Professor Gert Westermann

Professor Gert Westermann

Professor

Fylde College
Lancaster University
Bailrigg
Lancaster
United Kingdom
LA1 4YF

+44 (0)1524 592942

My research is in developmental cognitive science: In my group we use a variety of methods (eye tracking, EEG, fast mapping, computational modelling) to study mainly infants' cognitive and emotional development. In general I am interested in the question how intrinsic and environmental factors combine to shape a developmental trajectory and eventually, the adult system.

Main research areas:

Learning about objects in infancy: How do infants make use of multiple sources of information (visual appearance, sounds, labels) to learn about objects and to form categories?

Development and adult processing of verb inflections: how does experience with a language environment shape the processing structures supporting verb inflections?

Research Grants

Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholarship Programme (PI, £1,050,000), Interdisciplinary Research on Infant Development, 2015-2019

British Academy Small Grant (co-PI, with Eugenio Parise; £9,458), Categorization Processes in 9-­Month-­Old Infants: Ostensive Labelling vs. Common Visual Features, 2014-2016

LuCiD: ESRC International Centre for Language and Communicative Development (co-PI with 21 others, PI: Elena Lieven; £9.3 million), 2014-2019

Lichtenberg Fellowship,University of Göttingen (€68,000), Germany, January - July, 2013

Lancaster University Friends Programme Grant (PI, with Melissa Allen, Dina Lew, Katie Alcock, Gavin Bremner, Karen Mattock; £4,191), Support for publicity and student projects at the Lancaster Babylab, 2011-2012

ESRC Research Grant (PI; £99,937), Multisensory processing of objects in infancy, 2011-2012

British Academy Small Grant (co-PI, with Louise Bunce; £7,118), Young children's understanding of the fantasy-reality distinction: perceptual or conceptual processing?, 2010-2011

ESRC Research Grant (PI; £105,468), The effect of labels on category formation in infancy, 2009-2011

British Academy Small Grant (PI; £3,502), Investigating past tense formation in adults: a neurophysiological study, 2008-2009

ESRC Research Grant (PI; £288,082), Understanding the processing of verb inflections through statistical analyses, experiments and neural networks, 2006-2009

Royal Society Research Grant (co PI with Joseph T. Devlin; £9,400), TMS investigations of morphology in Broca's area, 2006-2007

Career Details

PhD, Centre for Cognitive Science, University of Edinburgh

Selected Publications

A neuroconstructivist model of past tense development and processing

Westermann, G. & Ruh, N. 2012 In : Psychological Review. 119, 3, p. 649-667 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

The shape of words in the brain

Kovic, V., Plunkett, K. & Westermann, G. 01/2010 In : Cognition. 114, 1, p. 19-28 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Neuroconstructivism

Westermann, G., Mareschal, D., Johnson, M. H., Sirois, S., Spratling, M. W. & Thomas, M. S. C. 01/2007 In : Developmental Science. 10, 1, p. 75-83 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Gert Westermann's Publications

2014

From perceptual to language-mediated categorization

Westermann, G. & Mareschal, D. 19/01/2014 In : Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences. 369, 1634, 20120391

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

A student's guide to developmental psychology

Harris, M. & Westermann, G. 2014 Hove: Psychology Press. 320 p.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

Some thoughts on curiosity in infants and neural network models

Westermann, G. & Twomey, K. 2014

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper

2013

Infants' sensitivity to the congruence of others' emotions and actions

Hepach, R. & Westermann, G. 05/2013 In : Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 115, 1, p. 16-29 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Prespeech motor learning in a neural network using reinforcement

Warlaumont, A., Westermann, G., Buder, E. & Oller, D. K. 2013 In : Neural Networks. 38, p. 64-75 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2012

Mechanisms of developmental change in infant categorization

Westermann, G. & Mareschal, D. 10/2012 In : Cognitive Development. 27, 4, p. 367-382 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

A neuroconstructivist model of past tense development and processing

Westermann, G. & Ruh, N. 2012 In : Psychological Review. 119, 3, p. 649-667 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

In search of the developmental mechanisms of multi-sensory integration

Mareschal, D., Westermann, G. & Althaus, N. 2012 Multisensory Development. Bremner, A., Lewkowicz, D. & Spence, C. (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 342-359 18 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

2011

Self-production facilitates and adult input interferes in a neural network model of infant vowel imitation.

