Felix Warneken

Principal Investigator, warneken@umich.edu

Felix Warneken studies the origins of human social behavior, with a focus on the development and evolution of cooperation and morality. He uses developmental and cross-cultural studies with children, as well as comparative studies with nonhuman apes. He completed his Ph.D. and postdoctoral training at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. Before coming to Michigan, he was an assistant and later associate professor of psychology at Harvard University.

He has received several awards, including an NSF CAREER Award, the Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions from the Association for Psychological Science, and the Boyd McCandless Award by the American Psychological Association.


Luke Quarles  CV

Lab Managerquarlesl@umich.edu

Luke is the lab manager for the Social Minds Lab. He received his bachelor’s degrees in psychology and animal behavior ecology and conservation from Canisius College and has studied social behavior in both children and chimpanzees. Luke is interested in the development of social cognition, particularly with regard to cooperation.


Young-eun Lee   CV

Graduate Student, leeyeun@umich.edu

I study the development of altruistic punishment in children. I’m particularly interested in children’s enforcement of social norms (e.g., fairness norms, cooperation norms) and its underlying mechanisms.


Sebastian Grüneisen CV

Post Doctoral Researcher 

Sebastian studied psychology at Northumbria University and the University of St Andrews in the UK, and completed his PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. His research investigates the developmental and evolutionary origins of human cooperation. To this end, he adapts game theory paradigms for experimental studies with children and nonhuman great apes, particularly chimpanzees. Using this approach, he aims at uncovering the cognitive and motivational components underlying cooperative decision-making in humans and our closest evolutionary relatives.

Kristen Cross


Kristen is a senior at the University of Michigan majoring in psychology. She is interested in researching different aspects of child development and the origins of human behavior. In her free time she loves to paint and do crafts, and would love to find a way to incorporate this into her future work with children.


Justin Campbell


Justin was recently awarded degrees in philosophy and psychology from Utah State University, and conducted research in social-cognitive neuroscience prior to joining the lab. He is especially interested in the neurodevelopmental changes which motivate cooperative behavior in humans.


Shreevika Mitra


Shreevika is a sophomore studying psychology at the University of Southern California. She is interested in cognition and behavior variations in different social situations, psychological disorders, and the underlying biological components of both.


Tionna Johnson


Tionna is a junior at Spelman College where she is currently studying psychology on a pre-medicine track. Previously, she spent her summers doing research at Rockefeller University and Emory University. Her research interests include neuroscience, child development, and cognition.


Onyul Haque


Onyul is a sophomore studying psychology with a minor in biological anthropology. He is interested in the basic social and cognitive behaviors in young children that allow them to develop sophisticated moral principles later when they become adults.


Mihir Pyakuryal


Mihir is a senior majoring in psychology and minoring in film and media studies at Dickinson College. He is interested in studying cognitive abilities and theory of mind in non-human primates.



Perry Bower

Research Assistant

Perry is a junior studying biopsychology, cognition, and neuroscience at the University of Michigan. Her academic interests lie in regular and irregular adolescent development, the neural underpinnings of psychopathology, and the implications these may have within the judicial system.


Taylor Conroy

Research Assistant

Taylor is a senior studying psychology with a minor in crime and justice. She is interested in reasoning about justice as well as the criminal justice system and deviance from social norms.


Toussaint Anderson Jr.

Research Assistant

Toussaint is a freshman studying psychology at the University of Michigan. He collaborates with Young-eun Lee and Luke Quarles to discover how children understand third-party intervention, fairness, and justice restoration.