Partnerships for International
Research and Education
Partnerships for International
Research and Education

Daniel Weiss

Daniel Weiss
Board director for the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences - National Academy of Sciences


Dan Weiss is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology and Linguistics. He completed his undergraduate training at the University of Maryland. For his Masters and PhD, Dan studied animal communication in the Cognition Brain and Behavior program in the Psychology Department at Harvard University. Subsequently, Dan spent three years as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Rochester, working with Dick Aslin and Elissa Newport studying the early mechanisms of language acquisition. At Penn State, Dan continues to pursue a comparative approach to studying cognition and communication. His primary interest in the domain of language acquisition is statistical learning (i.e., how learners track the distributional properties of speech). Recently, this work has begun to explore how language learners are able to track multiple inputs and non-uniform distributions. Dan also maintains an active research program studying motor planning and social cognition in humans and nonhuman primates.

Representative Publications:

  • Mitchel, A., & Weiss, D.J. (in press) Visual speech segmentation: Using facial cues to locate word boundaries in continuous speech. Language and Cognitive Processes.
  • Weiss, D.J. (in press) Statistical Learning in Infancy. For Brooks, P, Kempe, V., & Golson, J.G. (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Language Development. SAGE.
  • Zander, S., Weiss, D.J., & Judge, P.G., (in press) The interface between morphology and action planning: A comparison of two species of New World monkeys. Animal Behaviour.
  • Zinszer, B. & Weiss, D.J. (2013) When to hold and when to fold: Detecting structural changes in statistical learning. Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 3858-3863.
  • Hotchkin, C.F., Parks, S.E., & Weiss, D.J. (2013) Vocal modifications in primates: Interactions of noise and behavioral context on the acoustic structure of vocalizations.Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, (19).
  • Chapman, K.M. & Weiss, D.J. (2013). Pulling to scale: Motor planning for sequences of repeated actions by cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes. Vol 39(2), 180-186. doi: 10.1037/a0031775
  • Rosenbaum, D.A., Chapman, K.M., Weigelt, M., Weiss, D.J., & Van der Wel, R. (2012) Cognition, action, and object manipulation: The end-state comfort effect. Psychological Bulletin138(5), 924-946. doi: 10.1037/a0027839
  • Weiss, D.J., Chapman, K.M., Wark, J., & Rosenbaum, D.A. (2012) Motor planning in primates. A commentary on Vaesen, K., The cognitive basis of human tool use, Brain & Behavioral Science35(4), 244.
  • Poepsel, T., Gerfen, C. & Weiss, D.J. (2012). Context, mutual exclusivity, and the challenge of multiple mappings in word learning. Proceedings of the 36th Annual Boston University Conference on Language DevelopmentVolume 2, 474-486.
  • Mitchel, A. & Weiss, D.J. (2012). The use of facial cues for speech segmentation.Proceedings of the 36th Annual Boston University Conference on Language DevelopmentVolume 2, 361-373.
  • Mitchel, A. & Weiss, D.J. (2011). Simultaneous statistical learning in two modalities: Evidence for modality-general accounts. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition37(5), 1081-1091.
  • Linck, J. & Weiss, D.J. (2011). Working memory predicts the acquisition of explicit L2 knowledge. In Sanz, C. & Leow, R.P. (Eds.) Implicit and Explicit Language Learning: Conditions Processes and Knowledge in SLA and Bilingualism. Georgetown University Press.
  • Weiss, D.J., Gerfen, C., & Mitchel, A.(2010). Colliding cues in word segmentation: The role of cue strength and general cognitive processes. Language and Cognitive Processes,25(3), 402-422.
  • Weiss, D.J. & Chapman, K. (2010). Animal Learning and Behavior. In Weiner, I.B. & Craighead, W.E.(eds.) The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology 4th Edition(1), 107-110, Wiley & Sons: Hoboken, N.J.
  • Mitchel, A. & Weiss, D.J. (2010). What's in a face? Visual contributions to speech segmentation. Language and Cognitive Processes25(4), 456-482.
  • Chapman, K.M., Weiss, D.J., & Rosenbaum, D.A. (2010). Evolutionary roots of motor planning: The end-state comfort effect in lemurs. Journal of Comparative Psychology,124(2), 229-232.
  • Weiss, D.J. & Wark, J. (2009). Hysteresis effect in a motor task in cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes,35(3), 135-141.
  • Weiss, D.J., Gerfen, C. & Mitchel, A.D. (2009). Speech segmentation in a simulated bilingual environment: A challenge for statistical learning? Language Learning and Development5, 30-49.
  • Mitchel, A. D. & Weiss, D.J. (2009). Faces in segmentation: The role of audio-visual integration. Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, 667-678.
  • Weiss, D.J. & Maye, J. (2008). The role of contrast in the acquisition of phonetic systems. Avery, P., Rice, K., and Dresher, B.E. (Eds.) Contrast in Phonology: Theory, Perception, Acquisition. Mouton de Gruyter (Berlin/ New York), 219-230.
  • Weiss, D.J., Gerfen, C., & *Mitchel, A. (2008). Colliding cues in word segmentation: The role of cue strength and individual differences. Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, 537-549.
  • Maye J., Weiss, D.J. & Aslin R.N. (2008). Statistical phonetic learning in infants: Facilitation and feature generalization. Developmental Science11(1), 122-134.
  • Weiss, D.J., *Wark, J. & Rosenbaum, D.A. (2007). Monkey see, monkey plan, monkey do: The end-state comfort effect in cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus). Psychological Science18(12), 1063-1068.
  • Rosenbaum, D.A., Cohen, R.G., Jax, S.A., Weiss, D.J. & van der Wel, R. (2007). The problem of serial order in behavior: Lashley's Legacy. Human Movement Science26, 525-554.
  • Weiss, D.J. & Gerfen, C. (2006). Language segmentation in a bilingual environment.Proceedings of the 30th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development.
  • Weiss, D.J. & Santos, L. (2006). Introduction to Thematic Collection: Why Primates?: The Importance of Non-Human Primates for Understanding Human Infancy. Infancy9(2), 133-146.
  • Weiss, D.J. & Newport E. (2006). Mechanisms underlying language acquisition: Benefits from a comparative approach. Infancy9(2), 241-257.