Dr. Berent’s research seeks to unveil human nature and our intuitive understanding of it. To shed light on human nature, she explores the human capacity for language using phonology as a case study. Adopting a programmatic interdisciplinary approach, she examines whether phonology is constrained by abstract universal principles, and whether these principles are shared across language modalities—speech and sign. A second line of research investigates how laypeople reason about human nature. Of particular interest is whether our inborn cognitive capacities bias our understanding of what we know and who we think we are.