Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology

The Department of Developmental Psychology with Educational Psychology dedicates its research and teaching to the neuroscientific and cognitive foundations of human development. In particular we research

    Social situations.

Using EEG and eye-tracking, we measure the underyling brain mechanisms of what infants, children and adults focus their attention on.


The Weser Kurier is writing about the Neuro-Kids

Anyone sitting in a waiting room is preoccupied with themselves, perhaps looking around the room - but probably not at other waiting people. This is part of learned social behaviour, because we know: Staring at a person can easily be taken as an invitation to interact with them. If people don't want to do this among strangers, they don't look others in the eye. Even pre-school children have mastered these rules. A research group at the University of Bremen has now been able to clearly demonstrate this for the first time: This even applies to three-month-old babies. This discovery is not only astonishing; it also shows what parents should not do.

Read the full article including an interview with Prof Louisa Kulke here.

New Paper

Infants cannot be instructed where to look; therefore, infant researchers rely on observation of their participant’s gaze to make inferences about their cognitive processes. Developmental researchers were early adopters of methods combining observations of gaze and behaviour with electroencephalography (EEG) to study attention and other cognitive functions. However, the direct combination of eye-tracking methods and EEG to test infants is still rare, as it includes specific challenges. The current article reviews the development of co-registration research in infancy. It points out specific challenges of co-registration in infant research and suggests ways to overcome them.

Kulke, L. Coregistration of EEG and eye-tracking in infants and developing populations. Atten Percept Psychophys (2024).

Schreiendes Baby

Interview with Bremen Vier on the subject "Baby crying"

Prof Louisa Kulke was interviewed by Bremen Vier on the subject of "baby crying". You can find the recording of the interview here.

Zwei Studierende auf dem Universitäts-Boulevard.

Grown up at last! Or not?

A SPIEGEL article on growing up and adulthood with a contribution by Prof Dr Louisa Kulke.

Prof Kulke provides information on the development of emotions - Interview with SWR

Part of healthy emotional development is for children to learn to understand and express their feelings and to respect those of others. This can be trained with special programmes - by children, adolescents and even adults.

Scientists are researching the extent to which we are genetically determined and influenced by our environment when it comes to learning emotions.

In an interview with SWR, Prof Kulke provides information on the development of emotions.

Schreiendes Baby

Press Release

Study shows: Even babies are well aware of their social environment

When babies cry, they should not be ignored. This is because babies realise whether others could be interacting with them. Professor Louisa Kulke, a developmental psychologist at the University of Bremen, and her team were able to show that babies are more socially sensitive than expected.

New Paper

People attract infants’ and adults’ gaze when presented on a computer screen. However, in live social situations, adults inhibit their gaze at strangers to avoid sending inappropriate social signals. Such inhibition of gaze has never been directly investigated in infants. The current preregistered study measured gaze and neural responses (EEG alpha power) to a confederate in a live social situation compared to a video of this confederate.

Kulke, L., Ertugrul, S., Reyentanz, E., & Thomas, V. (2023). Uncomfortable staring? Gaze to other people in social situations is inhibited in both infants and adults. Developmental Science, e13468.

New Preregistration

Our team from the EEG lab has pre-registered a new study on "Social modulation of attention in infants during neutral, positive and interactive social situations in live compared to video context.".

Kulke L., Ertuğrul, S., Demme, F., Gerberding, A., Heyne, L., & Zacharias, C. (2023, December 21). Social modulation of attention in infants during neutral, positive and interactive social situations in live compared to video context.

A person using their laptop to work from home.

Neue Präregistrierung

Our team has pre-registered a new study on "Parenting phrases, parenting dimensions and self-esteem.".

Kulke, L., Alazza, N., Plötze, J., Türk, P., Kljucak, E., & Beck, C. (2023, December 18). Parenting phrases, parenting dimensions and self-esteem.


Neue Präregistrierung

Our team has pre-registered a new study on "Early gender-specific toy preferences in infancy.".

