A highly-decorated area of UQ research which combines our renowned expertise in psychology and neuroscience.

Understanding how the human mind functions and develops in its earliest years is widely considered an insight to the way in which our species has evolved, formed communities, cultures and societal constructs.

Within this research arm exist academics studying aspects of cognition such as memory, imitation foresight, self-recognition, peer interaction, compassion and altruism.

Understanding cognitive development can also help explain why people adopt certain postures, voices, expression or motions from an early age.

Explore our groups

Early Cognitive Development Centre
Devoted to understanding how babies, toddlers and young children make sense of the world around them.
Attention and Control Laboratory
A cognitive neuroscience research group studying attention, training, cognitive control, theory of mind, and task performance using behavioural and neuroimaging techniques.

Meet some of our researchers

Professor Thomas Suddendorf
Investigates the mental capacities in young children and in animals to answer fundamental questions about the nature and evolution of the human mind.
Professor Mark Nielsen
His research interests lie in a range of inter-related aspects of socio-cognitive development in young human children and non-human primates. His current research is primarily focused on charting the origins and development of human cultural cognition.
Professor Virginia Slaughter
Her research focuses on social and cognitive development in infants and young children, with particular emphasis on social behaviour in infancy, theory-of-mind development and the acquisition of peer interaction skills.
Associate Professor Martin Sale
I am interested in using emerging brain stimulation and imaging techniques to "artificially" induce plasticity in the human brain, to ultimately improve the treatment outcomes for various neurological conditions, particularly stroke.