Last updated: July, 2023


Hi, I am Wim Pouw. I am a cognitive scientist at the Radboud University Nijmegen studying different aspects of spoken language and pre-verbal vocalizations, most often in relation to manual- and other bodily gestures and movements (e.g., respiration, hand gestures). My overall research program is about understanding how 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 biological sound production and its coordination with the body is crucial for understanding how humans and other animals evolved the capacity to produce meaningful utterances. Specifically, my expertise lies in quantitative approaches of body movement analysis (e.g., motion tracking methodology, time series analysis) with tracking of acoustic markers of prosody in vocalization and speech. I combine a wide range of theoretical (radical embodied cognitive science, dynamical systems, evolutionary biology) and methodological (e.g., data science, movement science, bioacoustics, computer vision, phonetics) interests in my research so as to come to a computationally reproducible and theoretically grounded understanding of the topics me and my colleagues study.

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 at the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) under supervision of Profs. T. Van Gog, R. Zwaan, F. Paas (I defended my thesis on the topic of learning and embodied & embedded cognition on 16th of March, 2017).

In 2017, the Netherlands Organisation of Scientific Research (NWO) awarded me a Rubicon grant for a 2-years research applying human movement analyses multimodal communication, 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). In 2022 Aleksandra Cwiek, Susanne Fuchs, and me, received a 'VICOM' grant from the German Research Council to perform research on the topic of biosemiotics with PhD candidate Šárka Kadavá. I am currently employed at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour as an Associate Principal Investigator, working on the research program Dynamic Signs and Signals (DYNAMOS).

Updates and professional news

----- Upcoming talks -----
Annual Groningen Lectures in Ecological Psychology, The Netherlands (November, 2 2023)
----- Previous talks -----
ISAAR satellite: Communication Workshop, Denmark (August, 22, 2023)
October 2023

New work with Siamang apes

Some new work is being submitted with research on Siamang apes. This project is close to my heart, and involves a complete toolkit (with open data) for the study of air sacs spearheaded by Dr. Lara Burchardt (Preprint), and a study on coupling of movement and vocalizations (Preprint).

August 2023

New platform launched for sharing coding tutorials

In synchrony with the 2023 summerschool we are launching a new intiative/platform for sharing coding tutorials related to multimodal research, called envisionBOX. Still under constuction, but check it out!

4th-8th September 2023

Upcoming Summer School Multimodal Data And Signal Analysis

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. Registrations have closed.

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.

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