Budapest, Hungary

Representing the World in the Developing Mind

online course
when 12 July 2021 - 17 July 2021
language English
duration 1 week
credits 1 EC
fee EUR 200

How does the developing mind come to represent the world? Young infants have been proposed to use similar sources of information than adults in their object-based attention. From the development of memory over executive function, number cognition, and action understanding to Theory of Mind, studies have assumed that infants have a stable representation of objects, which they enumerate and track according to the perceptual input and maintain despite occlusion.

On the other hand, a number of limitations of early object cognition exist. These limitations, differences between earlier and later abilities, and contextual influences on the representation of objects are highly informative for the characterization of the cognitive mechanisms involved. A focus of the summer school will be how object representations may be influenced by context, such as language or social interactions.

How the continuous perceptual environment is parsed into units also has an impact on how objects are represented and remembered. The summer school will explore how infants perceive and parse the temporal structure of their environment, what role language may play in this, and how this influences their object representation.

The last decade has seen an immense advancement of methodologies in neuroscience, contributing to a better understanding of how mental representations map onto brain function in the adult brain. Very recently, researchers have started to apply these methods to infants, yielding promising avenues for understanding the neural signatures of infants’ object representation, the influences of context, and the developmental trajectories of object cognition.

Course leader

Charlotte Grosse Wiesmann
Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany
Dora Kampis
Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Target group

Target group

This course is intended for early career researchers (PhD level and higher) from related fields (psychology, cognitive science, philosophy, linguistics, neuroscience). We also invite advanced undergraduate and MA students from related fields who have adequate prior study or engagement experience on the subject and make a compelling case in their application/statement of interest.


Course participants are expected to have a training in a related discipline (see above). Previous study or research on topics related to early cognitive development, object cognition, or representations is desirable.

Course aim

The summer school aims to discuss the interaction between different factors contributing to object perception and memory, from theoretical and empirical perspectives. The course will bring together different fields of research with the ultimate goal to advance the understanding of how infants form representations of their environment, and how these representations develop throughout childhood.

Credits info

1 EC
A Certificate of attendance will also be awarded after completion of the course.

Fee info

EUR 200: Payable until May 28


A limited number of tuition waivers will be offered on a competitive basis restricted to currently enrolled students from Open Society University Network (OSUN) and CIVICA member universities. OSUN students may also apply for scholarships.