Social support funding

27th August 2020


Wadham Fellow Dr Emma Cohen has received a major funding award for her research into the effects of social support on fatigue in physical activity.

The award from the James S. McDonnell Foundation is part of their Understanding Human Cognition Opportunity Award programme.

“The major empirical goal of the project is to investigate how early life socio-environmental adversity influences effects of perceived social support on fatigue in demanding physical activity. The broader theoretical ambition is to situate the study of fatigue, a crucial mechanism of homeostatic regulation, within social, developmental and evolutionary context”, said Emma, Fellow in Human Sciences at Wadham College and Associate Professor within the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Oxford. 

JSMF funds projects leading to new conceptual and empirical studies of cognition and behaviour that embrace complexity, recognize the dynamic nature of action, are situated in real world contexts, cross levels of analysis, and unite traditionally separate domains of inquiry. Funded projects pursue important questions using approaches that take seriously the trajectories – both biological and experiential – that contribute to the development of cognition and behaviour across the lifespan.

Emma’s research studies social affiliation in everyday human behaviour, culture and health within a broad evolutionary framework. Along with her research group at the Social Body Lab, she explores how forms of collective physical activity build and benefit from social bonding and support among individuals. She also researches cross-cultural and early life influences on cognition and behaviour within an evolutionary-developmental theoretical approach.