Chair in Cognition and Development, University of Birmingham

Ian Apperly is Chair of Cognition and Development in the School of Psychology.  He has received prizes from the British Psychology Society and the Experimental Psychology Society, and is on the editorial board of the journal Cognition.  He is a well-established, international research profile on theory of mind and how this is used by people to understand their conversation partners.

His research has been funded by ESRC and Leverhulme Trust. His 2010 Psychology Press book, ‘Mindreaders: the cognitive basis of ‘theory of mind’, summarises his position and approach to this topic His recent work has begun to explore the challenge of applying this to human interactions with agents and artefacts.

Personal webpage


  • Zhao, L., Wang, J.J. & Apperly, I.A. (2018) The cognitive demands of remembering a speaker’s perspective and managing common ground size modulate 8- and 10-year-olds’ perspective-taking abilities. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 174, 130-149.
  • Biervoye, A., Meert, G., Apperly, I.A. & Samson, D. (2018) Assessing the integrity of the cognitive processes involved in belief reasoning by means of two nonverbal tasks: Rationale, normative data collection and illustration with brain-damaged patients. PLoSOne 13(1): e0190295
  • Apperly, I.A. (2017) Mindreading and psycholinguistic approaches to perspective-taking: establishing common ground. Topics in Cognitive Science.
  • Cane, J. E., Ferguson, H. J., Apperly, I. A. (2017). Using perspective to resolve reference: the impact of cognitive load and motivation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 43(4), 591-610.
  • Ferguson, H.J., Apperly, I.A. & Cane, J. (2017) Eye-tracking reveals the cost of switching between self and other perspectives in a visual perspective-taking task. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 70, 8, 1646-1660.

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