A selection of current research projects in psychology
Conversational alignment in children with an Autistic Spectrum Condition and typically developing children
(PI Professor Holly Branigan, funded by the ESRC c. £336k, 2017 - 2020)
Examining how and whether children with an autism spectrum condition (ASC) align their speech: the tendency to imitate the grammar and choice of words of the person we are talking to is a robust phenomenon that seems to promote effective communication and satisfying interactions. This project will investigate whether children with ASC show disrupted patterns of alignment, and whether this explains why and under what circumstances they find communication difficult.
Supporting cognitive and academic development in children at risk
(PI Dr Nicolas Chevalier, funded by the ESRC c. £403k, 2016 - 2019)
Developing executive function training in children from vulnerable backgrounds: executive function is the ability to regulate thoughts and actions. The project will investigate executive function training programmes in children from low socioeconomic backgrounds, with an emphasis on transfer to academic abilities.
The development of lexical flexibility
(PI Dr Hugh Rabagliati, funded by the ESRC c. £331k, 2016 - 2019)
Investigating how children learn to master the flexibility, ambiguity, and creativity of language: this project will study how children learn to use language systems in which the same sound can have multiple different meanings.
The disconnected mind
(PI Professor Ian Deary , funded by Age UK c. £7.2M, 2007 - 2019)
Investigating how our thinking skills change with age, and what we can do to preserve them: this project uses data from the Lothian Birth Cohort (1936) to understand why some people age differently than others. A major aim of the project is to evaluate how the brain's white matter changes with age, and how these changes are related to cognitive decline.
Working memory across the lifespan: an adversarial collaboration
(PI Professor Robert Logie, funded by the ESRC c. £1.15M, 2016 - 2020)
Bringing together three research groups with different theories of how and why working memory changes with age: this project will see scientists who disagree with one another, working together to gain an insight into whether all of working memory declines with age, or whether some aspects remain largely intact.