Warlaumont, A., Westermann, G. & Oller, D. K. 2011 Proceedings of AISB 2011: Computational Models of Cognitive Development. Guerin, F., Alexander, J., Kazakov, D. & Tsoulas, G. (eds.). Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour, p. 8-12 5 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsPaper

2010

What computers have shown us about the mind

Monaghan, P., Keidel, J., Burton, M. & Westermann, G. 08/2010 In : Psychologist. 23, 8, p. 642-645 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

The shape of words in the brain

Kovic, V., Plunkett, K. & Westermann, G. 01/2010 In : Cognition. 114, 1, p. 19-28 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

A unitary account of conceptual representations of animate/inanimate categories

Kovic, V., Plunkett, K. & Westermann, G. 2010 In : Psihologija. 43, 2, p. 155-165 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Neuroconstructivism

Westermann, G., Thomas, M. S. C. & Karmiloff-Smith, A. 2010 The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Childhood Cognitive Development. Goswami, U. (ed.). 2nd ed. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell, p. 723-748 26 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

Variability driven animacy effects: evidence of structural, not conceptual differences in processing animates and inanimates

Kovic, V., Plunkett, K. & Westermann, G. 2010 In : Psihologija. 43, 1, p. 65-83 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2009

OXlearn: a new MATLAB-based simulation tool for connectionist models

Ruh, N. & Westermann, G. 11/2009 In : Behavior Research Methods. 41, 4, p. 1138-1143 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Modelling the transition from perceptual to conceptual organization

Westermann, G. & Mareschal, D. 07/2009 Connectionist models of behaviour and cognition II: proceedings of the 11th neural computation and psychology workshop. Mayor, J., Ruh, N. & Plunkett, K. (eds.). SINGAPORE: WORLD SCIENTIFIC PUBL CO PTE LTD, p. 153-164 12 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsConference contribution

Connectionist approaches to language learning

Westermann, G., Ruh, N. & Plunkett, K. 03/2009 In : Linguistics. 47, 2, p. 413-452 40 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalScientific review

An eye-tracking study of animate objects

Kovic, V., Plunkett, K. & Westermann, G. 2009 In : Psihologija. 42, 3, p. 307-327 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

An eye-tracking study of inanimate objects

Kovic, V., Plunkett, K. & Westermann, G. 2009 In : Psihologija. 42, 4, p. 417-436 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Shared and/or seperate representations of animate/inanimate categories: an ERP study

Kovic, V., Plunkett, K. & Westermann, G. 2009 In : Psihologija. 42, 1, p. 5-26 22 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Simulating German verb inflection with a constructivist neural network

Ruh, N. & Westermann, G. 2009 Connectionist Models of Behaviour and Cognition II: Proceedings of the 11th Neural Computation and Psychology Workshop. Mayor, J., Ruh, N. & Plunkett, K. (eds.). Singapore: World Scientific, p. 313-324 12 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsConference contribution

2008

Studying development in the 21(st) Century

Sirois, S., Spratling, M., Thomas, M. S. C., Westermann, G., Mareschal, D. & Johnson, M. H. 06/2008 In : Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 31, 3, p. 345-356 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Implicit vs. explicit learning in German noun plurals

Kovic, V., Westermann, G. & Plunkett, K. 2008 In : Psihologija. 41, 4, p. 387-411 25 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2007

Neuroconstructivism

Westermann, G., Mareschal, D., Johnson, M. H., Sirois, S., Spratling, M. W. & Thomas, M. S. C. 01/2007 In : Developmental Science. 10, 1, p. 75-83 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Neuroconstructivism Vol. 2: Perspectives and Prospects

Mareschal, D., Sirois, S., Westermann, G. & Johnson, M. H. 2007 Oxford: Oxford University Press. 274 p.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

Neuroconstructivism, Vol. I: How the brain constructs cognition.

