Jennifer Ganger, Ph.D

(Click here for my official department-sponsored website)

Research Assistant Professor and Instructor, University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychology

Department of Psychology
University of Pittsburgh
210 S. Bouquet St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
office phone: (412)624-3064
email: jganger at


Psychology 1320: Language Development (Taught Spring 2000; Spring 2002; Spring 2003; Fall 2004; Spring 2005; Fall 2005; Spring 2006)

Psychology/Linguistics 2320 (Graduate Language Development) (Last offered Spring 2005)

Psychology 0310: Developmental Psychology (Taught Fall 2001; Spring 2002 ; Fall 2002; Spring 2003; Fall 2004; Spring 2005; Fall 2005; Spring 2006; Fall 2007; Spring 2008; Spring 2009)

Developmental Behavioral Genetics (Graduate Seminar) (Fall 2001)

Psychology 1053: Behavior Genetics (Taught Fall 2003; Spring 2004; Spring 2005; Spring 2006; Fall 2009)


My research investigates the environmental and genetic basis of first language acquisition in children. I have recently wrapped up more than 10 years of studying twins and have begun more direct investigations of the role of language input on language learning.

Research Links

·  Ganger, Dunn, & Gordon BUCLD 2004 paper on genetics of passive voice (twin study)

·  Vocabulary spurt data (from Ganger & Brent 2004 Developmental Psychology paper)

·  Ganger & Gordon 2009 SRCD poster: Passive exposure improves comprehension of passive voice in 4-year-olds

·  Ganger & Ullman: 2008 summary of work on BDNF-related genes and past tense

Visit The Twins Study @ Harvard Homepage, (formerly the MIT Twins Study) which describes part of my twin study and University of Pittsburgh Twin Study of Language Development



Postdoctoral Fellowship (NIH/NRSA), 1998-2001, University of Pittsburgh.

Ph.D in Cognitive Science, 1998, MIT (Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences), Cambridge, Massachusetts

B.A. in Linguistics, 1992, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.


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Dynamo Youth Soccer
Colfax PTO, for my kids' school