• 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 devlopment in 7-9 year-old children
  • Alarm Distress Baby Scale - en validation. 

Networks and social media
Show/Hide content

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 (

Show/Hide content


Andrew N. Meltzoff, Lynne Murray, Elizabeth Simpson, Mikael Heimann, Emese Nagy, Jacqueline Nadel, Eric J. Pedersen, Rechele Brooks, Daniel S. Messinger, Leonardo De Pascalis, Francys Subiaul, Annika Paukner, Pier F. Ferrari (2019) Eliciting imitation in early infancy Developmental Science , Vol. 22 Continue to DOI