Mareschal, D., Johnson, M. H., Sirois, S., Spratling, M. W., Thomas, M. S. C. & Westermann, G. 2007 Oxford: Oxford University Press. 274 p.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

2006

Broca's area and inflectional morphology: evidence from Broca's aphasia and computer modeling

Penke, M. & Westermann, G. 05/2006 In : Cortex. 42, 4, p. 563-576 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Modeling developmental cognitive neuroscience

Westermann, G., Sirois, S., Shultz, T. R. & Mareschal, D. 05/2006 In : Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 10, 5, p. 227-232 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalScientific review

2005

Evidence of rapid correlation-based perceptual category learning by 4-month-olds

Mareschal, D., Powell, D., Westermann, G. & Volein, A. 12/2005 In : Infant and Child Development. 14, 5, p. 445-457 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2004

A new model of sensorimotor coupling in the development of speech

Westermann, G. & Miranda, E. R. 05/2004 In : Brain and Language. 89, 2, p. 393-400 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

From parts to wholes: mechanisms of development in infant visual object processing

Westermann, G. & Mareschal, D. 03/2004 In : Infancy. 5, 2, p. 131-151 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Modelling asymmetric infant categorization with the representational acuity hypothesis

Westermann, G. & Mareschal, D. 2004 Connectionist models of cognition and perception II. Bowman, H. & Labiouse, C. (eds.). SINGAPORE: WORLD SCIENTIFIC PUBL CO PTE LTD, p. 95-104 10 p. (Progress in Neural Processing)

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsConference contribution

2003

Evolution of an optimal lexicon under constraints from embodiment

Zuidema, W. & Westermann, G. 2003 In : Artificial Life. 9, 4, p. 387-402 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2002

Models of atypical development must also be models of normal development

Westermann, G. & Mareschal, D. 1/12/2002 In : Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 25, 6, p. 771-772 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

2001

Musical data mining for electronic music distribution

Pachet, F., Westermann, G. & Laigre, D. 2001 First International Conference on Web Delivering of Music, 2001. Proceedings. . Nesi, P., Bellini, P. & Busch, C. (eds.). LOS ALAMITOS: IEEE COMPUTER SOC, p. 101-106 6 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsConference contribution

2000

A constructivist dual-representation model of verb inflection

Westermann, G. 2000 Proceedings of the Twenty-Second Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Gleitman, L. R. & Joshi, A. K. (eds.). Mahwah, N.J. : LAWRENCE ERLBAUM ASSOC PUBL, p. 977-982 6 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsConference contribution

Modelling cognitive development with constructivist neural networks

Westermann, G. 2000 Connectionist models of learning, development and evolution. French, R. M. & Sougne, J. P. (eds.). Godalming: Springer Verlag London Ltd, p. 123-132 10 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsConference contribution

1999

Single mechanism but not single route: Learning verb inflections in constructivist neural networks

Westermann, G. 12/1999 In : Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 22, 6, p. 1042-1043 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

A constructivist neural network model of German verb inflection in agrammatic aphasia

Westermann, G., Willshaw, D. & Penke, M. 1999 Ninth International Conference on Artificial Neural Networks (ICANN99). Edison: INST ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS INSPEC INC, p. 916-921 6 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsConference contribution

1998

Emergent modularity and U-shaped learning in a constructivist neural network learning the English past tense

Westermann, G. 1998 Proceedings of the Twentieth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Gernsbacher, M. A. & Derry, S. J. (eds.). Mahwah, N.J.: LAWRENCE ERLBAUM ASSOC PUBL, p. 1130-1135 6 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsConference contribution

Gert Westermann's Activities

2007

British Journal of Developmental Psychology

Professor Gert Westermann (Associate Editor), 2007 → …

Activity: Editorial work or peer review of publicationsEditorial activity