Professor Merideth Gattis
I am a psychologist conducting research on cognition, communication & parenting. I am particularly interested in developing new research tools to capture cognition & communication in natural environments. I am also conducting cross-cultural studies of parenting during infancy with the Baby Care Questionnaire.
I teach across all levels of the curriculum. I lecture on research design to Year 1 students, and lead a final year module on research methods in developmental psychology. I also conduct academic tutorials aimed at developing critical thinking and analytic skills. I supervise research projects and research internships on cognition and development.
- B.A. (1985): Gordon College, Massachusetts; Psychology (Magna cum Laude; Honours Scholar Fellowship)
- Ph.D. (1995): supported by NSF; supervised by Professor Keith Holyoak; University of California, Los Angeles; Psychology; dissertation title: 'From Implicit Learning of Visual Patterns to Explicit Knowledge of a Dynamic System'
Honours and awards
- Guest Professor, Catholic University of Milan, 2018
- Elected Fellow, Learned Society of Wales, 2016
- Visiting Scientist, Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences, 2005-2006
- Visiting Scientist, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, 2005
- Cognitive Science Society
- International Society for Infant Studies
- International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development
- Learned Society of Wales
- Society for Research in Child Development
- October 2014: Professor, Cardiff University, UK
- October 2011: Reader, Cardiff University, UK
- 2007-2011: Senior Lecturer, Cardiff University
- 2002-2007: Lecturer, Cardiff University
- 1998-2002: Lecturer, Sheffield University
- 1995-1998: Max Planck Institute Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research, Munich, Germany
BBC radio and television as well as various newspapers and news magazines, including:
- Babies know a joke when they hear it (February 2012)
- Babies can tell whether you made a mistake or not from the tone of your voice (January 2012)
- Ducks say moo (December 2011)
- Profs and Politicians Pair Up (October 2011)
- Toddler Communication - Infants can understand intentions through tone of voice alone (Jan 2012)
- Cardiff University research finds babies can understand parents’ meaning even when speaking in Greek (Jan 2012)
- Humour opens up a new chapter in teaching toddlers to love story time (Dec 2011)
- Group out to find what makes toddlers tick? (June 2008)
- Baby Steps: Get Your Baby Laughing (June 2008)
- BPS Research Digest - Little Comedians (April 2008)
- icWales - Study reveals babies’ get the joke (7th March 2008)
- News Wales - Toddlers get the joke (6th March 2008)
- Science watch - The joke's in you (Nov 2007)
- BBC Wales - Video insight into babies' minds (July 2005).
Committees and reviewing
- Panel Member, European Research Council
- Scientific Evaluator, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Innovative Training Networks
- Senior Member, Peer Review College, Economic and Social Research Council
- Scientific Evaluator, Science of Learning Funding Program, National Science Foundation (USA)
- Scientific Evaluator, Information Societies Technologies Programme, European Commission
- Editorial Board, Psychological Science
- Editorial Board, Parenting: Science and Practice
I teach across all levels of the undergraduate curriculum.
I lecture on research design to Year 1 students, and lead a final year module on research methods in developmental psychology.
I also conduct academic tutorials aimed at developing critical thinking and analytic skills.
I supervise research projects and research internships on cognition and development.
I study cognition and communication in children and adults. Past projects have included experimental studies of spatial cognition, imitation, and attention. Current projects include studies of parenting during infancy with the Baby Care Questionnaire, and novel experimental studies of how natural environments influence human communication.
- 2016: Cardiff University International Collaboration Seedcorn Fund. Parenting beliefs amongst Latina mothers
- 2015: University of Manchester. Parent and child interaction in the outdoors.
- 2012: ESRC. Cultural & individual influences on parenting during infancy
- 2010: Waterloo Foundation. PhD Studentship. Development following preterm birth
- 2010: Nuffield. Gaze following and emotion processing in human infants
- 2008: Waterloo Foundation. £12,000 for 1 year. Development@Cardiff participant programme
- 2008: ESRC. Competition studentship award. The role of joint attention in social cognition and language development
- 2008: Wellcome/NIH. £70,000 for 4 years. Mother-child interaction and the development of imitation in preterm infants
- 2008: Leverhulme. £252,343 for 3 years. Infant imitation in natural contexts
- 2007: Nuffield. £1,400 for 3 months. Developing a corpus of social learning in human infants
- 2006: Royal Society. £12,000 for 3 years. A comparison of linguistic polarity in Mandarin Chinese and English
- 2006: Wellcome Trust. £1,020 for 3 months. Infant ability to detect intention through acoustic cues
- 2005: Nuffield. £1,400 for 3 months. Infant imitation and attention
- 2005: ESRC. £42,000 for 1 year. Early imitation and disengagement
- 2001: ESRC. £37,000 for 18 months. Early imitation and gaze following
- 2000: Nuffield Foundation. £99,730 for three years. Social cognition in deaf and hearing children. PI Stephen Want
- 2000: British Council. £5,200 for two years. Goal-directed imitation.
I have also received various travel awards from the British Academy, Cardiff University, and the Royal Society.
- Baby Care Questionnaire
- Tiny to Tots
I supervise postgraduate research on cognition and development, and that research can be conducted with infants, children, or adults. I am interested in how social and spatial cognition are related to the development of thinking and reasoning. I am particularly interested in interactions between culture and cognition.
Current studies of social cognition in my laboratory focus on infants. We are conducting experimental studies of attention regulation, imitation and mimicry, intention understanding, and the role of intonation and other acoustic features of speech in mental state understanding. In addition to cross-sectional studies of cognitive development we are currently conducting two longitudinal studies of cognitive and communicative development, one with typically-developing infants only, and one that compares infants born preterm with infants born full term. Both of these longitudinal studies begin from birth and follow development across infancy and early childhood.
Current studies of perceptual reasoning in my laboratory focus on adults. We are conducting experimental studies of perceptual discrimination and organization in different language cultures, to better understand how the interaction between perception and language influences perceptual reasoning.
If you are interested in applying for a PhD, or for further information regarding my postgraduate research, please contact me directly, or submit a formal application.
- Eleonora Mascheroni, Catholic University of Milan
- Rebecca Sperotto, Cardiff University
- Katherine Scott, Cardiff University
- Kate Ellis-Davies, Cardiff University
- Alice Winstanley, Cardiff University
- Nia Fowler, Cardiff University
- Elma Hilbrink, Cardiff University
- Sarah May, Cardiff University
- Harriet Over, Cardiff University
- Elena Sakkalou, Cardiff University
- Elena Hoicka, Cardiff University
- Oliver Perra, University of Sheffield
Ducks say moo (December 2011)
Profs and Politicians Pair Up (October 2011)
Toddler Communication - Infants can understand intentions through tone of voice alone (Jan 2012)