Dr Sabrina Burr

School of Psychology

Lecturer in Psychology

Photo of Sabrina Burr
Profile picture of Photo of Sabrina Burr

Full contact details

Dr Sabrina Burr
School of Psychology
Interdisciplinary Centre of the Social Sciences (ICOSS)
219 Portobello
S1 4DP

I am a cognitive scientist, and I am part of the Sheffield Cognitive Development Research Group. My research focuses on cognitive development, both from a neural and behavioural perspective. Predominantly, I am interested in children’s numerical and mathematical cognition and the factors that influence mathematics achievement.

I completed my BA(Hons) in Psychology at Western University (London, Ontario, Canada), my MSc and EdS in Counselling and Human Systems at The Florida State University (Tallahassee, Florida, USA) and my PhD in Cognitive Science at Carleton University (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada). My doctoral dissertation investigated the developmental trajectories of ADHD symptoms, anxiety and depression symptoms, academic achievement, and school performance for adolescents with and without ADHD who did and did not enrol in postsecondary studies (i.e., college or university). After graduating, I was a postdoctoral research and teaching fellow at The University of British Columbia (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada). During my postdoctoral fellowship, I used functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to investigate the development of large-scale neural networks responsible for key cognitive processes during the first two years of life.


PhD Cognitive Science (Carleton University, Canada)
EdS Counselling and Human Systems (Florida State University, USA)
MSc Counselling and Human Systems (Florida State University, USA)
BA Psychology (Western University, Canada)

Research interests

I am interested in factors that contribute to mathematics learning and influence early development, including cognitive processes, language, input from the home environment, formal instruction, emotions, available resources, and neurodevelopmental disorders. In my research, I use a variety of methods (e.g., behavioural paradigms, eye-tracking, fNIRS) and statistical techniques (e.g., Bayesian analyses, structural equation modelling) to investigate the extent to which these factors impact learning and achievement.

I am also interested in intervention work, with a focus on computer tutors to help children with complex mathematical subjects, such as fractions.

I am part of the Sheffield Cognitive Development Group, where we conduct infant and child development studies with families and local schools. To find out more about our lab group, please visit the Sheffield Cognitive Development Research Group webpage.


Journal articles

Research group

Neuroscience and Cognition

I am part of the Sheffield Cognitive Development Research Group.

Current PhD Students

  • Rosemary Wareham-O’Brien - How deaf infants learn to communicate during parent-infant interaction. Co-supervised by Prof. Danielle Matthews
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) postdoctoral fellowship ($90,000 CAD)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) doctoral scholarship ($60,000 CAD)
Teaching activities


  • PSY2004 (Developmental Psychology)
  • PSY2005 (Research Methods)
  • PSY331 (Extended Essay)
  • Personal tutor


  • PSY6121 (Research Methods)
  • MSc Research Project

I also supervise PhD students.

PhD Opportunities

I am happy to receive applications for PhD study in my area of research.

We advertise PhD opportunities (Funded or Self-Funded) on FindAPhD.com

See PhD studentship opportunities with Sabrina Burr

For further information, please see the department PhD Opportunities page.