Shreejata Gupta was awarded a 2022 ILCB Postdoctoral Fellowship. She will study how the perception and use of gestures by infants could be an excellent window to peek into their pre-verbal minds in order to understand early development of empathy. In collaboration with Isabelle Dautriche (LPC) and Clément François (LPL), Shreejata will combine eyetracking, EEG and fNIRS. Her previous research has identified shared cognitive properties, not only between humans and other ape species, but even with Old World monkeys, underlying forms and functions (flexibility, intentionality, referentiality) of gestural communication. At LPC, with Adrien Meguerditchian, she has also worked on gestural lateralization and its relation to brain language lateralization in adult humans. Thus, having explored functions, mechanisms and phylogeny of gestures among nonhuman and human primates, presently Shreejata will investigate the ontogeny of gestures and it’s connection to social development in humans (Tinbergen’s 4-questions). Growing up in Calcutta (Kolkata), India, and having lived in several other cities within and outside her country, Shreejata considers travelling and exposure to new cultures as one of the fundamental inspirations that inspire her work and personal growth.