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Dr. Emma Ward

Emma's Photo

Arbeitsbereich Neural Dynamics of Visual Cognition


Habelschwerdter Allee 45
Room JK 25/221f
14195 Berlin

My main research interests are how expectations influence perception, and how babies can begin to acquire these expectations and use them to build models of the world.

For my PhD, at the Donders Institute in the Netherlands, I conducted a series of experiments testing whether expectations influence perception differently in autism, using EEG, eye-tracking and behavioural responses, sometimes all at once.

For my post-doc here in Berlin, I will use advanced EEG analysis techniques (e.g. frequency coupling and multivariate pattern analysis) to investigate how young infants build expectations about visual objects and categories.

You can find further information about me on my personal webpage.


van Rooijen, R., Ward, E.K., de Jonge, M., Kemner, C. & Junge, C. (Accepted at Journal of Child Language). Two-year-olds at risk for autism can learn novel words from their parents.

Ward, E. K., Braukmann, R., Weiland, R., Bekkering, H., Buitelaar, J. K. & Hunnius, S. (2021) Action predictability is reflected in beta power attenuation and predictive eye movements in adolescents with and without autism. Neuropsychologia, 157, 107859. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2021.107859

Ward, E. K., Braukmann, R., Buitelaar, J. K., & Hunnius, S. (2020). No evidence for neural markers of gaze direction adaptation in 2-year-olds with high or low likelihood of autism. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 129(6), 612–623. https://doi.org/10.1037/abn0000518

Di Lorenzo, R.*, Munsters, N.*, Ward, E.K., de Jonge, M., Kemner, C. & van den Boomen, C. (2020). Is it fear? Similar brain responses to fearful and neutral faces in infants with a heightened likelihood for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 51 (3), 961-972. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-020-04560-x

Ward, E. K., & Hunnius, S. (2020). Does variability in an implicit learning task help infants learn faster? A registered report.­ Developmental Science. Stage 1 Registered Report. https://osf.io/t4sqm

Jones, E.J.H., Mason, L., Begum Ali, J., van den Boomen, C., Braukmann, R., Cauvet, E., Demurie, E., Hessels, R.S., Ward, E. K., Hunnius, S., Bolte, S., Tomalski, P., Kemner, C. , Warreyn, P., Roeyers, H., Buitelaar, J. , Falck-Ytter, T., Charman. T., Johnson, M.H., & the EuroSibs Team. (2019). EuroSibs: Towards robust measurement of infant neurocognitive predictors of autism across Europe. Infant Behaviour and Development, 57, 101316. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.infbeh.2019.03.007

Braukmann, R., Ward, E. K., Hessels, R. S., Bekkering, H., Buitelaar, J. K., & Hunnius, S. (2018). Action prediction in 10-month-old infants at high and low familial risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 49, 34-46. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2018.02.004

Submitted Manuscripts

Ward, E. K., Buitelaar, J. K. & Hunnius, S. (Submitted) No evidence for altered precision-weighting of prediction errors in autistic adolescents' ERPs or behaviour during adaptation to gaze direction. Preprint https://osf.io/uf4ap/

Ward, E. K., Buitelaar, J. K. & Hunnius, S. (Under review) Implicit learning in three-year-olds with high and low likelihood of autism shows no evidence of precision weighting differences. Preprint https://osf.io/msq7e/