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About us Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences Psychology Expertise groups Developmental Psychology

Dynamic processes of human development

Developmental Psychology

Cognition and behavior emerge from the ongoing interactions between a multitude of intrapersonal (psychological and physiological) processes and from the perception-action links between these processes and the environment. As a result, cognition and behavior are multi-scale and dynamic, and should be conceived and studied as complex dynamical systems. This predominantly empirical research project, covering a variety of sub-projects, takes an interaction-dominant and radical embodied stance and uses nonlinear time-series analysis techniques (e.g. (Cross) Recurrence Quantification Analysis, Detrended Fluctuation Analysis) as well as dynamical modeling techniques (e.g., dynamic network modeling). The project span a large area of psychology and developmental psychology, including topics like talent and expertise, momentum, gesture-speech mismatch, social attunement, foreign language learning and art perception.

Sub projects

  • (Second) language learning as a complex dynamical system
  • The development of social attunement
  • Gesture-speech coupling and its link to cognitive development in children

Researchers and partners

Behavioural and Social Sciences, Psychology
Behavioural and Socials Sciences, outside of Psychology
University of Groningen, outside of Behavioural and Socials Sciences
Partners outside of the University of Groningen
  • Christophe Gernigon, Faculty of Sport and Physical Education Sciences, University of Montpellier
  • Vivien Marmelat, Department of Biomechanics, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Fred Hasselman, Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University
  • Maarten Wijnants, Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University
  • Anna Bosman, Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University


Courses connected to this project
  • Milestones and Talent in Development (PSMOB6)
  • Complexity, Dynamics, and Development (PSMOB5)
  • Theorieën over Ontwikkelingsgebieden (PSB3N-OP01)
Selection of BA and MA student projects
  • Catastrophe model of momentum
  • Fractal Coordination and Complexity Matching in a Wii Game
  • Pink noise and complexity matching in rowing
  • Dynamic network model of talent and excellence in sports
  • A dynamic network perspective on star performers in organisations
  • ‘Wii zoekt zal vinden: Zoekspel met Wii-motes’
  • Referentiele communicatie: Een kwestie van afstemming tussen moeder en kind
  • Pilotstudie naar gebaren-spraak mismatches ten gevolge van concurrerende synergiën
Other remarks on education
  • Honours courses:
  • Research Practicum (BE2-9H)
  • Intro to Psychological Research (HCGM10205)


  • Cox, R. F. A., van der Steen, S., Guevara Guerrero, M., Hoekstra, L., & van Dijk, M. (2016). Chromatic and anisotropic cross-recurrence quantification analysis of interpersonal behavior. In C. Webber, C. Ioana, & N. Marwan (Eds.), Recurrence Plots and Their Quantifications: Expanding Horizons : Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on Recurrence Plots, Grenoble, France, 17-19 June 2015. (Vol. 180, pp. 209-225). (Springer Proceedings in Physics; Vol. 180). Springer.
  • De Jonge-Hoekstra, L., Van der Steen, S., Van Geert, P., & Cox, R. F. A. (2016). Asymmetric Dynamic Attunement of Speech and Gestures in the Construction of Children’s Understanding. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, [473]. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00473
  • Den Hartigh, R., Cox, R., & van Geert, P. (2016). Complex versus Complicated Models of Cognition. In L. Magnani, & T. Bertolotti (Eds.), Springer handbook of model-based science. Springer.
  • Den Hartigh, R. J. R., Van Dijk, M. W. G., Steenbeek, H. W., & Van Geert, P. L. C. (2016). A Dynamic Network Model to Explain the Development of Excellent Human Performance. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, [532]. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00532
  • Den Hartigh, R. J. R., Cox, R. F. A., Gernigon, C., Van Yperen, N. W., & Van Geert, P. L. C. (2015). Pink noise in rowing ergometer performance and the role of skill level. Motor Control, 19(4), 355-369. DOI: 10.1123/mc.2014-0071
  • De Ruiter, N. M. P., Den Hartigh, R. J. R., Cox, R. F. A., Van Geert, P. L. C., & Kunnen, E. S. (2015). The Temporal Structure of State Self-Esteem Variability During Parent-Adolescent Interactions: More Than Random Fluctuations. Self and Identity, 14(3), 314-333. DOI: 10.1080/15298868.2014.994026

University's focus areas

  • Healthy Ageing

More information

Last modified:17 April 2020 10.31 a.m.
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