Directors Post-docs PhD Students Interns Research Assistants Masters Students Project Students Alumni Collaborators
Prof. Essi Viding, PhD
My research to date has combined cognitive experimental measures, twin model-fitting, and brain imaging to study different developmental pathways to persistent antisocial behaviour. I am currently adding genotype and environmental risk measures to my 'research tools' and hope to learn more about protective, as well as risk factors for developmental psychopathology.
Dr. Eamon McCrory, PhD DClinPsy
As a Clinical Psychologist and Researcher my work has focused on advancing the understanding of the neurocognitive basis of several developmental disorders with the aim of improving intervention for children and adolescents. Previously I have used brain imaging and cognitive approaches in the study of developmental dyslexia. My current research focuses on how early adversity impacts on development and what we can learn about the mechanisms underlying childhood resilience by studying brain structure, function and important elements of the child's environment - namely peer and parenting relationships. Through my clinical work with the NSPCC I routinely assess and treat children who have experienced maltreatment and who may be displaying a range of behavioural problems.
In addition to my research work, I am the head of the Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology MSc course at UCL and Yale, and head of Postgraduate studies at the Anna Freud Centre.
I am a postdoctoral fellow funded by the French foundation "Fondation Fyssen" and supervised by Professor Essi Viding. My field of investigation concerns the role of emotional and non-emotional processes in the development of typical and atypical moral cognition. Using behavioural studies I try to understand how processes such as theory of mind, empathic responses and controlled resources lead teenagers to generate (im)mature moral judgments and to behave in a moral way, or not. I obtained my PhD at the Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et de Psycholinguistique, at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, with Emmanuel Dupoux and Pierre Jacob. My work is mainly focused on typical development and processes implicated in the ability to integrate agents' causal role and their intention to harm in their moral judgments. For this purpose, I conducted several behavioural experiments on infants, children and adults to understand whether intuitive and/or controlled processes are responsible for our ability to integrate both type of cues in our moral judgments of agents.
I am a post-doctoral research associate in the Developmental Risk and
Resilience Unit. I am currently studying how early life adversity
affects psychological development. I do so by employing a combination
of structural and functional brain imaging tools as well as
behavioural measures to assess what factors lead to the emergence of
different psychopathological outcomes in adolescence. I am
particularly interested in how behaviour is affected by an
individual’s perception of situational cues in the environment.
Because the perception of the present is crucially dependent on past
experience with similar situations, behaviour is tied to personal
history. My goal is to better understand psychopathology and behaviour
in youths who have experienced maltreatment by investigating how their
past affects processing of the present.
Helena Rutherford, PhD
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a post-doctoral fellow based here at UCL and also at Yale Child Study Center . My research interests centre round emotion perception and emotion regulation in adults and children. I employ both behavioural and neurophysiological measures to explore these issues. An important focus of my current program of research is to explore the neural circuitry of parenting behaviour. As a starting point, we hope to understand how parents regulate their emotions and the consequences of this for parent-child interactions.
In addition to my research, I am also an Academic Tutor for the Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology MSc program at UCL and Yale.
Ana Seara Cardoso
I am a completing PhD student funded by the Portuguese foundation "Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)" and supervised by Prof. Essi Viding and Dr. Jonathan Roiser. During my PhD I have used a wide battery of experimental tasks, questionnaires and fMRI imaging to explore the relationships between emotional empathy, morality and psychopathy in adults. I am particularly interested in understanding how individual differences in psychopathic traits are related to individual differences in moral and empathic processing.
I am a PhD student funded by Kids Company charity and co-supervised by Prof. Essi Viding and Dr. Eamon McCrory. My research focuses on cognitive, emotional and behavioural correlates of developmental adversity in adolescence and early adulthood. More specifically, I am administering a large battery of measures to examine how the experience of early adversity in the domestic environment and in the community may affect an individual in multiple areas of functioning. I am also collecting DNA samples to test whether the impact of environmental stressors is moderated by genotype and whether gene methylation patterns are consistent with environmental stress. Alongside data collection, I am in the process of conducting secondary analyses on existing longitudinal and genetically-sensitive datasets to examine more generally bidirectional influences between maladaptive parenting and child functioning.
