John Trueswell

Office Phone: (215) 898-0911
Lab Phone: (215) 898-0327

CV as of September 2020.

List of lab publications.



John Trueswell is a Professor of Psychology and co-Director of MindCORE’s Integrative Language Science and Technology (ILST) initiative at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his B.A. in Cognitive Science (Magna Cum Laude) and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Rochester. His research focuses on language processing and language acquisition. He has served as the Director of Graduate Studies in Psychology, and as the Director of the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science (IRCS). He is an elected fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (APS), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Cognitive Science Society. He is a recipient of the David Marr Prize and the Ann L. Brown Award for Excellence in Developmental Research. He has been PI and co-PI on several research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). He is an Associate Editor of Language Learning and Development.


Professor Trueswell is a psycholinguist who studies language acquisition and language processing. Some of the fundamental questions that he is interested in include: How do humans so effortlessly interpret utterances in real-time, using incoming speech to compute a speaker’s intended meaning? How do young children learn the meanings of words, and interpret syntactic structure? How do the processing demands of real-time interpretation influence language acquisition, and possibly shape the languages of the world? And does the language we speak change how we see and think about the world? He and his collaborators have addressed these questions using a variety of research methods, including behavioral experimentation, eye tracking, computational modeling, and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Advances have come from comparing individuals with different language backgrounds (cross-linguistic comparison), different cognitive abilities (individual differences within normal and impaired populations) and different levels of experience/maturation (developmental psycholinguistics).