Jana Iverson, Ph.D.


3415 Sennott Square






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Research Interests

Communicative development; gesture; motor development; autism spectrum disorders; atypical development.


Download CV here

Research Interests: Nature and development of the relationship between gesture and speech; infant vocal-motor activity as a potential precursor of the gesture-speech link; motor and communicative development in infants at increased biological risk for autism spectrum disorders; early identification of developmental delay and autism spectrum disorders.

Accepting Graduate Students: Yes


Infant Communication Lab

Studies of the relationship between speech and gesture and developmental precursors in typically-developing children and children with, or at risk for, developmental disorders.

Director:   Jana Iverson, PhD

Location:  3311 Sennott Square

Contact:  412-624-9355

Pittsburgh Early Autism Study

We are studying infants who have an older sibling diagnosed with an austism spectrum disorder (ASD) to look for infant behaviors that may predict a later ASD diagnosis. Family home videos of children later diagnosed with ASD suggest that diagnostic signs of ASD may emerge within the first year of life.

Our Team:

Jana Iverson, PhD

Mark Strauss, PhD

Susan Campbell, PhD

Contact: 1-866-647-3436 or autismrecruiter@pitt.edu

Graduate Student Advisees

  • Leezenbaum, Nina
  • Northrup, Jessie
  • West, Kelsey
  • Emily Roemer


  • PhD, University of Chicago


  • Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award (2007)


  • Publication 960

    Sheinkopf, S.J., Iverson, J.M., Rinaldi, M.L., & Lester, B.M (in press). Atypical cry acoustics in 6-month old infants at-risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism Research.

  • Publication 835

    Iverson, J.M. & Braddock, B.A. (2011). Links between language, gesture, and motor skill in children with language impairment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 54, 72-86.

  • Publication 834

    ParladÕ©, M.V. & Iverson, J.M. (2011). The interplay between language, affect, and gesture during communicative transition: A dynamic systems approach. Developmental Psychology, 47, 820-833.

  • Publication 749

    Iverson, J.M. (2010). Developing language in a developing body: The relationship between motor development and language development. Journal of Child Language, 37, 229-261.

  • Publication 671

    ParladÕ©, M.V., & Iverson, J.M. (in press). The reorganization of communicative behavior around the onset of the vocabulary spurt. Journal of Applied Psycholinguistics.

  • Publication 602

    Iverson, J.M., Capirci, O., Volterra, V., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (2008). Learning to talk in a gesture-rich world: Early communication of Italian vs. American children. First Language, 28, 164-181.

  • Publication 601

    Stefanini, S., Bello, A., Caselli, M.C., Iverson, J.M., & Volterra, V. (2009). Co-speech gestures in a naming task: Developmental data. Language and Cognitive Processes, 24, 168-189.

  • Publication 600

    Zwaigenbaum, L., Bryson, S., Lord, C., Rogers, S., Carter, A., Chawarska, K., Dawson, G., Fein, D., Iverson, J., Landa, R., Stone, W., & Yirmiya, N. (2009). Clinical assessment and management of toddlers with suspected ASD: Insights from studies of high-risk infants. Pediatrics, 123, 1383-1391.

  • Publication 445

    Iverson, J.M., Hall, A.J., & Nickel, L., & Wozniak, R.H. (2007). The relationship between onset of reduplicated babble and laterality biases in infant rhythmic arm movements. Brain and Language, 101, 198-207.

  • Publication 444

    Iverson, J.M. & Wozniak, R.H. (2007). Variation in vocal-motor development in infant siblings of children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 158-170.