Elena Tenenbaum is a psychologist and assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Duke University School of Medicine. Her research focuses on early language acquisition and cognitive development.
Tenenbaum uses eye tracking and other behavioral measures to study trajectories of social attention, cognitive development and language learning in infants born premature, infants born to mothers with perinatal depression and infants later diagnosed with autism. Her work has focused on relationships between social attention and language development, communicative capacity in minimally verbal autistic children and early predictors of autism in infancy.
She helped create and currently leads the Remote Infant Studies of Early Learning (RISE) Battery and Consortium. She is also a co-founder of the Meeting on Language in Autism. Her research has been supported with funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (T32 Fellow), the Autism Science Foundation, Autism Speaks and the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences.
Tenenbaum completed her Ph.D. in psychology at Brown University in the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences. She later re-specialized in clinical psychology at Suffolk University and completed her internship and postdoctoral training at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.