Laurie Santos [website] [cv]
Laurie is the director of the Comparative Cognition Laboratory and the Canine Cognition Center at Yale. She received her A.B. in Psychology and Biology from Harvard University in 1997 and her Ph.D. in Psychology from Harvard in 2003. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology.

Lab Manager

Yiyun Huang
Yiyun is interested in the evolutionary roots of social learning and conceptual processing in canines and non-human primates. Prior to working at Yale, Yiyun graduated from the University of Rochester with a B.S. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and a B.A. in Mathematics in 2018.

Post-doctoral Fellows

Moshe Shay Ben-Haim [website]
Shay’s research is exploring the evidence for conscious processing in intelligent animals. His initial research at the canine cognition center employs uniquely designed animal cognitive tasks tapping both conscious and non-conscious processing. Before coming to Yale in 2018, Shay obtained a B.A. in Psychology and a B.S in Biology from Tel-Aviv University. He holds a PhD in Behavioral Cognitive Neuroscience and in completion of another PhD in molecular Genetics.

Angie Johnston [website]
Angie’s research sets out to answer the question “How do people learn accurate information from others, and how can we strengthen this ability?” Her work in the Canine Cognition Lab is aimed a exploring the potential evolutionary origins of teaching and social learning by investigating whether or not canine populations learn from others in the same way humans do. In 2018, Angie received her PhD in Psychology from Yale, and also holds both a B.A. in Psychology and a B.S. in Child Development from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Graduate Students

alyssa arreAlyssa Arre [website]
Alyssa is interested in the development of perspective taking abilities and other social behaviors in both nonhuman primates. Her work at Cayo Santiago seeks to map out the developmental trajectory of certain social behaviors in nonhuman primates to better understand how ecology shapes cognition. Prior to working at Yale, Alyssa graduated from the University of Rochester with a B.S. in Evolutionary Biology & Ecology in 2015.

Molly Crossman [website]
Molly is interested in human-animal interaction (HAI) and animal-assisted therapy. Specifically, Molly is interested in how HAI may be used to promote mentalizing development in children with autism, as well as to provide efficient and engaging treatments for a range of populations. At the Canine Cognition Lab, Molly is exploring how people think about and interact with their pets. Before coming to Yale in 2013, Molly graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. in child development and psychology.

Matthew Jordan [website
Matt graduated from Northeastern University where he majored in Decision Neuroscience. Before coming to Yale, he studied behavioral economics at The Brookings Institution. His research investigates the evolutionary bases of decision-making processes and the cognitive structures responsible for forming social preferences.

zach silverZach Silver 
Zachary A. Silver is a first-year graduate student at Yale University where he investigates components of social decision making and social learning in nonhuman animals. Prior to beginning his work at Yale, Zachary graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a B.A in Psychology and Music.



Justine Aw (YC 2005)

Melissa Baranay (YC 2011, Lab Manager: 2011-2012)

Jennifer Barnes (YC 2006, Ph.D.: 2007-2012)

Marcela Benitez (YC 2007, Lab Manager: 2007-2008)

Michael Bogese (YC 2014, Lab Manager: 2015-2018)

Louisa Egan Brad (Ph.D.: 2003-2008)

Nick Buttrick (YC 2008, Lab Manager: 2008-2011)

Linda Chang (YC 2012, Lab Manager: 2012-2015)

Erik Cheries (Ph.D.: 2002-2007)

Paul Cohen   (YC 2013)  

Lindsey Drayton (Ph.D.: 2011-2017)

Brian Edwards (YC 2008)

Jonathan Flombaum (Ph.D.: 2003-2008)

Ellen Furlong (Post-Doc: 2010-2013)

Courtney Glavis-Bloom (YC 2004)

Liz Gunderson​ (YC 2005)

Bailey House 

Kelly Hughes (Ph.D.: 2007-2012)

Venkat Lakshminarayanan (YC 2007, Ph.D.: 2007-2012)

Kristi Leimgruber (Ph.D.: 2009-2014)

Derek Lyons (Ph.D.: 2004-2008)

Drew Marticorena (YC 2008)

Alia Martin (Ph.D.: 2009-2014)

Katie McAuliffe (Post-Doc: 2013-2015)

Dakota McCoy   (YC 2013)  

Koleen McCrink (Ph.D.: 2002-2007)

Cora Mukerji (YC 2011)

George Newman (Ph.D.: 2004-2008)

Webb Phillips (Ph.D.: 2005-2010)

Albert Powers (YC 2004)

Alexandra Rosati​ (Post-Doc: 2013-2015)

Ben Rottman (Ph.D.: 2006-2011)

April Ruiz (YC 2005, Post-Doc: 2009-2011)

Cecilia Sanchez (YC 2013)

Adena Schachner (YC 2006)

Maya Shankar (YC 2007)

Alex Shaw (Ph.D.: 2008-2013)

Mark Sheskin (Ph.D.: 2007-2013)

Meg Sosnowski (YC 2013)

Amy Skerry (YC 2010)

Mariko (Yamaguchi) Moher (YC 2005)