Research Group

Cognitive and Developmental Psychology Group

Cognitive psychology investigates psychological processes involved in knowledge acquisition and thinking. It does this by measuring performance on carefully designed experimental tasks. The way performance varies with task conditions provides valuable insights into the representations and processes that support cognition.

Experimental studies conducted on normal adults build up a picture of how psychological processes (perception, memory, language, reasoning) operate, with important applications outside the laboratory. In cognitive neuropsychology, the focus is on the breakdown of cognitive processes that occurs as a result of localised brain injury, disease or developmental abnormality. Developmental psychology explores how psychological processes develop and mature during childhood. As well as behavioural experiments, cognitive and developmental psychology at Essex utilises neuroscience and brain stimulation methods available in the Centre for Brain Sciences.

We actively pursue many key areas of cognitive and developmental psychology, including how we perceive and attend to the visual environment; the psychological processes involved in making judgments; memory; facial recognition; reading, spelling and language; and the influence of language on perceptual judgments.