January 4, 2017

Lancaster researchers visit Runshaw College

I was delighted to be part of a team of researchers from Lancaster University Psychology Department and Babylab that visited Runshaw College, Leyland at the end of November 2016. PhD researchers, postdoctoral researchers and lecturers gave students a flavour of life in psychological research as well as talking about the fascinating range of work undertaken at the university, including research into sleep and learning, infant development, and autism.

I was proud to be able to wear two hats (not literally, sadly). Wearing my language hat, as part of the ESRC Economic Centre for Language and Communicative Development I told students about how language learning starts in babies as young as six months, how we can work out what they know before they can even speak – and showed them that even robots can learn words like babies do!

Next, proudly donning my curiosity hat, funded by the ESRC Curiosity Project, I showcased new research into how children learn when they freely explore their world. Our cutting-edge head-mounted eyetrackers seemed to impress, but the most excitement was saved for our 3D printer, which allows us to custom design and print toys for use in our studies with toddlers.

The visit was a great success, and we hope we inspired budding researchers to find out more. We were extremely impressed with the thoughtful questions the Runshaw students asked, and their clear enthusiasm for the subject we love so much – the future of Psychology is in safe hands!

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