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Playing in Nursery

Our lab has a particular interest in spatial cognition, that is the ability to process and manipulate shapes and space. Spatial thinking is essential for achievement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and our lab investigates 1) how spatial skills develop; 2) why spatial and STEM skills are associated; 3) how cognitive training in the spatial domain might be used to enhance educational outcomes.

Image by Robina Weermeijer

Our research focuses on how an understanding of cognitive development and the brain can inform education. We are particularly interested in understanding the factors that influence success in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) performance in children and adults. This includes cognitive predictors such as spatial thinking, memory and language; affective predictors like mathematics anxiety; and early home factors like mathematical play and spatial language exposure. By extension, we also investigate the cognitive and neural underpinnings of cognitive training and transfer of training gains between cognitive domains and educational outcomes.

Friendly Circle

Our lab's research includes work with both typically developing individuals and people with neurodivergent conditions.  To date we have worked with individuals with Down syndrome, Williams syndrome, Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), Autism with an intellectual disability and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and their families. Our research aims to improve understanding of cognitive development and its association with educational attainment in these groups, and to identify the advantages and limitations of technology-use in those with neurodevelopmental conditions.

Digital Network

Our lab advocates for the wide spread use of open research principles. Open Research is a movement that aims to make research more reliable and more reproducible. We endeavour to use Open Research practices in all of our projects including study pre-registration, the use of pre-prints, using open access software, making data, code and materials openly available for others to use, and publishing open access. We also participate in multi-lab (big science) projects where possible.

Research: Research
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