Department of Educational Psychology

SO Wing-chee, Catherine, Ph.D.

Professor, BSocSc (CUHK), Ph.D. (Chicago)

Professor So received a Ph.D. in Psychology (Language) from University of Chicago, and was an Assistant Professor at National University of Singapore.
Language and gesture development in typically-developing children and children with autism; cross-linguistic comparisons in language and gesture; and the role of gesture in language development and cognitive processing.

My research attempts to address the following questions:

  1. How does communication system emerge? Are there any linguistic elements in silent gestures (i.e., gestures produced without speech)?
  2. How does gesture facilitate language production and acquisition of knowledge in both adults and children? For example, do gestures produced dysfluencies help speakers to continue their speech? Do gestures that show directions (index finger moves to the left) help a learner to remember route sequence?
  3. How do children with special needs (especially Autism Spectrum Disorders) gesture different from their typically-developing peers? How do these differences tell us about gesture development and factors related to gesture production and comprehension?
  4. How do children with Autism Spectrum Disorders benefit from the robot-based gestural intervention program? Are there any individual variations in the learning outcomes?