I am in the final year of an ESRC funded PhD program, co-supervised by Dr. Eamon McCrory and Prof. Essi Viding. During my PhD I have been using experimental psychology techniques to probe the social, emotional and cognitive correlates of sensitive parenting in mothers and fathers. Specifically, I am interested in investigating attentional mechanisms to infant affect cues and affect regulation in the context of infant distress. I am also investigating how these processes are affected by one's own experience of parenting and how they relate to bonding to one's own child.
I am a first year PhD student funded by The Anna Freud Centre and UCL under the Impact Award scheme. Supervised by Dr Eamon McCrory and Prof. Essi Viding, my PhD aims to further our understanding of the impact of childhood maltreatment on brain structure and function. More specifically I am exploring how childhood abuse may affect distinct cortical indices (such as cortical thickness) using novel neuroimaging analysis techniques. I also plan to investigate neural connectivity and possible neural biomarkers that may predict later cognitive or behavioural functioning.
I am a PhD student on a four year MRC funded PhD in Biomedical sciences co-supervised by Prof. Essi Viding and Dr. Jonathan Roiser. During my PhD I will be investigating the behavioural and neural mechanisms underlying empathy for distress. In particular, I am interested in the relationship between empathy for physical pain and emotional distress, as well as the association with stimulus saliency. I will be using behavioural and fMRI paradigms including functional, structural and connectivity analyses. I will be investigating these questions in children with conduct problems and in healthy adult populations.
I am a PhD student supervised by Prof Essi Viding and Dr Eamon McCrory. I am funded by the MRC on a 4 year PhD program in Mental Health. My research focuses on social reward in relation to psychopathic traits and aims to understand the social processing and motivations of individuals with high levels of these traits.
I am a part-time research assistant at the DRRU, working on a longitudinal study looking at childhood resilience and the impact child maltreatment on brain structure and function. Concurrently, I am studying for my MSc in psychotherapy at the Metanoia Institute and work one day a week for the James Wentworth-Stanley Memorial Fund which seeks to prevent suicide in young adults. I have a particular interest in the mental health and support of young adults and am an advisor of the charity Switchback which supports 18-24yr old men through the prison gate and on release to make meaningful and long-lasting changes to their lives.
I am a part-time research assistant at the DRRU, supporting a variety of projects in the department and helping with the day to day running of the lab. I have previously worked as an Honorary Assistant Psychologist in Islington Memory Service running Cognitive Stimulation Therapy groups for older adults with dementia and their carers.
I am undertaking a year-long internship at the DRRU after completing a BA/BSc at the University of Western Australia. I am currently working with Charlotte Cecil on a project focusing on genetic risk factors, early adversity in the form of community violence and their effect on development. I am interested in the genetic, environmental and neurophysiological factors underlying psychopathy, as well as conduct and personality disorders.
Stephane De Brito, PhD
In March 2012 I joined the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham as an Independent Research Fellow. Between 2009 and 2012 I was a post-doctoral research associate in the Developmental Risk & Resilience Unit. My research is interdisciplinary, combining behavioural, neurocognitive and magnetic resonance brain imaging techniques to better understand the characteristics of different subgroups of children and adults displaying severe antisocial behaviour and callous-unemotional traits. Another strand of my research is to better understand patterns of resilience and vulnerability in children and adults who have experienced maltreatment. For more information and contact details, click here.
Catherine Sebastian, PhD
I have recently joined Royal Holloway, University of London as a Lecturer in the Department of Psychology. My research focuses on the development of social and emotional processing during adolescence. In particular, I am interested in how young people learn to regulate or control their emotions, and how this relates to socioemotional wellbeing and mental health. I have worked with typically developing adolescents as well as those with autism spectrum conditions and conduct problems. I use a variety of research methods from cognitive neuroscience and developmental psychology, including functional and structural neuroimaging, cognitive testing, and questionnaires. For more information and contact details, click here.
