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Professor Cecilia Heyes

BSc, MA, PhD, FBA
Senior Research Fellow since 2008
Professor of Psychology, University of Oxford
My work concerns the evolution of cognition. It explores the ways in which natural selection, learning, developmental and cultural processes combine to produce the mature cognitive abilities found in adult humans. I am especially interested in social cognition, and for some years my principal focus has been imitation.
Professor Cecilia Heyes

Background

  • Professor of Psychology, University College London (from 2000 to 2008)
  • Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader, University College London (from 1988 to 2000)
  • Research Fellow, Trinity Hall, Cambridge (from 1986 to 1989)
  • Harkness Fellow (from 1984 to 1986)
  • Undergraduate and Postgraduate, University College London (from 1978 to 1984)

Research interests

  • Evolution of cognition
  • Social cognition
  • Imitation

Publications

  • (with Frith), 'The cultural evolution of mind reading', Science, 344 (2014), 1243091. DOI: 10.1126/science.1243091
  • (with Cook, Bird, Catmur, and Press) 'Mirror neurons: from origin to function', Behavioural and Brain Sciences, 37 (2014), 177-241.
  • 'Automatic imitation', Psychological Bulletin 137 (2011), 463-483.
  • (with Catmur, C. and Walsh, V.), 'Sensorimotor learning configures the human mirror system', Current Biology 17 (2007), 1527-31.
  • 'Four routes of cognitive evolution', Psychological Review 110 (2003), 713-727.
  • 'Theory of mind in nonhuman primates', Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (1998), 101-114.
  • 'Social learning in animals: Categories and mechanisms', Biological Reviews 69 (1994), 207-231.
  • Publications

Other professional memberships and roles

  • Honorary Professor, University College London (from 2008)
  • Member of University of Oxford Medical Sciences Division Ethics Committee (from 2010)
  • Member of Scientific Council, Institute for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences in Toulouse (from 2011)

Research awards and grants

  • Grants for major research projects from: the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (1994-2001, and 2004-2007); the Economic and Social Research Council (1995-1997, and 2005-2010); the Engineering and Physical sciences Research Council (2008-2011); the European Commission (2005-2008); the Medical Research Council (1991-1994); the Leverhulme Trust (1990-1993)
  • Broadbent Lecturer, British Psychological Society (2004)
  • Cognitive Section Prize, British Psychological Society (2004)
  • Gibson Lecture, Cornell University (2012)

Teaching and Supervision

  • Postgraduate research methods in psychology and cognitive neuroscience