Andrea Urqueta Alfaro, PhD (Alumni)

Andrea Urqueta Alfaro Expertise And Interests
  • Early Emotional and Cognitive Child Development
  • Developmental Patterns in Infants with Visual Impairments
  • Developmental Intervention for Infants with Visual Impairments

LC Industries Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr. Andrea Urqueta Alfaro was an LC Industries Research Fellow with the Envision Research Institute, working under the mentorship of Dr. Laura Walker. She completed the U.S. equivalency of a Bachelor and Master in Psychology at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, a Master in Special Education with an emphasis in Visual Impairments at San Francisco State University, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. She worked for six years with the Blind Babies Foundation in California as an early interventionist for infants whose multiple disabilities included visual impairments. Working with Dr. Deborah Orel-Bixler at Berkeley, she used infants’ visual measurements and behavioral video data analysis to characterize two early developments that were barely understood in infants with visual impairments. Her research showed that infants with visual impairments’ ability to coordinate attention between a social partner and an external focus is evident by the end of the first year of life, it constitutes a significantly higher percentage of these infants’ interactions by roughly 18 months of age, and it is predicted by infants’ contrast sensitivity levels measured with preferential looking techniques. Her research also adapted the Strange Situation Paradigm to assess attachment patterns in infants with visual impairments, and found that most infants showed a secure pattern. While at Envision, she carried out research to characterize what was typical development of infants with visual impairments, so that families and practitioners can better distinguish between patterns that are normal for this population, and those that warrant special intervention.

Please visit the University of Montreal Vision Impairment Research Laboratory for current information on Dr. Urqueta Alfaro
Publications View All

Urqueta Alfaro, A., Morash, V., Lei, D., Orel-Bixler, D. (2017). Joint engagement in infants and its relationship to their visual impairment measurements. Infant Behavior and Development.

Urqueta, A. (2015). Visual Impairments. In The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Child Development (2nd Ed.). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. (Accepted for publication.)

Urqueta, A. (2015). Joint engagement and attachment patterns in infants with visual impairments (Doctoral dissertation).

Urqueta, A. (2014). So called autistic-like behaviors in children with visual impairments: Is it the right label?. Terra Haptica, 4, 137-146.

Morash, V., Connell. A., Urqueta, A., McKerracher, A. (2011). A review of haptic spatial abilities in the blind.  Cognition and Computation: An Interdisciplinary Journal,12:2-3, 83-95.