Ulf Liszkowski Do Infants Understand Others as Mental Agents and Communicate Meaningfully Before They Acquire Language?

Ulf Liszkowski is Professor of Developmental Psychology at the University of Hamburg. He is also Research Fellow of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour at the Radboud University, Nijmegen (Netherlands) and was Leader of the Max Planck Research Group ‘Communication Before Language’. He has received the George Butterworth Young Scientist Award (2007) and the International Society for Infant Studies Conference Award (2008). His research interests include the origins and development of human social interactions and communication.

Area of Research

Developmental Psychology

Verónica C. Ramenzoni and Ulf Liszkowski. "The Social Reach: 8-Month-Olds Reach for Unobtainable Objects in the Presence of Another Person." Psychological Science 27, 9 (2016): 1278-85.  
Carina Lüke, Angela Grimminger, Katharina J. Rohlfing, Ulf Liszkowski and Ute Ritterfeld. "In Infants’ Hands: Identification of Preverbal Infants at Risk Ror Primary Language Delay." Child Development 88, 2 (2016): 484-492.  
Ulf Liszkowski. "Using Theory of Mind." Child Development Perspectives 7, 2 (2013): 104-109.  

since 2012

Professor of Developmental Psychology

University of Hamburg (Universität Hamburg)

2008-2013

Research Group Leader

Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

Max Planck Research Group Communication Before Language

2007

Post-Doc

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

2006-2007

Lecturer in Developmental Psychology

Leipzig University (Universität Leipzig)

2005-2006

Post-Doc

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology

2002-2005

PhD

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology

2002

Diploma

University of Hamburg (Universität Hamburg)

2001

Master of Science in Developmental Neuropsychology

University of Essex

- American Psychologist

- Applied Psycholinguistics

- Behavioral Processes

- British Journal of Developmental Psychology

- Cognition

- Child Development

- Developmental Psychology

- Developmental Review

- Developmental Science

- Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

- First Language

- Gesture

- Human Development

- Interaction Studies

- Journal of Child Language

- Journal of Comparative Psychology

- Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

- Language Learning and Development

- NSF

- Oxford University Press

- Psychological Science

- Review of Philosophy and Psychology

- Science

- Social Development

- Social Psychology

- Association for Psychological Science

- Jean Piaget Society

- Society for Research in Child Development

- European Society for Developmental Psychology

Fellowships

- Research Fellow of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour; Radboud University, Nijmegen (since 2010)

Prizes

- International Society for Infant Studies Conference Award (2008)

- The George Butterworth Young Scientist Award (2007)

How do humans understand each other? One unique aspect is the evolution of more than six thousand languages on earth. In order to use language meaningfully a certain social cognitive infrastructure is needed. This infrastructure turns out to be prior to the acquisition of language in humans. The research presented in this video investigates how infants learn to communicate and how they understand other people’s intentions and needs before they speak. ULF LISZKOWSKI and his team used a variety of experimental methods, such as eye tracking, EEG and observation, to establish that one-year-old infants already have an awareness of other people’s mental states: they want to help and share information by pointing to things. This makes human communication unique even prior to language acquisition.

LT Video Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.21036/LTPUB10423

Two Sources of Meaning in Infant Communication: Preceding Action Contexts and Act-accompanying Characteristics

  • Ulf Liszkowski
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B
  • Published in 2014
Ulf Liszkowski. "Two Sources of Meaning in Infant Communication: Preceding Action Contexts and Act-accompanying Characteristics." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 369 (2014).