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Professor Ian Apperly

BA Cantab, PhD UBir.

Associate Investigator

Contact Details

Fax : +44 121 414 3339
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External Address

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham, UK


Much of my work concerns mindreading - the ability to think about other people’s mental states. I am also interested in mental flexibility - especially in relation to self-control and novel problem-solving. With my collaborators and students I use a variety of methods from developmental and cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience.

Selected Publications


  • Apperly, I.A. (2011). Mindreaders: The Cognitive Basis of "Theory of Mind". Hove, UK: Psychology Press.

Book Chapters

  • Apperly, I.A. (2013). Can theory of mind grow up? Mindreading in adults, and its implications for the neuroscience and development of mindreading. In S. Baron-Cohen, H. Tager-Flusberg, & M. Lombardo (Eds.), Understanding Other Minds (pp. 72-92). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.


  • Butterfill, S., & Apperly, I.A. (2013). How to construct a minimal theory of mind. Mind and Language, 28(5), 606-637.
  • Apperly, I.A. (2012). What is “theory of mind”? Concepts, cognitive processes and individual differences. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 65(5), 825 – 839.
  • Beck, S.R., Chappell, J., Apperly, I.A., & Cutting, N. (2012). Tool innovation may be a critical limiting step for the establishment of a rich tool-using culture: A perspective from child development. Behavioural and Brain Sciences, 35(4), 220-221.
  • Carroll, D.J., Apperly, I.A, Riggs, K.J., & Graham, K. (2012). How do novel response modes help 3- to 4-year-olds to act on rules that induce response conflict? Cognitive Development, 112(3), 312-325. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2012.03.001
  • Chiavarino, C., Apperly, I.A., & Humphreys, G.W. (2012). Understanding intentions: Distinct processes for mirroring, representing and conceptualising. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 21(5), 284-289.
  • Dumontheil. I., Hillebrandt, H., Apperly, I.A., & Blakemore, S.-J. (2012). Developmental differences in the control of action selection by social information. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 24(10), 2080-2095.
  • Surtees, A., & Apperly, I.A. (2012). Egocentrism and automatic perspective-taking in children and adults. Child Development, 83(2), 452–460.
  • Surtees, A., Butterfill, S., & Apperly, I.A. (2012). Cognitive features of level-2 perspective-taking in children and adults. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 30(1), 75-86.
  • Surtees, A., Noordzij, M.L., & Apperly, I.A. (2012). Sometimes losing your self in space: Spontaneous use of intrinsic and relative spatial reference frames in children and adults. Developmental Psychology, 48(1), 185-191.

Further Information

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