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My research goals seek to understand the interface between memory and language skills within children’s cognitive development, particularly for children with atypical development in language, memory and communication, and from a neurobiological perspective.
One ongoing line of research (with David Skuse) grasps the challenge of identifying a heritable phenotype within semantic cognition, within a single multi-generational family – the JR family. By using molecular genetics methods (with Katerina Kucera and Simon Fisher), we seek to identify genomic variants that potentially co-segregate with this novel and interesting phenotype. Further to this, I am interested in the regulation of semantic cognition in children.
A second line of research probes lexico-semantic influences on immediate memory recall. For example, I have probed list composition effects on children’s short-term memory (with Clive Frankish), dual-task effects on immediate story memory (with Anna Kapikian) and the learning and retention of ‘proto-words’ extracted through children’s exposure to statistical regularities in speech (with Sven Mattys). An exciting new prospect is to understand how people retain meaning from stories, particularly when misinformed, by looking for neural signatures of recall in functional MRI (with Steve Lewandowsky, Ulli Ecker, Jade Thai and Jon Brooks).
A third line of research probes cognitive and perceptual elements of self and identity associated with language and communication disorders. For example, I am interested face-voice associations (with Mallika Sen) and whether other-identity extracted from everyday percepts (faces and voices) conveys a symbolic benefit to children’s language? Or whether children’s construct of self (self-recognition) varies systematically with self-referential language in children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders?
University of Bristol positions
Senior LecturerSchool of Psychological Science
JR Family - searching for a genotype associated with a verbal memory phenotype in a multi-generational family
DescriptionContemporary methods in behavioural genetics such as linkage analysis and exome sequencing allow more sophisticated analysis of a genotype, and improve the potential to identify a relationship between genes and…
JR Family Project - exploring semantic cognition as a heritable phenotype in a multi-generational family
DescriptionFinding pathways from biology to cognition is a modern aspiration for understanding the origins and expression of developmental disorders of language and communication (e.g ASD). In this long-standing study,…
Managing organisational unit
Neural signatures of misinformation effects in memory using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging techniques
DescriptionThe aim of this research is to use functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to
identify the regions associated with processing of coherent narratives, such as short
stories, in particular those…
01/10/2013 to 31/12/2015
01/10/2011 to 31/12/2014
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Dissociations Within Semantic Processing in Young People with Down Syndrome: A Comparison with Children with Specific Language Impairment and Typically Developing Children
- In preparation