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Amy Needham, Adjunct Assistant Professor

Amy Needham
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Office Phone:  (919) 660-5714
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PhDUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign1992
M.A.University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign1989
B.A.Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois1987

Developmental Psychology
Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience
Research Interests: Development of Perception and Action

I study questions in perceptual, motor and cognitive development during infancy. My ongoing projects ask how feedback about the consequences of their actions could entice infants to start reaching, the instrumental use of objects and tools in infancy, and object segregation in infancy. My overarching goals are to understand the contributions of perceptual-motor learning on cognitive development during the first two years of life.


Lab Website
Current Ph.D. Students   (Former Students)

  • Tracy Barrett
  • Klaus Libertus
  • Klaus Libertus
  • Klaus Libertus
  • Susan Ormsbee
Representative Publications   (More Publications)   (search)

  1. Fitzpatrick, P., Needham, A., Natale, L., & Metta, G. (2008). Shared challenges in object perception for robots and infants. Infant and Child Development, 17, 7-24.
  2. Barrett, T.M., & Needham, A. (2008). Developmental differences in infants’ use of an object’s shape to grasp it securely. Developmental Psychobiology, 50, 97-106.
  3. Barrett, T.M., Traupman, E., & Needham, A. (2008). Infants’ visual anticipation of object structure in grasp planning. Infant Behavior and Development, 31, 1-9.
  4. Barrett, T.M., Davis, E.F., & Needham, A. (2007). Learning about tools in infancy. Developmental Psychology, 43(2), 352-368.  [abs]
  5. Needham, A., Cantlon, J.F., & Ormsbee Holley, S.M. (2006). Infants' use of category knowledge and object attributes when segregating objects at 8.5 months of age. Cognitive Psychology, 53, 345-360.
  6. Sommerville, J.A., Woodward, A.L., & Needham, A. (2005). Action experience alters 3-month-old infants' perception of others' actions. Cognition, 96, B1-B11.
  7. Needham, A., Dueker, G.L., & Lockhead, G. (2005). Infants' formation and use of categories to segregate objects. Cognition, 94, 215-240.
  8. Dueker, G.L., & Needham, A. (2005). Infants' object category formation and use: Real-world context effects on cateory use in object processing. Visual Cognition, 12, 1177-1198.
  9. A. Needham & Ormsbee, S.M. "The Development of Object Segregation During the First Year of Life." Preceptual Organization in Vision: Behavioral and Neural Perspectives. Ed. R. Kimchi, M. Behrmann, and C. Olson Carngie Symposium on Cognition. Mahwah, New Jersey. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2003: 205-232.
  10. Dueker, G., Modi, A., & Needham, A. (2003). 4.5-month-old infants’ learning, retention, and use of object boundary information. Infant Behavior and Development, 26(4), 588-605.
  11. Needham, A., Barrett, T., & Peterman, K. (2002). A Pick-Me-Up for Infants' Exploratory Skills: Early Stimulated Experiences Reaching for Objects Using 'Sticky Mittens' Enhances Young Infrants' Object Exploration Skills. Infant Behavior and Development, 25, 279-295.
  12. Needham, A. (2001). Object Recognition and Object Segregation in 4.5-Month-Old Infants. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 78, 3-24.
  13. Huettel, S.A., & Needham, A. (2000). Effects of Balance Relations Between Objects on Infants' Object Segregation. Developmental Science, 3, 415-427.
  14. Needham, A. (2000). Improvements in Object Exploration Skills May Facilitate the Development of Object Segregation in Early Infancy. Journal of Cognition and Development, 1, 131-156.
  15. Needham, A. (1999). The Role of Shape in 4-Month-Old Infants' Segregation of Adjacent Objects. Infant Behavior and Development, 22, 161-178.
  16. Needham, A. (1999). How Infants Grasp Two Adjacent Objects: Effects of Perceived Display Composition on Infants' Actions. Developmental Science, 2, 219-233.
  17. Needham, A. (1998). Infants' use of featural information in the segreation of stationary objects. Infant Behavior and Development, 21, 47-76.
  18. Needham, A., & Baillargeon, R. (1998). Effects of prior experience in 4.5-month-old infants' object segregation. Infant Behavior and Development, 21, 1-24.

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