Maria D Sera

Professor, Director of Undergraduate Studies

Inst Of Child Dev
208C Ch Dev

51 E River Rd

Cognitive and linguistic development.

Language and Cognitive Development Laboratory

My research focuses on the relation between language and cognitive development. Current projects focus on the relation between knowledge of classifiers and categories in speakers of Chinese, Hmong, and Japanese and on the acquisition of second languages by preschoolers.

If you are interested in the relation of language and cognitive development to education you may want to explore the Minnesota Interdisciplinary Training in Education Research (MITER) program in which I am also a faculty member.

Selected Publications

  1. Sera, M. D.,  Maratsos, M. & Carlson, S. (forthcoming)  Co –editor of Culture and Developmental Systems. Minnesota Symposium on Child Psychology, Volume 38

    Sera, M. D., Cole, C., Oromendia, M. & Koenig, M. (2014) Object Familiarity Facilitates Foreign Word Learning in Preschoolers.  Language Learning and Development, Vol. 10, Issue 2. 129-148.

  2. Sera, M.D., Johnson, K., & Kuo, J. (2013). Classifiers augment and maintain shape-based categorization in Mandarin speakers. Language and Cognition 4 (1), 1-24 .

  3. Zelazo, P. & Sera, M. D. (Eds.) (2013). Developing Cognitive Control Processes: Mechanisms, Implications, and Interventions:  Minnesota Symposia on Child Psychology (Vol. 37). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

  4. Sera, M. D. & Millet, K. G. (2011) Developmental Differences in Shape Processing. Cognitive Development, 26 (1), 40-56.

  5. Kurisnki, E. & Sera, M. D. (2011) Does learning Spanish grammatical gender change English adults’ concepts of inanimate objects? Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 14 (2)203-220.

  6. Sera, M., & Goodrich, W. (2010) Who thinks that a piece of furniture refers to a broken couch? Count-mass Constructions and Individuation in English and Spanish. Journal of Cognitive Linguistics, 21 (3)419-442.

  7. Kuo, Y., & Sera, M. (2009) Classifier effects on human categorization: the role of shape classifiers in Mandarin Chinese. Journal of East Asian Linguistics, Volume 18, Number 1, pp. 1-19.,

  8. Sera, M., & Millett, K. (2008). The Acquisition of English by Spanish-Speaking Preschoolers. Paper presented at the 25th International Conference of English Teaching and Learning: 2008 International Conference on English Instruction and Assessment.

  9. Martin, A. J. & Sera, M. D. (2006) The Acquisition of Spatial Constructions in ASL and English. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, Volume 11, Number 4, pp 391-402.

  10. Sera, M., Elieff, C., Forbes, J., Burch, M. Rodríguez, W., Poulin-Dubois, D. (2002) When Language Affects Cognition and When it Does Not: An Analysis of Grammatical Gender and Classification. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 131(3), 377-397.

  11. Manning, C., Sera, M., & Pick, H.(2002). Understanding how we talk about space: An examination of the meaning of English spatial prepositions. In K.R. Coventry and P. Oliver (Ed.) Spatial Language: Cognitive and Computational Perspectives, pp. 147-164. Dordrecht, NL: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

  12. Abecassis, M., Sera, M., Yonas, A., & Schwade, J. (2001) What’s in a Shape? Children Represent Shape Variability Differently Than Adults When Naming Objects. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 78, pp. 213–239.