• Professor of Developmental Psychology
  • Vice Dean (research), the Faculty of Arts and Sciences 2012-2014
  • Head, the Developmental Research Group
  • Head, Infant and Child Lab

Education/professional training

  • Licensed psychologist (Sweden, 1981, Norway 2003)
  • PhD (Penn State University, USA 1988)
  • Licensed psychotherapist (Sweden 1989)
  • Specialist in clinical psychology (Sweden 1997)

Previous positions


Clinical child psychologist, the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinic, Göteborg, Sweden, 1976-1989

School psychologist, Göteborg, Sweden, 1977-1978

Privately employed psychotherapist, part-time, Göteborg, Sweden, 1984-1990


Instructor, Dept. of Psychology, Penn State Univ., 1984

Assistant and associate professor, Dept. of Psychology, Göteborg University, 1987-2001

Guest research professor, The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters,1996-97

Associate professor, Dept of Special Education, Göteborg University, 1994-99

Adjunct professor, Norwegian University of Technology, Trondheim, 2000-05

Professor and Head, Centre of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Univ. of Bergen, Norway, 2001-05

Research areas

Infant development (cognition, communication, imitation)

Developmental psychopathology (autism, language impairment)

Literacy (multimedia based intervention programs)

Selected ongoing projects

Infant socio-cognitive development

Infants’ reactive saccades in social and non-social contexts. A project conducted by the Nordic Infant Network.

Children with Severe Hearing Impairment

Understanding minds: How early cochlear implantation affects Theory of Mind in children with profound hearing impairment. In collaboration with professor B Lyxell, LiU, Dr A Sundqvist, LiU, and MD PhD R Jönsson, Sahlgrenska university hospital, Göteborg. Grant: Research Foundation for the Hard of Hearing (2015)

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Social interaction and imitation for young children with autism - a randomized study (SIMBA). A joint project with the Dept. of Psychology and the Gillberg Centre, University of Gothenburg. In collaboration with B Spjut Jansson, clinical psychologist and assoc. prof T Tjus, University of Gothenburg. 

Development of children's stereotypes

Mental presentations of gender expressed as implicit and explicit social knowledge in children and adults. A collaboration between University of Washington, USA, and Linköping University. PI = Dr. Anett Sundqvist, Linköping University.

Previous projects

  • Memory for events in early infancy.
  • Long-term memory processes in early infancy: Exploring the boundaries of nonverbal recall in preverbal infants.
  • Long-term memory processes in infancy: Individual differences and electrophysiological correlats.
  • The importance of joint attention, memory and communication for the development of mentalization - a longitudinal study of children with autism.
  • MIMA: Memory, imitation and autism.
  • Effects of computerized training for reading disabled children in grade 2.
  • Children in Bergen. A longitudinal total population study of mental health and development in 7-9 year-old children
  • Alarm Distress Baby Scale - en validation. 






Networks and social media

International networks 

Nordic Infant Network. A new (2012) network between four infant lab's in Sweden (Linköping University, Uppsala University) Norway (University of Oslo), and Finland (University of Tampere)

Computer program

Heimann, M., Lundälv, M., Tjus, T. & Nelson, K.E. (2004). Omega–interactive sentences, a multimedia software for language exploration and play. Topic Data & Språkbehandling HB, Göteborg, Sweden (