Ori Ossmy

Reader, Head of Physical Cognition Lab

Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development
School of Psychology, Birkbeck College
Mail: Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX
Office: Henry Wellcome Building, Room 201

Phone: +44 (0)20 3926 1132


Research Interests

Physical cognition is ubiquitous across every age and culture—how to navigate a cluttered environment, use a tool, and so on. As our bodies, skills, and environments change, new physical problems emerge and require new means to solve them. With learning and development, children respond more adaptively and efficiently to environmental challenges and opportunities. With injury and ageing, responses become less adaptive and efficient. My overarching goal is to understand (and intervene on) the processes that underlie changes in physical cognition and behavioural problem solving.

My research is based on the working assumption that macro behavioural changes occurring over relatively long time periods—changes due to learning, development, injury, and rehabilitation—emerge from micro, real-time experiences. These real-time experiences, in turn, play out in an interactive system of perceptual, neural, cognitive, and motor processes. The efficiency of these processes and their interactions differs widely among individuals.

The work in my Physical Cognition Lab reflects a unique integration of theory and methods drawn from developmental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and motor control where I use state-of-the-art concepts and technologies to address critical questions about behavioural problem solving. Bridging the theoretical with the technical, I combine interdisciplinary perspectives (development, behaviour, neuroscience, motor control, computer science), recording methods (fMRI, EEG, EMG, tACS, ECoG, single-unit recordings, eye tracking, motion tracking, virtual reality, and video), analytic techniques (real-time, machine learning, and robotics), populations (infants to elderly adults and patients), and behavioural tasks (manual and locomotor).


Research Grants


Research Grant, Leverhulme Trust, UK


Bloomsbury College Fellowship supervision, UK


Human Cognitive and Behavioral Science Grant, Simons Foundation, US


Research Grant, The Waterloo Foundation, UK


New Investigator grant, UKRI Economic and Social Research Council, UK


Birkbeck-Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund, UK


Talent grant, British Academy, UK


Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center grant, Israel




Joy Ventures grant, Israel


Scholarships and Awards


Best Supervisor Award, Birkbeck Student Union


Innovative Methods Award, British Psychology Society (BPS) - Developmental Section


Distinguished Early Career Award, International Congress of Infants Studies (ICIS)


Investigator Award, International Society for Developmental Psychobiology (ISDP)


