Our research

Chris Askew

Chris Askew investigates the development of emotions such as fear, anxiety and disgust in childhood. He is particularly interested in how children can learn to fear certain animals, objects and situations after observing other people's negative emotional responses to them. Current projects are typically looking at early risk and resilience factors, as well as how we might prevent fear and anxiety from developing in childhood. 

Martyn Barrett

Martyn Barrett works on the development of intercultural competence; the development of political and civic attitudes, cognition, active participation and global citizenship; the development of prejudice, stereotyping and intergroup attitudes; the identifications and cultural practices of ethnic minority, mixed-heritage and ethnic majority children and youth; and children’s national and ethnic enculturation. He is currently leading a flagship Education project for the Council of Europe “Competences for Democratic Culture”, which is developing a comprehensive integrated description of the competences that young people require for participating effectively in democratic culture and intercultural dialogue.

Judith Gentle

Judith Gentle’s primary area of interest is Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), an idiopathic movement disorder which affects areas such as coordinated movement, balance and perception. Judith is particularly interested in perception and how the development of the sensory systems affects our ability to plan everyday movements such as walking. Judith is currently investigating how the kinematic properties of a movement (such as fluidity and coordination) are used to evaluate the social abilities of others. 

Deborah Gooch

Debbie Gooch's research interests span typical and atypical development of language, literacy, attention/behaviour and executive function. Her research seeks to understand the cognitive underpinnings of disorders such as Language Disorder, Dyslexia and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Specifically, she is interested in exploring the comorbidity between neurodevelopmental disorders and investigating how this affects children's educational and social, emotional and mental health outcomes. 

Alexandra Grandison

Alexandra Grandison's research aims to investigate the contribution of language, higher cognitive processes, and low-level perceptual mechanisms to categorisation across development. She is particularly interested in the nature and development of colour perception and cognition and has investigated aspects of colour perception in infancy and early childhood such as colour preference, colour salience, colour term acquisition and the role of colour in infant object recognition. 

Hayley Leonard

Hayley Leonard conducts research into typical and atypical development and has specific expertise in neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Williams syndrome, and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD; sometimes known as ‘dyspraxia’). Her research has focused on motor development and its relationship to cognitive skills (e.g., executive functioning and academic outcomes) and social cognition (e.g., face processing and language development). Hayley is the Director of the Motor Development and Impact (MoDI) Lab.

Joanna Moss

Joanna Moss's research is primarily focused on understanding the prevalence, profile and social-cognitive mechanisms underlying the development of autism and related characteristics in individuals with rare genetic syndromes. Her work combines ‘real world’ behaviour observation with in-depth profiling of social-cognitive abilities to enable greater precision in the assessment and diagnosis of autism in these groups.

Paul Sowden

Paul Sowden is exploring what circumstances best help people to think creatively across the lifespan and what are the brain processes that support this. He is also interested in how our senses and thinking processes interact to filter and construct information about our world. Finally, he is exploring how this information is used to support creative thinking.

Harriet Tenenbaum

Harriet Tenenbaum is interested in how children learn from everyday interactions with others, such as conversations with parents and peers. Her research explores how children learn about everyday science and emotion understanding. Much of this work has focused on how child gender influences conversations about science and emotion. She also focuses on children’s reasoning about social issues, such as children’s rights (and especially rights for others) and rejection based on social groups.

Emma Williams

Emma Williams conducts qualitative investigations of how high-functioning individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) make sense of other people. Her research explores autism and the sociocultural context of object use, the inclusion of children with ASD into mainstream schooling and the development of social understanding, play and humour in infancy.

Naomi Winstone

Naomi Winstone is interested in the process of being assessed and receiving feedback. This can be uncomfortable, and we have many clever strategies for avoiding the potentially useful information contained within feedback from others. Her current work explores cognitive processing of feedback information, using behavioural measures and ERPs. She is also conducting research into decision-making processes in educational assessment.

Contact us

Find us

Lewis Carroll Building (AC)
University of Surrey