Who we are

Babylab Director

Sabine HunniusDr. Sabine Hunnius is the director of the Baby Research Center. She is head of the Baby BRAIN  research group.


Lab Manager

Angela KhadarAngela Khadar, B.A. obtained a Bachelor's degree from the University of Manchester, UK, where she studied Linguistics, French and German.She works in both the Language Acquisition group and the Social-Cognitive Development group.


Language Acquisition – Fikkert research group

Faculty of Letters, Radboud Univeresity, Nijmegen (CLS)

Paula FikkertProf. dr. Paula Fikkert- Professor in First Language Acquisition and Phonology at the Radboud University in Nijmegen. Paula obtained her doctorate at the University of Leiden with a thesis on the acquisition of prosodic aspects of words. She then worked at the University of Konstanz in Germany before returning to the Netherlands as a researcher with the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts & Sciences. Her research focuses on the acquisition of sounds and words in both language perception and production.

Nienke DijkstraNienke Dijkstra, M.A. studied Speech Therapy and Speech and Language  Pathology in Nijjmegen. For her PhD she is looking at how babies learn sounds both in language perception and production.  

Stefanie Ramachers studied German and Linguistics at the University of Nijmegen. For her PhD she is investigating the development of perception and comprehension of the tone system of the Limburg dialect in babies and toddlers between the ages of 12 and 36 months. 

AntjeAntje Stöhr, M.A. studied Linguistics and Cognitive Science at the University of Delaware, USA. In her PhD she is investigating the nature of phonological representations in bilingual preschoolers.

TinekeSnijdersDr. Tineke Snijders is a neuropsychologist with a PhD in cognitive neuroscience from the Radboud University. She investigates how infant brains pick up rhythm, and how infants use rhythm to learn language.

TitiaDr. Titia Benders conducted her PhD research at the University of Amsterdam, where she studied the relationship between infant vowel perception and Dutch mothers' infant-directed speech. As a postdoc researcher with the Radboud University Nijmegen, she is investigating whether the pronunciation 'errors' that young children make are due to their word perception skills. 


Social-cognitive development – Baby BRAIN research group

Faculty of Social Sciences, Radboud University, Nijmegen (Donders Center for Cognition)

 Sabine HunniusDr. Sabine Hunnius is director of the Baby Research Center. She studied Psychology in Berlin, Germany, and did her PhD at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Her earlier research centered around visual perception in babies and interaction between mothers and babies. Her current research focuses mainly on early social-cognitive development. For example, she is looking at how babies learn to understand the actions and intentions of other people and when they start to do this.

Hinke EndekijkHinke Endedijk obtained her Master's in Behavioural Science from the Radboud University in Nijmegen. For her PhD she is looking at how well young children spontaneously adapt their behaviour to that of others. She is also investigating the role that this plays in children's social development.  

Ricarda Braukmann MSc. studied Cognitive Neuroscience at the Radboud University Nijmegen. As a PhD student, she is now investigating the development of infants at risk for developing autism by virtue of having an older sibling diagnosed with this condition. Her PhD is part of an EU-wide project that aims to shed light on the early signs and possible treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

vanschaikj photoJohanna van Schaik, MSc. obained her Master's in Cognitive Neuroscience at the Radboud University of Nijmegen. Her PhD project investigates the development of behavioral mimicry and the social and cognitive factors that underlie it. 

ClaireMClaire Monroy is a PhD student here at the Donders Institute as well as as a Marie Curie fellow within the ACT network. Originally from California, she moved to Massachusetts to complete her B.A. in neuroscience and psychology. After spending 2 years working as both as a bilingual behavior analyst with individuals with developmental disorders, and as a case manager for high-risk families in California, Claire then moved to Lisbon, Portugal to work in the Neural Circuits and Behavior lab at the Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme. For her PhD, Claire will investigate how the brain processes social interactions that the infant is actively engaging in early in development.

Ezgi Kayhan1Ezgi Kayhan is a PhD student at the Donders Institute and is also a Marie Curie fellow within the ACT network. Ezgi received her Bachelor's degree in psychology and obtained a Master's degree in clinical psychology. She has worked with children both as a clinical psychologist and in research. For her PhD, Ezgi will investigate how infants use cues to attend to relevant elements of a social scene which is predominantly unknown. Understanding the elements that are required for the detection of important social information and the cues that social information provide to other forms of learning are the focus of her project.

lorijnLorijn Zaadnoordijk studied Cognitive Neuroscience at the Radboud University Nijmegen. In her PhD project, her research topic is the emergence of agency (the feeling that your actions are caused and generated by you) in young infants. She aims to answer the question of how the information generated by an infant's actions and the perceptual consequences of this action can give rise to a sense of agency.


Language and Cognition - Levinson research group

Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

Dr Steven C Levinson, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics


Elma01aDr. Elma Hilbrink  studied psychology in Nijmegen and did her PhD at Cardiff University, UK. She is a postdoctoral researcher in the Language & Cognition group at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. Elma is very interested in the social-cognitive development of infants and young children. At the Baby Research Center she is currently studying the development of various aspects of communication in interaction. 

Marisa1Dr Marisa Casillas received her PhD in Linguistics from Stanford University and now works as a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute in Nijmegen on the Interactional Foundations of Language project. She studies how children's conversational skills develop hand-in-hand with their linguistic development.


Early development of psychology, behavior and health - de Weerth research group

Behavioural Science Institute: developmental psychobiology lab (DPBlab)

Carolina foto uni pasProf. Dr. Carolina de Weerth is a biologist with a PhD in developmental psychology. She has a full professorship in “psychobiology of early development”. Her research centers on pregnancy, infancy and childhood. The integration of biological and psychological developmental processes is fundamental in her research.

Roseriet BeijersDr Roseriet Beijers did her PhD research at Radboud University on the relationship between the prenatal and early postnatal rearing environment and the development of babies and young children. She now works as an assistant professor at Radboud University where she is continuing her research.

Sara PietersDr Sara Pieters did her PhD at Radboud University and now works here as a postdoctoral researcher. Her research focuses on the relationship between sport, sleep, and emotional problems during pregnancy.

foto Maartje2Maartje Zijlmans, MSc. studied educational sciences and graduated from the research master Behavioural Science program at Radboud University. As a PhD she is investigating the relationship between prenatal stress and child development. She is looking at the microbiota in the gut and cortisol regulation as possible underlying mechanisms.

foto Sterre2Sterre Simons, MSc. studied psychology and obtained a research master in Behavioural Science at Radboud University. Her doctoral research focuses, among other things, on the development of children’s stress system.

Christine HechlerChristine Hechler, MSc. studied psychology and then did a research master in Behavioural Science at Radboud University. For her PhD she is investigating the health and crying behavior of infants in relation to the composition of mother's milk and the bacteria in their intestines.

Pamela BrownePamela Brown, MD. studied medicine at the University of Maastricht. "My interest is in the development of intestinal bacteria in childhood and how these contribute to health. During my PhD research I therefore focus on the relationship between intestinal bacteria and physical and mental health of children. In a clinical study, I examine the relationship between prenatal maternal stress, maternal and child intestinal bacteria, and disease outcomes in the baby. I also look at the role of probiotics in reducing prenatal maternal stress.

Kelly CooijmansKelly Cooijmans, MSc. studied psychology and then completed the research master in Behavioural Science at Radboud University. In her doctoral research she looks at how the contact between parent and child is related to the development of the baby and the well-being of the parents.