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Prof. Dr. Dr. Moritz Köster

Moritz Köster


After a PostDoc in the lab in 2021 I moved to Regensburg to start my own group as Professor of Develomental Cognitive Psychology. Find the link here.

My research interest lies in human development and learning. I investigate neuro-cognitive mechanisms, developmental processes, and culture-specific learning experiences that (in concert) enable human flexible adaptation. In particular, the research questions I address (and the methods that I use) include:

  • How do social learning experiences shape human development? (cross-cultural comparison, parent-child interaction, experimental, EEG)
  • Which neural learning mechanisms allow developing humans to acquire basic concepts about the world around them? (EEG: oscillatory analysis, neural entrainment)
  • Which socio-cognitive mechanisms enable infants to competently navigate their social world? (eye-tracking, EEG, experimental, cross-species comparison)
  • From a developmental systems perspective, how do individual and environmental processes act in concert in human socio-cognitive development? (combinations of EEG, fMRI, eye-tracking, cross-cultural comparison, parent-child interaction, and experimental procedures)

2021 & in press

Köster, M., Langeloh, M., Michel, C., & Höhl, S. (2021). Young infants process prediction errors at the theta rhythm. Neuroimage. doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118074

Köster, M., Langeloh, M., Kliesch, C., Kanngiesser, P.*, & Höhl, S.* (2021). The value of subsequent memory paradigms in uncovering neural mechanisms of early social learning. Neuroimage. doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.117978


Köster, M., Kayhan, E., Langeloh, M., & Höhl, S. (2020) Making Sense of the World – Infant Learning from a Predictive Processing Perspective. Perspectives on Psychological Science. doi.org/10.1177/1745691619895071

Köster, M., Langeloh, M., Kliesch, C., Kanngiesser, P.*, & Höhl, S.* (2020). Motor cortex activity during action observation predicts subsequent action imitation in human infants. Neuroimage. doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.116958

Köster, M., Goeke, C., Bonkoch-Goeke, E., Hoffmann, T., & Kaspar, K. (2020). Auditory information support the learning transfer from L2 to L3 tonal languages. Current Psychology.  doi.org/10.1007/s12144-018-9792-z

Köster, M., Yovsi, R., & Kärtner, J. (in press). Cross-Cultural Differences in the Generation of Novel Ideas in Middle Childhood. Frontiers in Psychology.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01829

Mavridis, P., Kärtner, J., Cavalcante, L., Resende, B., Schuhmacher, N., & Köster, M. (in press) The Development of Context-sensitive Attention in Urban and Rural Brazil. Frontiers in Psychology. doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01623

Jurkat, S., Köster, M., Yovsi, R., & Kärtner, J. (in press) The development of context-sensitive attention across cultures - the impact of stimulus familiarity. Frontiers in Psychology. doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01526

Haun, D.*, Liebal, K.*, Amici, F., Bender, A., Bohn, M., Bräuer, J., Buttelmann, D., Burkart, J., Cacchione, T., Detroy, S., Faßbender, I., Fichtel, C., Fischer, J., Gampe, A., Gray, R., Horn, L., Ona, L., Kärtner, J., Kaminski, J., Kanngießer, P., Keller, H., Köster, M., Kopp, K., Kornadt, K., Rakoczy, H., Schuppli, C., Stengelin, R., Trommsdorff, G., Van Leeuwen, E., Van Schaik, C. (2020) Ein Plädoyer für die Relevanz der Vergleichenden Psychologie für das Verständnis menschlicher Entwicklung. Psychologische Rundschau. doi.org/10.1026/0033-3042/a000467


Köster, M.*, Langeloh, M.*, & Höhl, S. (2019) Visually entrained theta oscillations increase for unexpected events in the infant brain. Psychological Science.  doi.org/10.1177/0956797619876260

Köster, M., Martens, U., & Gruber, T. (2019). Memory entrainment by visually evoked theta-gamma coupling. Neuroimage. doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.12.002

Köster, M., & Kärtner, J. (2019). Why do infants help? A simple action reveals a complex phenomenon. Developmental Review. doi.org/10.1016/j.dr.2018.11.004

