Baby BRAIN Group

Emma Ward MSc

Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
Radboud University Nijmegen
P.O. Box 9104
6500 HE Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Room:  B01.23
Phone: +31 24 3612616
Email: e.ward [at]

Research Interests

Emma Ward started her PhD in the Baby BRAIN group in August 2015 and is working on the BRAINVIEW project with infants at risk for autism. These infants have older siblings with autism, which increases their likelihood of also being diagnosed. The BRAINVIEW project is part of a larger European network in a longitudinal study which tests the same group of infants at set intervals. This allows researchers to observe their development and look for potential early markers of autism. Emma is specifically interested in how children attend to and perceive the world around them, and how this helps them to form expectations for new experiences. There is some evidence that children with autism may form these expectations differently than typically-developing children, and the longitudinal study will allow us to explore this in at-risk children as they grow and learn. Her previous work has been mainly in the fields of attention and language. Her BA dissertation was to do with the effect of the language environment on how bilingual adults process conflicting information. Her MSc dissertation was to do with the influence of the visual environment on search time to find an image, as well as on the words participants used to describe the images (see poster for more details).


Ward, E.K., Braukmann, R., Buitelaar, J.K.,& Hunnius, S. (in press). No evidence for neural markers of gaze direction adaptation in 2-year-olds with high or low likelihood of autism. Journal of Abnormal Psychology. [abstract]

Jones, E., Mason, L., Begum Ali, J., van den Boomen, C., Braukmann, R., Cauvet, E., Demurie, E., Hessels, R., Ward, E., Hunnius, S., Bölte, S., Tomalski, P., Kemner, C., Warreyn, P., Roeyers, H., Buitelaar, J., Falck-Ytter, T., Charman, T., & Johnson, M (2019). Eurosibs: Towards robust measurement of infant neurocognitive predictors of autism across Europe. Infant Behavior and Development, 57, 101316. [abstract]

Braukmann, R., Ward, E., Hessels, R.S., Bekkering, H., Buitelaar, J.K., & Hunnius, S. (2018). Action prediction in 10-month-old infants at high and low familial risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 49 , 34-46. [abstract]

Recent Conference Contributions

Click here to see all conference contributions.

Ward, E. (2018). Where can Predictive Processing theories of Autism take us next? Symposium organiser. Oral Presentation, Budapest CEU Conference on Cognitive Development.

Ward, E. (2018). The search for evidence for/against a Predictive Processing account of Autism. Oral Presentation, ETADE conference on Early Typical and Atypical Development.

Ward, E. (2018). Understanding Perception in Autism using a Predictive Processing Framework. Symposium organiser. Winner of "Best abstract award". Oral Presentation, Donders Discussions.

Ward, E., Buitelaar, J. K., Braukmann, R., & Hunnius, S. (2018). Adaptation to Gaze Direction in Children at High- and Low-Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD): An ERP study. Poster Presentation, International Congress for Infant Studies.

Ward, E., Buitelaar, J. K., Braukmann, R., & Hunnius, S. (2018). Neural markers of adaptation in two-year-olds at high- and low- risk for autism. Oral Presentation, Donders Discussions.