Hi and welcome to my website!

Janna Gottwald @ the Royal Society of Sciences at Uppsala, Sweden (Picture by Laura Sakka)

I am a Developmental Psychologist and Movement Scientist at the Uppsala Child and Babylab at Uppsala University (Sweden). I have a Ph.D. from Uppsala University and a Psychology Diploma (≈ M.Sc.) with a clinical focus from University of Potsdam (Germany). Currently, I am leading the project “An Embodied Account of Early Executive Functioning“, which is funded by the Swedish Research Council. This 3-years project seeks to understand the early links between infants’ body movements and their cognitive abilities.

How do babies develop new motor skills and how are these linked to early cognition?

Generally, my research focuses on sensorimotor and cognitive development from infancy to childhood. I am particularly interested in how babies come to develop new motor skills, such as reaching, and how these skills relate to later cognitive development. Here, I focus on the development of early executive functions (working memory and inhibitory control). The interest in the links between the body, its movements, and cognition started during my doctoral work with Gustaf Gredebäck and Claes von Hofsten.  For this work was I awarded the Benzelius Prize.

How do we develop a sense of our (moving) body?

Another core interest of mine is to better understand children’s perception and knowledge of their bodies.  Here, I find it especially relevant to look at movement and its crucial role in informing children about their bodily self. In my recent postdoc with Dorothy Cowie at Durham University (UK), I investigated how children combine tactile, proprioceptive and visual information to locate their hands in space.

Theory-wise, I am passionate about embodied cognitive science, dynamic systems approaches, and active/direct perception perspectives. In my behavioural experiments, I mostly use motion-tracking techniques (QualisysVicon, Ascension). Besides this, I have experience with ERP/EEG (BrainProductsEGI), psychophysiological methods (Biopac), and Virtual Reality (Oculus).

If you want to learn more about me and my research, you can find me on OSFResearchGate, GoogleScholarMendeley, publons, ORCID, and LinkedIn. I also enjoy tweeting about science, research and academia (@JannaGottwald) and am passionate about science communication in English, Swedish or German beyond my academic bubble. By the way, when I am not busy doing science, I am most likely taking pictures! You can follow my photography work on instagram (@kvinnalene).

Lighthouse (c) Janna Gottwald

Lake District (c) Janna Gottwald