She specializes in the development of cognition in infancy. Baillargeon is perhaps best known for her research that has shown that infants have an intuitive awareness of physical laws such as solidity, containment, and occlusion. However, her research interests encompass a variety of issues in causal reasoning, focusing not only on the physical but also the psychological, sociomoral, and biological domains. Baillargeon received a B.A. McGill University in 1975 and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1981 under the supervision of Rochel Gelman and Elizabeth Spelke, and she subsequently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at MIT under the supervision of Susan Carey from 1981-1982. She received her first academic appointment at the University of Texas at Austin in 1982, and she moved to the University of Illinois a year later, where she has remained since.
Dr. Renee Baillargeon received the 2013 Fyssen Foundation International Prize for contributing so widely to knowledge on the theme “Human Cognitive Development.” Baillargeon’s research focuses on early conceptual development in three core domains: physical reasoning, psychological reasoning, and biological reasoning. She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007. She was a 1991 Guggenheim Fellow.
- "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter B". American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- Baillargeon, Renee (2004). "Infants' reasoning about hidden objects: Evidence for event-general and event-specific expectations". Developmental Science 7: 391–424. doi:10.1111/j.1467-7687.2004.00357.x. PMID 15484586. Retrieved 2009-05-03.
- "Renee Baillargeon's research interests". Retrieved 3 May 2009.
- Renee Baillargeon's Homepage
- Faculty Biography, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois
- Infant Cognition Lab
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