About Me: I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of California, Davis in 2016 with a degree in Psychology and a degree in Human Development. During this time, I worked as a research assistant while simultaneously completing my own research project looking at how experience with a cue impacts on an infant’s ability to use said cue to guide their learning. I subsequently worked at Durham University as a research assistant for a year, and followed this with a master’s in Educational Neuroscience at Birkbeck’s Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development. My research focused on how infants pay attention and learn in noisy environments, which my current PhD at Birkbeck will continue to explore.
My Research: My PhD research will be looking at how infants learn to focus their attention on the important information in the environment, while simultaneously ignoring the distractors, in order to achieve learning. More especially, I am interested in how noisy environments may be negatively impacting on these abilities. Previous research has found that in childhood, noisy environments negatively impact on learning in formal educational settings, with potential long-term cognitive effects. My research, therefore, seeks to understand how infants, who’s brains are still greatly developing, are impacted by chronic exposure to noisy environments and what this means for their future learning outcomes.
Impact: There is evidence showing that low income neighbourhoods are more likely to have higher levels of noise, and thus infants in such areas are at a greater risk for exposure to noisy environments. Therefore, it is incredibly important to understand how noise impacts on both attention and learning during the key period of infancy in order to best promote the development of infants in such environments.