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)
How "peer-fear" of others' evaluations can regulate young children's cooperation.
Hepach R. and Gerdemann SC., (2023), Behav Brain Sci, 46
The ontogeny of children's social emotions in response to (un)fairness.
Gerdemann SC. et al, (2022), R Soc Open Sci, 9
Processing third-party social interactions in the human infant brain.
Farris K. et al, (2022), Infant Behav Dev, 68
Preschool children's evaluations of their own unjustified requests.
Waddington O. et al, (2022), J Exp Child Psychol, 218
Evidence for a developmental shift in the motivation underlying helping in early childhood.
Hepach R. et al, (2022), Dev Sci