Annette M. E. Henderson, PhD       

Associate Professor, School of Psychology

Auckland University


The primary goal of my research is to examine the role that biology and experience play in the development of cooperation in early childhood. Cooperation includes linguistic (e.g., using words to effectively communicate) and non-linguistic (e.g., working together to achieve a shared goal) behaviour. Understanding the development of cooperation is crucial because our everyday functioning, overall wellbeing, and the very survival of our species, rests on our abilities to work well and cooperate with others.

At the foundation of my research and expertise is the development, validation and use of innovative methods to assess key social and cognitive abilities. I use a broad range of methodological tools, such as eye-tracking, behavioural measures, naturalistic behavioural observation, and genetic sampling. I also develop and use these methods across broad age ranges (0-7 years of age) and diverse interactive contexts, including parent-child interactions, child-child interactions, and infant-experimenter interactions.

The quality and impact of my research have been recognized by the receipt of a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship (2015), grants by national funders (e.g., Marsden Fund), and publications in top-tier international journals. I am currently the President of the Australasian Human Development Association (AHDA) and am on the editorial board for the Journal of Cognition and Development.

As Director of the Early Learning Lab, I love working with a diverse and passionate team of researchers interested in early childhood development and enjoy meeting the families who visit our research centre.

Please contact me if you would like more information about my research, or the Early Learning Lab.



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