Associate Professor of Developmental Psychology
- Tutorial Fellow, New College, Oxford
I am a developmental psychologist who studies social cognition and motivation in early ontogeny from the first year of life to school-age: How young children’s understanding of the social world shapes their own behaviour to initiate, maintain, and repair cooperative relationships with others.
Together with my colleagues we have designed integrative experimental paradigms that allow us to assess children’s internal states and subtle emotional expressions while they engage with their peers in naturalistic study designs. We use eye tracking, pupillometry, and depth sensor imaging to capture the internal mechanisms that underlie young children’s (pro)social motivation.
Current Research Grants
The affective mechanisms underlying joint attention and joint action in infancy and toddlerhood (Co-PI: Dr. Christine Michel)
German Research Foundation, DFG (2020 - 2023)
Differences in cognitive processing? The role of verbal processes and mental effort in bilingual and monolingual children's planning performance.
Enke S. et al, (2021), J Exp Child Psychol, 213
Infants' Preference for Social Interactions Increases from 7 to 13 Months of Age.
Thiele M. et al, (2021), Child Dev
Cultural values shape the expression of self-evaluative social emotions.
von Suchodoletz A. and Hepach R., (2021), Sci Rep, 11
Observing others' joint attention increases 9-month-old infants' object encoding.
Thiele M. et al, (2021), Dev Psychol, 57, 837 - 850
Chimpanzees' (Pan troglodytes) internal arousal remains elevated if they cannot themselves help a conspecific.
Hepach R. et al, (2021), J Comp Psychol, 135, 196 - 207