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Krista Byers-Heinlein, PhD

Professor, Psychology
Concordia University Research Chair in Bilingualism and Open Science

Krista Byers-Heinlein, PhD
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 2208
Website(s): Lab Website


PhD (University of British Columbia)

Research interests

My research investigates infant development, with a focus on language acquisition. I use primarily behavioral methods such as eye tracking, looking-time, sucking, and reaching measures. I am particularly interested in infants growing up in bilingual environments and the mechanisms that they use to acquire two languages simultaneously. Some current projects compare speech perception and word learning in monolingual and bilingual infants. A related line of work investigates bilingual parenting, and how the language strategies used by bilingual families influence children’s language learning. We are now using our findings to detect bilingual children at risk for language impairment and delay. I also have a strong interest in and commitment to large-scale collaborations and Open Science.

I welcome e-mails from prospective MA and PhD students interested in applying to admission to the research training program, who have interests in early bilingualism and Open Science. Please get in touch well before our December 1st deadline.

Teaching activities

PSYC 311

Research Methods II

PSYC 431


PSYC 333

Lifespan Development

PSYC 726

Graduate seminar in bilingualism

Selected publications

For a full list of publications click here

Sander-Montant, A., López Pérez, M., & Byers-Heinlein, K. (2023). The more they hear the more they learn? Using data from bilinguals to test models of early lexical development. Cognition, 238, 105525.  Repository: Preprint:

Quirk. E., Brouillard, M., Ahooja, A., Ballinger, S., Polka, L. Byers-Heinlein, K., & Kircher, R. (2023) Quebec-based parents’ concerns regarding their children’s multilingual development. International Journal of Multilingualism. Preprint: Repository:

Kremin, L.V., & Byers-Heinlein, K. (2021). Why not both? Rethinking categorical and continuous approaches to bilingualism. International Journal of Bilingualism. Preprint:

Byers-Heinlein, K., Tsui, S. A., Bergmann, C., et al. (2021). A multi-lab study of bilingual infants: Exploring the preference for infant-directed speech. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science. [Registered Report]. January 2021. Preprint: Repository:

Orena, A.J., Byers-Heinlein, K., & Polka. L. (2020). What do bilingual infants actually hear? Evaluating measures of speech input to bilingual-learning 10-month-olds. Developmental Science, 23:e12901.

Schott, E., Rhemtulla, M., & Byers-Heinlein, K. (2019). Should I test more babies? Solutions for transparent data peeking. Infant Behavior and Development, 54, 166-176. Repository:

Byers-Heinlein, K., Morin-Lessard, E., & Lew-Williams, C. (2017). Bilingual infants control their languages as they listen. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(34), 9032–9037. 10.1073/pnas.1703220114 Repository:

Byers-Heinlein, K. (2013). Parental language mixing: Its measurement and the relation of mixed input to young bilingual children’s vocabulary size. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 16(1), 32–48.

Byers-Heinlein, K., Burns, T.F., & Werker, J.F. (2010). The roots of bilingualism in newborns. Psychological Science, 21, 343–348. Postprint: Repository:

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