Kristine Kovack-Lesh

Kristine Kovack-Lesh

Associate Professor of Psychology

[email protected]
Office: Todd Wehr B15

  • Basic Information
  • Awards & Honors
  • Publications
  • Areas of Interest
  • Presentations

Basic Information


  • B.A., Valparaiso University
  • Ph.D., University of Iowa

Courses Taught

  • PSC 110: General Psychology
  • PSC 211: Research Design and Statistics I
  • PSC 212: Research Design and Statistics II
  • PSC 234: Infant Development
  • PSC 235: Child Development
  • PSC 242: Adolescence
  • PSC 339: Cognitive Processes
  • PSC 424: Research Studies

Learn more about Dr. Kovack-Lesh's Infant Cognition Lab

Awards & Honors

  • 2015: May Bumby Severy, Class of 1908, Award
  • 2013: Adults’ Perceptions of Elementary School Aged Student’ Mathematical Abilities (with Emily Connovich) McNair Scholar Award
  • Summer 2012: Adolescents’ Perception of Mental Health as Acceptable or Not Acceptable Among Their Peers (with Lisa Aguilar) McNair Scholar Award
  • Summer 2010: The Variability in Motor and Cognitive Development of Pre-term, Full-term, Singleton, and Multiple Infants (with Josie Ullsperger): McNair Scholar Award
  • Summer 2009: The Effects of Modifying Infants’ Looking Behavior on Categorization: Ripon College Trustee Grant
  • Summer 2009: The Effect Therapy on Reducing Positive and Negative Symptoms in Schizophrenic Patients (with Sarah Ellefson) McNair Scholar Award
  • Summer 2008: Voice Onset Time in Adult Directed Speech and Infant Directed Speech (with Dresden Goodwin) McNair Scholar Award
  • University of Iowa Graduate College Summer Fellowship
  • International conference of Infant Studies Early Career Research Travel Award


  • McMurray, B., Kovack-Lesh, K.A., Goodwin, D.*, & McEchron, W.D. (in press). Infant Directed Speech and the statistics of phonetics cues: Phonetic enhancement is an unintended consequence? Cognition.
  • Kovack-Lesh, K.A., McMurray, B., & Oakes, L.M. (in press). Four-month-old infants’ visual investigation of pairs of cats and dogs: Relations with pet experience and attentional strategy. Developmental Psychology.
  • Oakes, L.M., & Kovack-Lesh, K.A. (2013). Infants’ visual recognition memory for a series of categorically related items.Journal of Cognition and Development, 4, 63-86.
  • Kovack-Lesh, K.A., Oakes, L.M., & McMurray, B. (2012). Contributions of attentional style and previous experience to 4-month-old infants’ categorization. Infancy, 17, 324-338.
  • Hurley, K.B., Kovack-Lesh, K.A., & Oakes, L.M. (2010). The influence of pets on infants’ learning of cat and dog images.Infant Behavior & Development, 33, 619-628.
  • Kovack-Lesh, K.A. & Oakes, L.M. (2007). “Hold your horses: How exposure to different items influences infant categorization.” Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 98, 69-93.
  • Oakes, L.M. & Kovack-Lesh, K.A. (2007). “Memory processes and categorization in infancy.” Cognition, Brain, Behavior, XI, 661-677.
  • Kovack-Lesh, K.A., Horst, J.S., & Oakes, L.M. (2008). “The cat is out of the bag: The joint influence of previous experience and looking behavior on infant categorization.” Infancy, 13, 285-307.
  • Oakes, L.M., Horst, J.S., Kovack-Lesh, K.A., & Perone, S. (2008). “How Infants Categorize” in A. Needham and A. Woodward (Eds.)  Learning and the Infant Mind (pp. 144-171). New York City: Oxford University Press.
  • Oakes, L.M., Kovack-Lesh, K.A., & Horst, J.S. (2009) “Two are better than one: Comparison influences infants’ visual recognition memory.” Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 104, 124-131.

Areas of Interest

  • Developmental psychology
  • Research areas: infant categorization, infant memory and infant speech perception


  • Kovack-Lesh, K.A. (May 2016). Exploring the development of scene memory during infancy. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the International Congress of Infant Studies, New Orleans, LA.