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Dr. Krista Byers-Heinlein


Krista Byers-Heinlein, Ph.D.
(Ph.D. Psychology 2010; University of British Columbia)

Assistant Professor

Concordia University


7141 Sherbrooke Street, West
Montreal, Quebec, H4B 1R6


Tel: (514) 848-2424 ext. 2208


Research Lab:

Concordia Infant Research Laboratory

Laboratoire de recherche sur l'enfance de Concordia

Lab website:





My research investigates infant development, with a focus on language acquisition. I use primarily behavioral methods such as eye tracking, looking-time, sucking, and reaching measures.  I am particularly interested in infants growing up in bilingual environments and the mechanisms that they use to acquire two languages simultaneously.  Some current projects compare speech perception and word learning in monolingual and bilingual infants.  A related line of work investigates bilingual parenting, and how the language strategies used by bilingual families influence children’s language learning. 






Byers-Heinlein, K., & Fennell, C. T. (2013). Perceptual narrowing in the context of increased variation: Insights from bilingual infants. Developmental Psychobiology. doi:10.1002/dev.21167 link to paper


Byers-Heinlein, K., & Werker, J.F. (2013).Lexicon structure and the disambiguation of novel words: Evidence from bilingual infants. Cognition, 128(3), 407-416. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2013.05.010 link to paper

Byers-Heinlein, K., Fennell, C.T., & Werker, J.F. (2013). The development of associative word learning in monolingual and bilingual infants. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 16(1), 198-205. doi:10.1017/S1366728912000417 link to paper

Byers-Heinlein, K. (2013). Parental language mixing: Its measurement and the relation of mixed input to young bilingual children’s vocabulary size. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 16(1), 32-48. doi: 10.1017/S1366728911000010 link to paper


May, L., Byers-Heinlein, K., Gervain, J., & Werker, J.F. (2011). Language and the newborn brain: Does prenatal language experience shape the neonate neural response to speech? Frontiers in Language Sciences. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00222 Available online: link to paper


Curtin, S.A., Byers-Heinlein, K, & Werker, J.F. (2011). Bilingual beginnings as a lens for theory development: PRIMIR in focus. Journal of Phonetics, 39, 492-504. doi:10.1016/j.wocn.2010.12.00 Available online: link to paper