About us

Here you can learn more about the Department of Early Childhood Development and Culture.

Our Department

The Department of Early Childhood Development and Culture at the University of Leipzig investigates the extraordinary cultural variability of human thought and action. Our goal is to document cultural variability of psychological phenomena and to identify the social behaviors of humans that structure and stabilize cultural variability.

For this purpose, we compare the development of social skills and motivations in human infants and adults in an intercultural comparison. This comparative cultural approach enables us to understand the flexibility of the development process in different domains and to isolate the influence of different environmental factors on the development of the individual. Furthermore, it offers the possibility to describe the basic universals of social behavior and understanding. This research is conducted worldwide in a wide variety of cultural contexts.

Furthermore, we pursue a species-comparative as well as a culture-comparative approach. In the search for an adequate description of human social abilities and motivations, a comparison with other species closely related to humans is indispensable. Only in contrast with other primates, the characteristics that characterize humans become visible. This comparison highlights the extraordinary structures of human social behavior and the unique coordination and communication skills associated with them, which enable humans to live together in remarkably large groups characterized by a high degree of cultural variability.


Research Focus

  •    emotional competence and language
  •     social motivation and attention
  •     interdisciplinary Cooperation Research
  •     social cognition
  •     cross-cultural comparison
  •     species comparative approaches



  • Behaviour Monitoring
  • Interview
  • Questionnaires
  • Intervention studies
  • Eye Tracking
  • Peripheral Physiology
  • Motion Sensor Technologies


  • Leipzig Research Center for Early Childhood Development (LFE)
  • Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
  • Max Planck Institute of Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
  • University Hospital Leipzig
  • Daycare centers, after-school care centers and the Leipzig parents and their children.
  • Partner institutions, e.g. in Namibia, Zambia, or Indonesia.


Schwarz-Weiß-Zeichnungen von Portraits

Our Team

Here you can find more about the team of the Department of Early Childhood Development and Culture.

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Various projects have been set up for the best possible research into early childhood development. You can find a selection here.

Leipzig Research Centre for Early Childhood Development

The Leipzig Research Centre for Early Childhood Development tries to answer all questions concerning the development of children. To achieve this, scientists all over the world conduct research.

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Our master's degree course in Early Childhood Research offers you a great education in the research field. You can find out more here.

Early Childhood Research M.Sc.

Are you looking for a research-oriented course of study in the field of psychology and educational science that will give you the skills and abilities to research early childhood development?

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 Madlen Bartholmeß

Madlen Bartholmeß

Frühkindliche Entwicklung
Haus 2
Jahnallee 59, Room 105
04109 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-31870
Fax: +49 341 97-31879