnson spent two semesters at the Speech Group at MIT. Dr. Johnson then accepted a postdoctoral position at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. Dr. Johnson is now a Canada Research Chair in Spoken Language Acquisition and Professor of Psychology at UTM. She is also cross-appointed to the Graduate Department of Linguistics, and Director of the University of Toronto's Tri-Campus Graduate Program in Psychology.


B.A. (Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester)
M.A. (Psychology, The Johns Hopkins University)
Ph.D. (Psychological and Brain Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University)


Speech perception, cognitive development, language acquisition, developmental psycholinguistics