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Child Development

A core interest of the 4D research group is cognitive development. We have focussed on the development of attentional control and working memory. We have used experimental paradigms to tease apart mechanisms of top-down control, and their role in children’s ability to select relevant information versus maintain that information. Neurophysiological imaging techniques, like MEG, then enable us to explore changes in neuronal network dynamics, and their links to developing cognition.

In many studies we explore the development of these cognitive skills in relation to key outcomes, like education and mental health. And structural neuroimaging has enabled us to identify the changing constellation of brain regions that contribute to developmental changes in these abilities. More recently advanced techniques from data sciences (e.g. connectomics) mean that we can start understanding how the brains organisational principles emerge as children develop, how this varies across children, and how this is related to their cognitive development.


Finally, we also want to understand how child development is influenced by the environment. Data collected in-house, alongside large-scale population representative cohorts like the Millennium Cohort Study, enable us to track changes in mental health and learning. Analytical tools from data science mean that we can then explore how different environmental, cognitive and social processes shape these outcomes.


If you would like to found out more about our work in this area then please take a look at the relevant publications appearing on the slider, or get in touch via the website.


Key Collaborators:

Professor Gaia Scerif (University of Oxford)

Professor Susan Gathercole (University of Cambridge)

Professor Anna Vignoles (University of Cambridge)

Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore (University of Cambridge)

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