Hey there! :-D

I am a behavioral researcher working in developmental and pedagogical psychology. I study gestural communication, social learning and classroom management, and am currently leading a three-year DFG project on young children’s understanding of graphic symbols. I am working at the Chair for Empirical School and Classroom Research at Leipzig University and support the method development team of the Department for Comparative Cultural Psychology at the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology.


Kachel, G., Hepach, R., Moore, R. & Tomasello, M. (2021). Two- but not three-year-olds prefer adults as informants in an object-choice-task. Child Development. PDF

Kachel, G. & Hardecker, D. & Bohn, M. (2021). Young children’s developing ability to integrate gestural and emotional cues. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. PDF

Hildebrandt, F., Glauer, R., & Kachel, G. (2020). Coming from a world without objects. Mind and Language. PDF

Kachel, G., Bohn, M., & Tomasello, M. (2019). Young children spontaneously recreate core properties of language in a new modality. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. PDF

O’Madagain, C., Kachel, G. & Strickland, B. (2019). Origins of the human pointing gesture – three studies on the touch hypothesis. Science Advances. PDF

Kachel, G., Moore, R. & Tomasello, M. (2018). Two-year-olds use adults’ pointing gestures but not peers’. Developmental Science. e12660. PDF

Schmidtke-Bode, K. & Kachel, G. (2018). Exploring the motivational antecedents of Nepalese learners of L2 English. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching. PDF

In Preparation

Kachel, G., Hepach, R., Moore, R. & Tomasello, M. (in prep). Cognitive inferences in imitative learning from peer and adult models: testing over-imitation, protest behavior and persistence across social contexts.

Kachel, G., Hepach, R., Moore, R. & Tomasello, M. (in prep). Two-year-olds’ gaze following and word learning with peer and adult partners.


Here are some ongoing projects. More details and links to project pages will follow soon.


This three-year project investigates young children's understanding of the relationship between symbol and referent in the graphic domain.

CV-tools for Educational Research

At the chair for Empirical School and Classroom Research we aim to use gesture and object detection to study teacher's professional vision and classroom management.


In a joint effort with graphic designers and programmers, PsyRig aims to make CGI animations accessible for stimulus creation in behavioral experiments. A first module will provide a set of freely moveable hands and basic objects.


Chimpanzee face point detection to automatize reading temperature data from thermo-imaging recordings.

Academic Positions

2020 - 2022 Principle Investigator • DFG-Project Symbolic Literacy • Leipzig University

2019 - 2020 Post-Doc • Empirical School- and Classroom Research • Leipzig University

2018 - 2019 Post-Doc • Early Childhood Education • FH Potsdam

2017 - 2018 Post-Doc • Department of Comparative and Developmental Psychology • MPI EVA

2013 - 2016 PhD • Department of Comparative and Developmental Psychology • MPI EVA

For a detailed CV, please see here.