Haley Vlach

Associate Professor, Area Chair: Human Development


886 Educational Sciences

1025 West Johnson Street

Madison, WI 53706-1706

Vlach, Haley

   Download CV   http://vlachlab.education.wisc.edu  

My research examines the mechanisms underlying children’s learning in order to (1) understand cognition and how cognition develops, and (2) build an empirical base for the design of successful educational and health interventions. My work spans the following cognitive and developmental processes: memory, memory development, word and category learning, concept learning, conceptual development, inductive learning, and generalization/transfer of learning. A central focus is connecting more traditional psychological research to applied settings, such as the design of cognitive interventions and concept learning in the classroom. For more information, please see my lab website: Learning, Cognition, & Development Lab


  • PhD Cognitive & Developmental Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, 2012
  • MA Cognitive & Developmental Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, 2007
  • BS Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, 2006

Select Publications

  • Knabe, M., & Vlach, H. (2020). When are difficulties desirable for children? First steps toward a developmental and individual differences account of the spacing effect. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 9, 447-454.
  • Vlach, H. (2019). Learning to remember words: Memory constraints as double-edged sword mechanisms of language development. Child Development Perspectives, 13, 159-165.
  • Miller, H. E., Vlach, H., & Simmering, V. R. (2017). Producing spatial words is not enough: Understanding the relation between language and spatial cognition. Child Development, 88, 1966-1982.
  • Vlach, H., & DeBrock, C. A. (2017). Remember dax? Relations between children's cross-situational word learning, memory, and language abilities. Journal of Memory and Language, 93, 217-230.
  • Vlach, H. A., & Sandhofer, C. M. (2014). Retrieval dynamics and retention in cross-situational statistical learning. Cognitive Science, 38, 757-774.
  • Vlach, H. A. (2014). The spacing effect in children’s generalization of knowledge: Allowing children time to forget promotes their ability to learn. Child Development Perspectives, 8, 163-168.
  • Vlach, H. A., & Johnson, S. P. (2013). Memory constraints on infants' cross-situational statistical learning. Cognition, 127, 375-382.
  • Vlach, H. A., & Sandhofer, C. M. (2012). Distributing learning over time: The spacing effect in children’s acquisition and generalization of science concepts. Child Development, 83, 1137-1144.

Select Awards and Honors

  • Boyd McCandless Award, APA Div. 7, 2020
  • Mentoring Undergraduates in Research and Scholarly Activities Award, UW-Madison, 2019
  • Vilas Faculty Early Career Investigator Award, Vilas Trust, 2019
  • Human Cognition Scholar Award, James S. McDonnell Foundation, 2018
  • Early Career Contribution Award, SRCD, 2017
  • William Chase Award, 2015