Köster, M., Itakura, S., Omori, M., & Kärtner, J. (2019). From understanding others’ needs to prosocial action: Motor and social abilities promote infants’ helping. Developmental Science. doi.org/10.1111/desc.12804

Dworazik, N., Kärtner, J., Lange, L., & Köster, M. (2019) Young children respond to moral dilemma like their mothers. Frontiers in Psychology. doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02683

Schuhmacher, N., Köster, M., & Kärtner, J. (2019). Modeling prosocial behavior increases helping in 16-month-olds. Child Development. doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13054


Köster, M.*, Finger, H.*, Graetz, S., Kater, M., & Gruber, T. (2018). Theta-gamma coupling binds visual perceptual features in an associative memory task. Scientific Reports.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-35812-7

Köster, M., & Kärtner, J. (2018). Context-sensitive attention is socialized via a verbal route in the parent-child interaction. PLoS ONE. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0207113

Köster, M., Itakura, S., Yovsi, R., & Kärtner, J. (2018). Visual attention in 5-year-olds from three different cultures. PLoS ONE.  doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0200239

Fonseca, B., Cavalcante, L., Kärtner, J., & Köster, M. (2018). Maternal socialization goals and the spontaneous prosocial behavior of children in rural contexts. Psychology: Research and Review   doi.org/10.1186/s41155-018-0108-x

Schöne, B., Köster, M., & Gruber, T. (2018). Coherence in general and personal semantic knowledge. Experimental Brain Research.  doi.org/10.1007/s00221-018-5324-1

Kruger, D.J., Köster, M., Nedelec, J.L., & Murphy, S.F. (2018). A life history framework advances the understanding of intentions for police cooperation. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences.  doi.org/10.1037/ebs0000109


Köster, M., Castel, J., Gruber, T., & Kärtner, J. (2017). Visual cortical networks align with behavioral measures of context-sensitivity in early childhood. Neuroimage.  doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.08.008

Köster, M., Haese, A., Czernochowski, D. (2017). Neuronal oscillations reveal the processes underlying intentional compared to incidental learning in children and young adults. PLoS ONE.  doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0182540

Köster, M., Finger, H., Kater, M., Schenk, C., & Gruber, T. (2017). Neuronal oscillations indicate sleep-dependent changes in the cortical memory trace. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.  doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_01071


Köster, M., Cavalcante, L., Carvalho, R., & Resende, B. D., Kärtner, J. (2016). Cultural Influences on Toddlers’ Prosocial Behavior: How Maternal Task Assignment Relates to Helping Others. Child Development.  doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12636

Köster, M. (2016) What about microsaccades in the EEG of infants? Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.  doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2016.0739

Köster, M., Ohmer, X., Nguyen, T. D., Kärtner, J. (2016) Infants understand others’ needs. Psychological Science.  doi.org/10.1177/0956797615627426


Köster, M., Schumacher, N., & Kärtner, J. (2015) A Cultural Perspective on Prosocial Development. Human Ethology Bulletin  link

Goeke, C., Gramann, K., Kornpetpanee, S., Köster, M., Revelles, F. & König, P. (2015). Cultural background shapes spatial reference frame proclivity. Scientific Reports.  doi.org/10.1038/srep11426

Köster, M., Rüth, M., Hamborg, K.-C., Kaspar, K. (2015). Effects of personalized banner ads on visual attention and recognition memory. Applied Cognitive Psychology.  doi.org/10.1002/acp.3080

2014 & 2013

Köster, M.*, Friese, U.*, Schöne, B., Trujillo-Barreto, N., & Gruber , T. (2014). Theta-gamma coupling during episodic retrieval in the human EEG. Brain Research.  doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2014.06.028

Friese, U.*, Köster, M.*, Hassler, U., Martens, U., Barreto, N. T., & Gruber, T. (2013). Successful memory encoding is associated with increased cross-frequency coupling between frontal theta and posterior gamma oscillations in human scalp-recorded EEG. Neuroimage.  doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.11.002

* Joint first/last authors