Dr Marieke van Heugten


Marieke van Heugten is an Adjunct Fellow in the Speech and Language group and an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York.

She completed her PhD in Psychology at the University of Toronto, where she conducted my research in the Infant Language and Speech Lab at the Mississauga campus. Prior to moving to Buffalo, she held a postdoctoral position at the Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique in Paris, France. Dr. Van Heugten will join MARCS as a Senior Research Fellow in 2021.

In her research, Dr. Van Heugten examines when and how children learn to comprehend spoken language. Given that the speech signal is intrinsically variable, children need to accommodate such variability to develop mature communication skills.  This is not a trivial task, especially for young children whose cognitive and linguistic capacities have yet to fully mature. By testing infants, toddlers, and young children on their ability to understand speakers who talk in unfamiliar accents, who make linguistic errors, or who sing, Dr. Van Heugten’s work explores how children navigate linguistic diversity in their input. She also investigates the inferences children make about speakers based on their language alone.


  • 2015 - 2021: Assistant Professor of Psychology, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, USA
  • 2019 - 2021: Adjunct Assistant Professor of Linguistics, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, USA
  • 2012 - 2015: Postdoctoral Researcher, Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique, Ecole Normale SupĂ©rieure, Paris, France


  • 2012: Ph.D. in Psychology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  • 2007: M.Sc. in Cognitive Neuroscience, Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands
  • 2004: B.A. in Dutch Language and Culture, Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands


Please click here for a list of publications