Elsevier/Vision Research Virtual Award, Vision Sciences Society


Postdoc Abstract Award, International Society for Developmental Psychology


Postdoctoral Award, NYU Faculty of Arts & Sciences


Early Career Travel Award, Society for Research in Child Development


Trainee Professional Development Award, Society for Neuroscience


Honor Scholarship of Scientific Research, President of the State of Israel


Yosef Sagol Scholarship of Brain Research, Tel Aviv University


Science Award, Ministry of Science, Technology & Space, Israel


Alfa Excellency Program Scholarship to Mentor High-school Students


Science Award, Sagol School of Neuroscience, Tel Aviv University


Sieratzki Prize for Students in Neuroscience


Trotzky Scholarship for Research


Project Excellence Award in Engineering



  1. Ossmy, O.*, Han D. *, MacAlpine, P., Hock, J., Stone, P., Adolph, K.E. (in press). Walking and falling: Using simulated robots to model variability and error in the development of infant walking. Developmental Science.
  2. Hascher, S., Shuster, A., Mukamel, R., Ossmy, O. (in press). The Power of multivariate patterns in identifying EEG correlates of interlimb coupling. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
  3. Dexter, M., & Ossmy, O. (2023). The effects of typical ageing on cognitive control: recent advances and future directions. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 15.
  4. Ossmy, O., Kaplan, B., Han, D., Xu, M., Mukamel, R., Adolph, K.E. (2022). Real-time processes in the development of action planning. Current Biology 32, 1–10.
  5. Shuster, A., Inzelberg, L., Ossmy, O., Izakson, L., Hanein, Y., Levy, D. (2021). Lie to my face: An electromyography approach to deceptive behavior. Brain and Behavior, e2386
  6. Ossmy, O., Han, D., Kaplan, B., Xu, M., Bianco, C., Mukamel, R., Adolph, K.E. (2021). Children do not distinguish efficient from inefficient actions during observation. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 1-13
  7. Le, H., Hoch, J., Ossmy, O., Adolph, K., Fern, X., Fern, A. (2021). Modeling infant free play behavior using hidden markov models. Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning (ICDL), pp. 1-6
  8. Hoch, J.*, Ossmy, O.*, Hasan, S., Cole, W., Adolph, K.E. (2021). “Dancing” together: Infant-mother locomotor synchrony. Child Development, 92(4), 1337-1353 
  9. Ossmy, O., Adolph, K.E. (2020). Real-time assembly of coordination patterns in human infants. Current Biology, 30, 1-10
  10. Lakertz, Y.*, Ossmy, O.*, Friedmann, N., Mukamel, R., Fried, I. (2021). Single-cell activity in human STG during perception of phonemes is organized according to manner of articulation. NeuroImage, 226, 117499.
  11. Ossmy, O., Mansano, L., Frenkel-Toledo, S., Kagan, E., Koren, S., Gilron, R., Reznik, D., Soroker, N., Mukamel, R. (2020). Motor learning in Hemi-Parkinson using VR-manipulated sensory feedback. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 1-13
  12. Ossmy, O., Han, D., Cheng, M., Kaplan, B., Adolph, K.E. (2020). Look before you fit: Real-time planning cascade in children and adults. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 189, 104696
  13. Ossmy, O., Mansano, L., Frenkel-Toledo, S., Kagan, E., Koren, S., Gilron, R., Reznik, D., Soroker, N., Mukamel, R. (2020). Motor learning by cross education in Hemi-Parkinson’s disease: Case study of the effects of virtual mirrored sensory feedback. 2019 International Conference on Virtual Rehabilitation (ICVR), Tel Aviv, Israel, 2019, pp. 1-9
  14. Ossmy, O., Gilmore, R. O., & Adolph, K. E (2020). AutoViDev: A computer-vision framework to enhance and accelerate research in human development. In K. Arai & S. Kapoor (Eds.), Advances in computer vision: CVC 2019. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, 944. Springer.
  15. Adolph, K. E., Hoch, J. E., & Ossmy, O. (2020). James Gibson’s ecological approach to locomotion and manipulation: Development and changing affordances. In J. Wagman & J. Blau (Eds.). Perception as information detection: Reflections on Gibson’s ecological approach to visual perception. New York: Taylor & Francis, pp. 248-266
  16. Karasik, L., Tamis-LeMonda, C.S., Ossmy, O., Adolph, K.E. (2018). The ties that bind: Cradling in Tajikistan. Plos One 13:e0204428
  17. Ossmy, O.*, Hoch, J.*, MacAlpine, P., Hasan, S., Stone, P., Adolph, K.E. (2018).  Variety wins: Soccer-playing robots and infant walking. Frontiers in Neuro-robotics, 12:19
  18. Ossmy, O., Mukamel, R. (2018). Perception as a route for transfer of motor knowledge: Perspectives from human neuroscience. Neuroscience, 382:144-153
  19. Aridan N.*, Ossmy, O.*, Mukamel, R. (2018). EEG mu wave suppression during action observation corresponds with subsequent individual changes in execution. Brain Research, 1691:55-63
  20. Ossmy, O., Mukamel, R. (2017). Behavioral and neural effects of congruency of visual feedback during short-term motor learning. NeuroImage, 172:864-873
  21. Ossmy, O., Mukamel, R. (2017). Using virtual reality to transfer motor skill knowledge from one hand to another. Journal of Visualized Experiments: JoVE, (127)
  22. Ossmy, O., Mukamel, R. (2017). Short term motor-skill acquisition improves with size of self-controlled virtual hands. PloS One, 12(1), e0168520
  23. Ossmy, O., Mukamel, R. (2016). Neural network underlying intermanual skill transfer in humans. Cell Reports, 17:2891-2900
  24. Ossmy, O., Mukamel, R. (2016). Activity in superior parietal cortex during training by observation predicts asymmetric learning levels across hands. Scientific Reports, 6:32133
  25. Ossmy, O., Fried, I., Mukamel, R. (2015). Decoding speech perception from single cell activity in humans. NeuroImage, 117:151-159
  26. Reznik, D., Ossmy, O., Mukamel, R. (2015). Enhanced auditory evoked activity to self-generated sounds is mediated by primary and supplementary motor cortices. The Journal of Neuroscience, 35:2173-2180
  27. Ossmy, O., Ben-Shachar, M., Mukamel, R. (2014). Decoding letter position in word reading. Cortex, 59:74-83
  28. Ossmy, O.*, Moran, R.*, Pfeffer, T., Tsetsos, K., Usher, M., & Donner, T. H. (2013). The timescale of perceptual evidence integration can be adapted to the environment. Current Biology, 23:981-986
  29. Ossmy, O., Tam, O., Puzis, R., Rokach, L., Inbar, O., & Elovici, Y. (2011). MindDesktop - computer accessibility for severely handicapped. ICEIS:316-320


Doctoral Students & Post-doctoral Associates

  • Tommaso Ghilardi, Post-Doctoral Associate
  • Christina Soderberg, Post-Doctoral Associate
  • Hélène Grandchamp dex raux, PhD candidate
  • Jazmine Hall, PhD candidate
  • Nina Peleg, PhD candidate
  • Marianna Muszynska, PhD candidate
  • Arezoo Alford, PhD candidate
  • Maria Paz Cerbecos (secondary supervision), PhD candidate
  • Sophie Hacher (secondary supervision), PhD candidate