Last updated: May, 4th, 2023


Hi, I am Wim Pouw. I am a cognitive scientist at the Radboud University Nijmegen studying spoken language and its coordination between manual- and other bodily gestures and movements (e.g., respiration, head movements). My overall research program is about understanding how these multiple bodily systems can come to coordinate (e.g., synchronize) in a way that allows for novel or more stable communicative behavior to emerge. I believe that the study of spoken language and its coordination with the body is crucial for understanding how language might have evolved. Specifically, my expertise lies in quantitative approaches of body movement analysis (e.g., motion tracking methodology, time series analysis) which I often combine with tracking of acoustic markers of prosody in speech. I combine a wide range of theoretical (embodied cognitive science, dynamical systems, human movement science, phonetics, psychology) and methodological (e.g., network analysis, experimental psychology, data science) interests in my research.

At the VU University Amsterdam, I obtained my Bachelor degree in Psychology in 2009, Master degree (research master) in Social Psychology in 2011, and a second master degree in Theoretical Psychology in 2012. After my studies I enrolled as a PhD student under supervision of Professors Tamara van Gog, Rolf Zwaan, and Fred Paas at the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR). In this project we investigated the supporting role of hand movements in learning and problem solving. I defended my thesis on 16th of March, 2017.

In 2017, the Netherlands Organisation of Scientific Research (NWO) awarded my project a Rubicon grant for a 2-years research applying human movement analyses to hand-gesture, under supervision of Prof. James Dixon at the University of Connecticut. In 2019 I was awarded a 'Donders Fellowship' at University of Nijmegen (Donders Institute) to work under supervision of Prof. Asli Ozyurek on the large-scale study of multimodal language. In November 2020 NWO awarded me a personal career grant (VENI), allowing me to continue my research for another 4 years on biophysical aspects of multimodal language (enddate in 2026). I am currently employed at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour as a Research Fellow, working under the research program Dynamic Signs and Signals (DYNAMOS).

Updates and professional news

4th-8th September 2023

Summer School: Registrations open the 20th of June!

Dr. James Trujillo and I, together with guest speakers (T. Rebernik, R. Rasenberg, E. Ghaleb), will do a week-long Radboud Summer School the 4th till the 8th of September. This workshop is ideal for students, PhD students, and more senior researchers interested in applying quantiative and mixed methods tools for multimodal analyses. For more information and pre-registration follow this link.

1st of September, 2022

Kick-off DFG VICOM project FLESH

The 1st of September 2022 our VICOM project (PIs: Ola Cwiek, Wim Pouw, Susanne Fuchs) called 'On the flexibility and stability of gesture-speech coordination flesh evidence from production comprehension and imitation' started. This 3-year project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) will investigate vocalizations and body movements in a range of experiments that are designed to inform questions about how human communication evolved.

Mastodon feed