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Lab Director


Dr. Elizabeth Wakefield is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Loyola University Chicago and director of the Movement & Learning Lab. Dr. Wakefield earned her B.A. from Kalamazoo College and her Ph.D. from Indiana University. She continued her training as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago, before joining the faculty at Loyola.

Dr. Wakefield employs behavioral, eye tracking and neuroimaging methods to understand how children and adults process and learn through different forms of movement experience: actions and gestures. Learn more about research happening in the lab by visiting "Our Research"!

Outside interests: cooking, singing, friends, and family

Graduate Students

Katharine Guarino is a sixth year graduate student. In her work, she explores how we transform experiences of the physical, concrete world into abstract knowledge. At the core of her research are questions of how humans develop knowledge, specifically knowledge that comes from abstracting across multiple experiences in the form of relational reasoning, inference, and generalization. Currently, she is investigating how relational reasoning ability is acquired using behavioral and eye tracking methods, and how two instructional methods, action and gesture, facilitate knowledge creation.

Outside interests: movies, puzzles, woodwork, drawing, spending time with family and friends, horseback riding, traveling 

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Daniela Hacke is a junior at Loyola majoring in cognitive and behavioral neuroscience. She hopes to pursue a career in psychotherapy specializing in trauma and PTSD treatment while keeping options open in research. She is bilingual with Spanish as her second language and enjoys volunteering at her local library to help children learn and practice reading. 


Outside interests: Drawing, traveling, hiking, music, bike rides, and playing piano.

Kristina Humphrey is a senior at Loyola University Chicago double majoring in psychology and French. She hopes to pursue graduate work in developmental psychology, but is keeping her options open. She is also an executive board member of GlobeMed at Loyola, and enjoys working with children.

Outside interests: cooking/baking, playing the cello, spending time with friends and family, painting, going on walks with her roommate's dog.

Connor Karwowski is a senior double majoring in Psychology and Music with a minor in Spanish Literature. He plans to work as an RA in Neuroscience and Psychology research after graduating from Loyola, before applying to MD/Ph.D. programs. He hopes to one day research the biological mechanisms of psychopathology, but he has many research interests within the field of Neuroscience. When not in class, he spends his time as a member of Loyola’s Symphony Orchestra, and as a Family Lead within the Peer Advising program.

Outside interests: watching documentaries, learning to play piano, writing book reviews, and making Spotify playlists for his friends. 

Jennifer Kavina is a sophomore at Loyola University Chicago double majoring in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychology. She is on the Pre-Med track in hopes of becoming a pediatrician. She is in the Interdisciplinary Honors Program and is also involved in organizations on campus such as the Gannon Scholars Program, Friends of MSF, and HOSA!  

Outside interests: traveling, playing basketball, and swimming. 

Chloe Michel is a junior at Loyola and a cognitive behavioral neuroscience major on the pre-PA track, hoping to go to physician assistant school after Loyola. She is also a part of Loyola’s Neuroscience Society and she enjoys spending time with family and friends, being outside, and exploring new places.

Outside interests: tennis, skiing, piano, cooking, traveling, music 

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Sierra Webber

I am a senior at Loyola University Chicago majoring in psychology and minoring in sociology. I am currently on the pre-PA track and hope to go to hope to attend physician assistant school after undergrad but I want to gain research experience to see if it is something I would like to pursue further. I enjoy working with children and wish to work in pediatrics. 

Outside interests: Art, music, dance, and reading 

Megan Weiss is a junior studying cognitive and behavioral neuroscience. She is on the Pre-med track with interests in pediatric neurology. She is also apart of the interdisciplinary honors program and is involved in Loyola’s new SSO, A Moment of Magic! Outside of Loyola, she tutoring and works as a camp counselor for children with disabilities!


Outside interests: The Chicago Cubs, Hiking, Music, and spending time outdoors with family and friends!

Lab Alumni

  • Demiana Agaiby (2018-2019): graduate student

  • Laura Bottei (2019-2021): graduate student

  • Erin Foy (2019-2021): graduate student

  • Allison Haussler (2019-2020): graduate student

  • Sarah Heimberg (2016-2017): veterinary assistant

  • Mady Jurcev (2017-2020): medical school student

  • Erick Larios-Bautista (2016-2017): medical school student

  • Mary Nagai (2020-2022)

  • Dylan Nelson (2020-2021)

  • Kiril Nikolovski (2020-2021): dental school student

  • Agna Patel (2020-2022)

  • Krupa Patel (2021-2022)

  • Tori Roberts (2019-2021)

  • Natalie Schomas (2016-2017): film freelancer

  • Mariana Sosa (2019-2020): graduate student

  • Sam Spain (2020-2022)

  • Sasha Stojanovich (2017-2019): assistant teacher - loyola university preschool

  • Emma Tumminaro (2021-2022)

  • Gina Wrolstad (2018-2019): search coordinator and office manager - koya partners 

  • Natalia Zielinski (2018-2021): research assistant

External Collaborators

We also have wonderful research collaborators:


  • Dr. Susan Goldin-Meadow (University of Chicago)

  • Dr. Miriam Novack (Northwestern University)

  • Dr. Eliza Congdon (Williams College)

  • Dr. Lauren Howard (Franklin & Marshall College) 

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