Tobias Grossmann

Professor of Psychology

140N Gilmer Hall

Research Areas:

Tobias Grossmann is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia where he directs the UVA Babylab. His research focuses on the early development of the social, cognitive and brain processes that underpin adaptive social communication and behavior. He earned his Ph.D. in Psychology from the Max Planck Institutes for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences and Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. He was then awarded a Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship at the Center for Brain and Cognitive Development at Birkbeck, University of London, UK. Before joining UVA, he led an independent research group at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig and received his Habilitation from Heidelberg University’s Institute of Psychology.


Selected Publications

  • Grossmann, T. (2022). The human fear paradox: Affective origins of cooperative care. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

  • Jessen, S., & Grossmann, T. (2020). The developmental origins of subliminal face processing. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 116, 454-460.

  • Grossmann, T., Missana, M., & Vaish, A. (2020). Helping, fast and slow: Exploring intuitive cooperation in early ontogeny. Cognition, 196: 104144.

  • Krol, K.M. , Moulder, R.G., Lillard, T.S., & Grossmann, T.,& Connelly, J.J. (2019). Epigenetic dynamics in infancy and the impact of maternal engagement. Science Advances, 16, eaay0680.

  • Grossmann, T., Missana, M., & Krol, K.M. (2018). The neurodevelopmental precursors to altruistic behavior in infancy. PLOS Biology, 16:e200528.

  • Grossmann, T. (2017). The eyes as windows into other minds: An integrative perspective. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12, 107-121.

  • Grossmann, T. (2015). The development of social brain functions during infancy. Psychological Bulletin, 141, 1266-87.

  • Krol, K.M., Monakhov, M., Lai, P.S., Ebstein, R., & Grossmann, T. (2015). Genetic variation in CD38 and breastfeeding experience interact to impact infants' attention to social eye cues. PNAS, 112, E5434–E5442.

  • Jessen, S. & Grossmann, T. (2014). Unconscious discrimination of social cues from eye whites in infants. PNAS, 111, 16208-16213.

  • Fairhurst, M. T., Löken, L., & Grossmann, T. (2014). Physiological and behavioral responses reveal 9-month-old infants' sensitivity to pleasant touch. Psychological Science, 25, 1124-1131.

  • Grossmann, T., Oberecker, R., Koch, S.P., & Friederici, A.D. (2010).  The developmental origins of voice processing in the human brain. Neuron, 65, 852-858.

  • Grossmann, T., Johnson, M. H., Lloyd-Fox, S., Blasi, A., Deligianni, F., Elwell, C., & Csibra, G. (2008). Early cortical specialization for face-to-face communication in human infants. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 275, 2803-2811.

  • Vaish, A., Grossmann, T., & Woodward, A. (2008). Not all emotions are created equal: The negativity bias in early social-emotional development. Psychological Bulletin, 134, 383-403.