Developmental Psychology

We work to understand child development with a focus on cognition (executive functions, maths, language, spatial awareness and memory), emotion regulation, and social interaction (social communication and antisocial behaviour).

We have a dedicated research space for welcoming children and their families who volunteer to help find out abut child development from across the South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire region. We use a range of research methods including behavioural observation, Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs), automated voice analysis, eye-tracking, secondary data analysis of national longitudinal cohort studies, computational modelling, EEG, MRI, electrodermal response (EDA), heart Rate, and facial EMG. We cover typical and atypical development, including children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Downs syndrome, Williams syndrome, children with language delay and severe to profound hearing loss. In addition to conducting our own research, we work with external partners to help them design and evaluate interventions.

If you would like to know more about our research, or if you are interested in participating, please click here for more information.


Dr Emma Blakey

  • The development of executive functions in the early years
  • Links between executive functions and learning
  • How we can best support early cognitive development
Dr David Cameron

Dr David Cameron

  • Understanding how emotions can shape our behaviour and impact on social relationships
  • The mechanisms for regulating emotions and emotion dynamics in dyads
Dan Carroll thumb

Dr Dan Carroll

  • Executive function and inhibitory control in preschool children
  • Children's rule use and symbolic understanding
  • Conflict monitoring and conflict resolution
Dr Megan Freeth

Dr Megan Freeth

  • Social attention in the real world
  • The neural basis of social attention
  • The expression of autism in rare genetic syndromes

Dr Danielle Matthews

  • Child language development
  • Pragmatic development (social communication)
  • Socio-economic status and language learning
  • Deafness and language development
Dr Michelle McGillion

Dr Michelle McGillion

  • How babies learn to talk.
  • How pre-linguisitic skills combine with different aspects of the language learning environment to predict individual differences in infant word learning
Dr Chloe Lane

Dr Chloe Lane

  • How individuals with rare growth conditions think and learn
  • Characteristics of autism in genetic syndromes
  • Improving awareness and understanding of rare growth conditions
Dr Liat Levita

Dr Liat Levita

  • Understanding affective and cognitive development during adolescence
  • Adolescence: mental health & risk taking
  • Emotional regulation and neurological functional disorders
  • Research tools: EEG , fMRI, sMRI and physiological recording (EDR, EMG, ECG)

Professor Richard Rowe

  • The development of antisocial behaviour
  • Interventions to reduce risky driving and factors that contribute to crash liability
  • Anticipation in skilled performance

Dr Mark Blades

  • Assessment of police interview with abused children
  • Children's eyewitness testimony and suggestibility during questioning
  • Children's understanding of media, in particular their understanding of advertising and marketing