Cara Cashon, PhD

Cara Cashon, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Director of the Infant Cognition Lab at the University of Louisville. Dr. Cashon's research areas of expertise are infant cognitive development and face recognition. She feels fortunate to be involved in the Louisville baby community and to be able to contribute to parents' understanding of their babies.

Associate Professor and

Director, Experimental Psychology Ph.D. Program

Our program has made submitting the GRE general score optional in the Fall 2021 admission cycle. PLEASE NOTE:  I will not review the GRE scores of anyone who applies to work with me, whether they submit scores or not. 
Underrepresented minority students are especially encouraged to apply!!!
Experimental Psychology Ph.D. applicants, I am looking to accept a new student. Deadline is Dec. 1st.  Apply here!
Undergraduate students interested in research openings in my lab, click here to download a flyer with more information.


  • Ph.D. Psychology, The University of Texas at Austin, 2004
  • B.S. Psychology, The University of Iowa, 1995

Research Interests

  • Face recognition
  • Infant cognitive development
    • Face processing, emotion perception
    • Visual attention
    • Physical development and cognition
    • Effects of parental behaviors on infant learning and cognition
    • Linguistic development
  • Cognitive, perceptual, and linguistic development in infants and toddlers with Williams syndrome
  • Replicability in science (e.g., ManyBabies project)
  • Algorithmic bias in AI

Selected Publications

* denotes student author

  • Cashon, C.H., *Ha, O., Graf Estes, K., Saffran, J. R., & Mervis, C. B. (2016). Infants with Williams syndrome detect statistical regularities in continuous speech, Cognition. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2016.05.009
  • Cashon, C. H. & *Holt, N. A. (2015). Developmental origins of the face inversion effect. In J. B. Benson (Ed.), Advances in Child Development and Behavior, Vol. 48 (117-150). Burlington: Academic Press.
  • Cashon, C. H., *Ha, O., *Allen, C. L., & *Barna, A. C. (2013). A U-shaped relation between sitting ability and upright face processing in infants. Child Development, 84, 802-809. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12024
  • Cashon, C. H., *Ha, O., *DeNicola, C. A., & Mervis, C. B. (2013). Toddlers with Williams syndrome process upright but not inverted faces holistically. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 1-9. doi: 10.1007/s10803-013-1804-0
  • *DeNicola, C., *Holt, N., *Jacobs, A., & Cashon, C. H. (2013). Attention-orienting and attention-holding effects of faces on 4- to 8-month-old infants. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 37, 143-147. doi: 10.1177/016502541247475
  • Cashon, C. H. & *DeNicola, C. A. (2011). Is perceptual narrowing too narrow? Journal of Cognition and Development, 12, 159-162. doi: 10.1080/15248372.2011.563483
  • Cashon, C. H. (2011). Development of specialized face perception in infants: An information-processing approach. In L. M. Oakes, C. H. Cashon, M. Casasola, & D. H. Rakison (Eds.), Infant perception and cognition: Recent advances, emerging theories, and future directions. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Oakes, L. M., Cashon, C. H., Casasola, M., & Rakison, D. H (Eds.). (2011). Infant Perception and Cognition: Recent advances, emerging theories, and future directions. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • *Ferguson, K., *Kulkofsky, S., Cashon, C., & Casasola, M. (2009). The development of specialized processing of own-race faces. Infancy.
  • Cohen, L. B., & Cashon, C. H. (2006). Infant Cognition. In W. Damon & R. M. Lerner (Series Eds.) & D. Kuhn & R. S. Siegler (Vol. Eds.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 2. Cognition, Perception, and Language (6th ed., pp. 214-251). New York: Wiley.
  • Cashon, C. H., & Cohen, L. B. (2004). Beyond U-shaped development in infants’ processing of faces. Journal of Cognition and Development (special issue on U-shaped development), 5, 59-80.
  • Cashon, C. H., & Cohen, L. B. (2003). The construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction of infant face perception. In A. Slater and O. Pascalis (Eds.), The development of face processing in infancy and early childhood (pp. 55-68). New York, NOVA Science Publishers,
  • Cohen, L. B., & Cashon, C. H. (2003). Infant perception and cognition. In I. B. Weiner (Series Ed.) & R. M. Lerner, M. A. Easterbrooks, & J. Mistry, (Vol. Ed.), Handbook of Psychology: Vol. 6. Developmental Psychology (pp. 65-89). New York: Wiley.
  • Cashon, C. H., & Cohen, L. B. (2000). Eight-month-old infants' perception of possible and impossible events. Infancy, 1, 429-446.

Courses Often Taught


  • HON 101: Honors Modes of Inquiry
  • PSYC 414/HON 446/HON 456: Honors-Myths about Child Development-WR
  • PSYC 414/HON 446/HON 456: Honors-Psychology of Social Media-WR
  • PSYC 435: Seminar in Infancy-WR


  • PSYC 610: Advanced Statistics I
  • PSYC 609: Infant Cognition and Perception


Service at UofL (Current)

Chair - Dept. PBS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Member - Provost's Proctoring Software Committee (subcommittee: Algorithmic Assumptions)

Member - UofL Digital Transformation Team (subcommittee: Developing Curricula)

Member - Graduate Council (subcommittee: Academic Affairs)