Kulke, L., Kramer, K., Wallnig, M., Männl, K., Bach, C., & Jetter, E. (2023, November 2). Early gender-specific toy preferences in infancy.

Inaugural lecture

Prof. Dr. Kulke will give her inaugural lecture on 28.11.23 at 16.00. You are cordially invited to listen to the lecture to find out more about our developmental psychology research.

Study Participation

How do social skills develop? Already very young infants are social beings. Our "Neuro-Kids" research group is finding out how such social skills develop. You can register your interest here:

Text with pink highlighter.

New Paper

Our new study uses webcams to find out what babies are interested in.

Student assistant position available

The Department of Developmental Psychology with Educational Psychology offers positions for student assistants. You should be reliable, good with people and have an interest in conducting studies (including with infants and children).

We offer you

  • the opportunity to work on an innovative and creative research project
  • a comprehensive insight into current topics and methods of neurocognitive developmental psychology
  • integration into a friendly research team
  • the opportunity to gain methodological experience (e.g. with eye-tracking and EEG)

Further information on the application process can be found in the job advert here. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Notizblock auf einem Tisch.

New Paper

The human brain is complex and finding out how it works is not that easy. This makes it all the more important that scientists choose reliable methods to study the brain. Prof Kulke has now been involved in drawing up new recommendations to increase the precision of measurement methods in neuroscience. She led the group on MEG and EEG. Further information can be found here:

EEG established for brainwave measurement

In order to find out how the brain develops, we have established a new EEG system that uses soft caps to measure how the child's brain is active while children carry out normal everyday activities.

CERE conference in Haifa

Prof. Kulke presented new research at the CERE conference in Haifa showing that emotion perception in the laboratory differs from emotion perception in the real world.

Kulke, L., & Pasqualette, L. (2023). Emotion perception differs between laboratory and real life. Consortium of European Research on Emotion (CERE) Conference, Haifa, Israel.

Notizblock auf einem Tisch.

New PhD position available

The University of Bremen has a vacancy at the Faculty 11 - Human and Health Sciences - at the Institute of Psychology, Department of Developmental Psychology with Educational Psychology (Head of Department: Prof. Dr. Louisa Kulke) for a position as Research Asscoiate (f/m/d) (for PhD studies) for a period of three years as soon as possible. Within the framework of the position, a PhD in the area of the development of attention in social situations is possible.

A pile of books.

New thesis topics online for cohort 23/24

The Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology is offering new thesis topics for the 23/24 cohort. You can find the available topics and frequently asked questions on the link below.

Prof. Kulke at "buten und binnen"

How do colours influence us and what feelings do they arouse? Prof. Kulke answers these and other questions for "buten und binnen" in the following video.

Prof. Kulke wins prize for best lecture at LCICD

How does the gaze behaviour of babies differ between realistic social situations and video situations? Prof. Dr. Louisa Kulke answered this question in her talk at the Lancaster Conference on Infant and Early Child Development in the UK and won the prize for the best talk.

Effects of the pandemic on adolescents and adults: New publication

A new publication by Louisa Kulke, Theresia Langer and Christian Valuch examines how policies to protect against Covid-19 affect our mental health. It discusses whether contact restrictions and virtual meetings are related to negative mood and whether face perception is changed by masks. There will be a particular focus on adolescents, who are at a particularly vulnerable stage of social development. Further information:

Campus Talk on Attention Development on ARD alpha

Prof. Kulke gave a talk on ARD alpha on the topic of "How attention develops". On 11/01/2021 at 22.20 and on 11/06/2021 at 12 o´clock you can watch it live on ARD alpha or in the media library at

Prof. Kulke at G’scheid schlau

How does the brain actually work? And which areas are active when we are watching YouTube videos? Prof. Kulke will answer questions like these at the "G'scheid schlau" event - the long weekend of science taking place online this year. You can find more information here: