Doctoral student in Developmental Psychology


Jenny is a doctoral student in the developmental program working with Susan-Goldin-Meadow and Amanda Woodward. She graduated in 2012 from Wellesley College where she did research with Jennie Pyers and Barbara Beatty on language and cognitive development in deaf children. After graduation, as a Susan Rappaport Knafel Scholar, she did British Sign Language development research at University College London with Gary Morgan, Pamela Perniss, and Gabriella Vigliocco. Then, she went on to teach in Germany on a Fulbright scholarship in 2014-2015.

Research Interests

Jenny studies how learners use gesture and iconicity to learn language. She is also interested in how children learn and change language based on varied input (full vs. no language input). Finally, she studies how gesture impacts cognition. She answers her questions by studying gesture, homesign, signed and spoken languages.

Selcted Presentations and Publications

Lu, J.C. & Goldin-Meadow, S. (2018). Creating images with a stroke of the hand: Depiction of shape and size in sign language. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 1-15.

Brookshire, G., Lu, J., Nusbaum, H., Goldin-Meadow, S., & Casasanto, D. (2017). Visual cortex entrains to low-frequency amplitude variability in sign language. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(24), 6352-6357.

Perniss, P., Lu, J., Morgan, G., & Vigliocco, G. (2017). The Role of Iconicity in Linking Language to World: Evidence from Sign Language Input. Developmental Science,1-23.

Thompson, R.L., England, R., Woll, B., Lu, J., Mumford, K., & Morgan, G. (2017). Deaf and hearing children’s picture naming: impact of culture and sign language exposure on representational gesture. Language, Interaction and Acquisition, 8(1), 1-19.

Lu, J., Jones, A., & Morgan, G. (2016). The impact of input quality on early sign development in native and non-native language learners. Journal of Child Language, 43(3): 537-52.

Lu, J.C. & Goldin-Meadow, S. (in prep). Iconicity isn't that easy: Age of acquisition affects signers' production of iconic signs but not derivational morphology.

Lu, J.C. & Goldin-Meadow, S. (in prep). Do signers gesture? Yes, but not in the same way as speakers.

Lu, J.C. & Goldin-Meadow, S. (in prep). Revisiting iconicity in language learning: a theoretical review.


To learn more about Jenny, please visit her website