Ian Apperly


  • Professor of Cognition and Development, Psychology

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

The work of students and postdocs in his group varies in its emphasis on developmental, cognitive or neuroscientific methods, and often involves collaboration with other colleagues in the School. Professor Apperly supervises doctoral researchers on all topics related to his research interests. Prospective doctoral researchers interested in joining the lab should email Ian in the first instance. Professor Apperly has previously supervised a number of PhDs on topics including psychological and spatial perspective-taking in children and adults, the relationship between reasoning and executive function and individual differences in the basic theory of mind in typical adults.


Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Ian Apperly is an experimental psychologist, and his main research interest is in “mindreading” – the ability to take other people’s perspectives for communication, co-operation, competition or deception. He is the author of over 80 journal articles, and the 2010 book, entitled “Mindreaders: The cognitive basis of theory of mind”.


Ian Apperly attended Ivybridge Community College in Devon, studied Natural Sciences at St John’s College, Cambridge, and came to Birmingham in 1995 to study for his Ph.D. with Liz Robinson.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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