Professor Thomas Suddendorf


School of Psychology
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
+61 7 336 58341


Thomas grew up in Germany and joined UQ in 1999 following postgraduate studies in New Zealand. He investigates the mental capacities in young children and in animals to answer fundamental questions about the nature and evolution of the human mind. His research has attracted several awards (incl. from the Australian Academy of Social Sciences, the Australian Psychological Society and the American Psychological Association) and his critically acclaimed book The Gap (e.g. see reviews in Nature, Science or the Wall Street Journal) is currently being translated into several languages.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Auckland
  • Master of Social Sciences, Waik


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View all Grants


  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision



Book Chapter

  • Suddendorf, Thomas and Redshaw, Jonathan (2017). Anticipation of future events. In Encyclopedia of animal cognition and behavior (pp. 1-9) Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1082-1

  • Suddendorf, Thomas (2016). Die Natur und Erstehung der Kluft zwischen Mensch und Tier. In Johannes Weinzirl and Peter Heusser (Ed.), Der Mensch, ein Tier? Das Tier, ein Mensch? (pp. 55-61) Wuerzburg, Germany: Verlag Konigshausen & Neumann.

  • Suddendorf, Thomas, Brinums, Melissa and Imuta, Kana (2016). Shaping one's future self: the development of deliberate practice. In Kourken Michaelian, Stanley B. Klein and Karl K. Szpunar (Ed.), Seeing the future: theoretical perspectives on future-oriented mental time travel (pp. 343-366) New York, United States: Oxford University Press.

  • Suddendorf, Thomas and Dong, Andy (2013). On the evolution of imagination and design. In Marjorie Taylor (Ed.), Oxford handbook on the development of imagination (pp. 453-467) New York, NY, United States: Oxford University Press.

  • Suddendorf, Thomas (2012). The Rise of the Metamind. In Michael Corballis and Stephen E. G. Lea (Ed.), The Descent of Mind: Psychological Perspectives on Hominid Evolution (pp. 218-260) Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192632593.003.0012

  • Suddendorf, Thomas, Addis, Donna Rose and Corballis, Michael C. (2011). Mental time travel and the shaping of the human mind. In Moshe Bar (Ed.), Predictions in the brain: using our past to generate a future (pp. 344-354) New York, United States: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195395518.003.0121

  • Suddendorf, Thomas (2011). Mirror self-recognition on Earth. In Roger Penrose, Stuart Hameroff and Subhash Kak (Ed.), Consciousness and the universe: quantum physics, evolution, brain & mind (pp. 782-787) Cambridge, MA, United States: Cosmology Science Publishers.

  • Corballis, Michael C. and Suddendorf, Thomas (2010). The evolution of concepts: a timely look. In Denis Marshal, Paul C. Quinn and S. E. G. Lea (Ed.), The making of human concepts (pp. 365-386) New York: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199549221.003.17

  • Suddendorf, Thomas and Corballis, M. C. (2008). Episodic memory and mental time travel. In Dere, K., Easton, A., Nadel, L. and Huston, J. (Ed.), Handbook of Episodic Memory (pp. 31-42) Netherlands: Elsevier. doi:10.1016/S1569-7339(08)00203-8

  • Whiten, Andrew and Suddendorf, Thomas (2007). Great ape cognition and the evolutionary roots of human imagination. In Ilona Roth (Ed.), Imaginative Minds (pp. 31-59) Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. doi:10.5871/bacad/9780197264195.003.0002

  • Corballis, M. and Suddendorf, Thomas (2007). Memory, Time, and Language. In Pasternak, C. (Ed.), What makes us human? First ed. (pp. 17-36) United Kingdom: Oneworld Publications.

  • Nielsen, M G, Suddendorf, T and Dissanayake, C (2006). Imitation and self-recogntion in autism: In search of an explanation. In S.J. Rogers and J.H.G. Williams (Ed.), Imitation and the Social Mind: Autism and Typical Development (pp. 138-197) New York: The Guilford Press.

  • Suddendorf, Thomas and Whiten, Andrew (2003). Reinterpreting the Mentality of Apes. In K. Sterelny and J. Fitness (Ed.), From Mating to Mentality: Evaluating Evolutionary Psychology (pp. 173-196) New York: Psychology Press. doi:10.4324/9780203484708

  • Suddendorf, T. (2001). A developmental link between the production of gestural representation and understanding of mental representation. In S. Reifel (Ed.), Theory in Context and Out (pp. 217-231) Westport, Connecticut: Ablex Publishing.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Dong, Andy, Collier-Baker, Emma and Suddendorf, Thomas (2010). Animal innovation: a window into design thinking. In: Kees Dorst, Susan Stewart, Ilka Staudinger, Bec Paton and Andy Dong, Interpreting Design Thinking: Proceedings of the 8th Design Thinking Research Symposium (DTRS8). Design Thinking Research Symposium 8, Sydney, Australia, (121-130). 19-20 October 2010.

  • Collier-Baker, E. and Suddendorf, T. (2006). Invisible displacement understanding in primates on a new task. In: Ottmar Lipp and Sarah Price, Australian Journal of Psychology: The Abstracts of the 33rd Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference. The 33rd Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference, London, (68-69). 20-23 April, 2006. doi:10.1080/00049530600940016

  • Suddendorf, T., Simcock, G., Nielsen, M. and Collier-Baker, E. (2006). The development of self-recognition in mirrors and live videos. In: Ottmar V. Lipp and Sarah Price, Australian Journal of Psychology: The Abstracts of the 33rd Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference. 33rd Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference, Bardon Conference Centre, Brisbane, (91-92). 20-23 April, 2006. doi:10.1080/00049530600940016

  • Collier-Baker, E, Davis, JM, Suddendorf, T and Nielsen, M (2004). Do chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) understand invisible displacement?. In: Folia Primatologica. , , (249-249). .

  • Suddendorf, T., Nielson, M., Slaughter, V. and Simcock, G. (2004). The nature of early self-recognition. In: Australian Journal of Psychology: 39th Conference of the Australian Psychological Society. 39th Conference of the Australian Psychological Society, Sydney, Australia, (226-226). 29 September - 3 October 2004.

  • Massaro, D.D., Williams, J, Suddendorf, T., Bosseler, A and Peel, N (2003). Lip-reading and visual-auditory integration during speech imitation in autism. In: K. Dautenhahn and C.L. Nehaniv, Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on Imitation in Animals and Artifacts. AISB '03 Cognition in Machines and Animals, Aberystwyth / University of Wales, (99-99). 7-11 April, 2003.

  • Suddendorf, T. (2000). Various. In: G.R.Bock, J. A.Goode and K. Webb, The Nature of Intelligence. Symposium on the Nature of Intelligence, Novartis Foundation, London, (). 30 Nov - 2 December, 1999.

  • Parr, J. and Suddendorf, T. (1999). Will electronic media help my child to read and write? Views from the autonomy and metamorphosis perspectives. In: P. Jeffrey, AARE/NZARE Joint Conference. Joint AARE-NZARE 1999 Conference Melbourne Research in Education; Global Issues & Local Effects: The, Swinburne Univ.ersity of Technology, Lilydale, (1-14). 29 November -2 December, 1999.

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision