Cognition, Genes and Developmental Variability Lab

Our primary research interests relate to cognitive development in both typical development and neurodevelopmental disordered groups, with a specific emphasis on spatial cognition. 

About us

The broad aim of the Cognition, Genes and Developmental Variability (CoGDev) Lab is to characterise both typical and atypical development of cognitive functions within a neuroconstructivist framework (i.e. functions are explored within the context of the developing brain).

This involves analytical investigation of spatial performance in both small-scale (e.g. spatial ability, perception, mental imagery, drawing and construction abilities) and large-scale space (navigation and route learning abilities). We are also interested in the intersection between spatial ability and other abilities, such as motor function. Our most recent research interest relates to the relationship between spatial thinking and science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) in primary school age children. 

We have published work on the performance of typically developing children, typical adults, individuals with autism, Down syndrome, Williams syndrome and cerebral palsy.

Take part in our research

We are always looking for volunteers to take part in our research.

Stay connected


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Exciting!! Our questionnaire to explore technology-use in people with Down syndrome is UP AND RUNNING. If you have…
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Our BLOCS LEGO® gallery is live! We'd love to feature your children's creations! Photos mus…
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In our lab zoom meeting today we started working on our lab values. Everyone wrote down words that they felt desc…

Latest blog posts


BPS Developmental psychology webinar: Margaret Donaldson and Neil O’Connor Award Winner Talks.

Several of our lab members attended the annual BPS Developmental Psychology Section Margaret Donaldson...

Contact us

Find us

School of Psychology
Elizabeth Fry Building (AD)
University of Surrey