I am currently undertaking a Clinical Psychology course at Kings College London.
I was a research assistant at the Development Risk and Resilience Unit at UCL. I was working on a study that investigated neurocognitive correlates of antisocial behaviour in children using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and experimental tasks to examine empathy, and emotional processing and regulation. Our aim was to gain a greater understanding of the functional brain networks that may underlie subtypes of antisocial behaviour, in the hope that this research can help to inform future intervention strategies with these children.
Prior to this position, I worked as a research assistant at New York University's Child Study Center at the Phyllis Green and Randolph Cōwen Institute for Pediatric Neuroscience where I worked on studies that aimed to understand the developmental pathways that lead to paediatric neuropsychiatric disorders. Among other responsibilities, I was the senior research assistant on a study that was investigating the resting state functional MRI of young children aged 5 to 9 who had severe temper outbursts. I previously completed an MSc in Neuroscience at the Institute of Psychiatry, under the supervision of Professor Katya Rubia, and a BSc in Psychology at the University of Manchester.
Nathalie Fontaine, PhD
Post-doctoral research fellow 2007-2008
I am currently an Assistant Professor in a tenure-track position at Indiana University. My research concerns the development and the prevention of antisocial behaviour and related disorders using longitudinal and experimental designs. Recently, I have focused on the study of callous-unemotional traits in children, a potential risk factor for psychopathy in adulthood. I am currently integrating twin model-fitting and brain imaging in my research to study developmental psychopathology.
Alice Jones, PhD
PhD student July 2005 - August 2009
Since 2011, I have been the Head of the Unit of School and Family Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. My research is inter-disciplinary, combining neuroimaging, behavioural genetics and neuropsychology to best understand behavioural difficulties in children, particularly those difficulties that interfere with a child's ability to get on in school. I am particularly interested in the cognitive and affective correlates of aggressive and disruptive behaviours, and have focused on understanding empathic and emotion understanding and regulation abilities.
Most recently, I have been working with Educational Psychologists and teachers to develop and evaluate interventions for children with chronic and severe behavioural and emotional difficulties.
Sara Hodsoll, PhD
PhD Student September 2007 - September 2010
I completed my ESRC funded PhD at UCL in September 2010 under the supervision of Prof. Essi Viding and Prof. Nilli Lavie. My research investigated attention to emotional faces, specifically, whether task-irrelevant facial expressions of emotion are able to capture attention. As well as establishing the basic phenomena associated with this emotional capture, my research also investigated how individual differences in psychopathic traits (in both adults and children) affect attention to emotional faces. I am currently a trainee clinical psychologist, enrolled on the DClinPsy doctoral programme at UCL, and I plan to continue my research into attention and emotion processing in individuals with psychopathic traits at DRRU.
Research Assistant 2010 - 2011
I am currently a Research Assistant in the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development at Birkbeck. I work on the British Autism Study of Infant Siblings (BASIS) "Babysibs" project; a longitudinal, multi-centre study which aims to identify early markers of autism and increase understanding of the developmental trajectories of the condition by investigating whether there are any differences in the development of infants who have siblings with autism and those who do not. A range of behavioural and neuroimaging techniques are employed to explore this research question. The long-term aims of the project are to improve early detection of the condition, allowing for earlier and more effective interventions to improve quality of life of children with autism.
Previously, I worked as a Research Assistant at UCL's Developmental Risk and Resilience Unit and at The Anna Freud Centre. I was involved in an ESRC-funded project investigating patterns of resilience and vulnerability in children with a history of maltreatment and early adversity; focusing on affective, behavioural and neurobiological factors.
More broadly, I am interested in the factors that influence children's social, emotional and neurobiological development.
Henrik Larsson, PhD
Post-doctoral research fellow January - December 2006
I am currently a associate Professor at Karolinska Institute . My research focuses on gene-environmental interplay and gene-brain-behaviour pathways underlying developments of behavioural problems (e.g., antisocial behaviour) and psychiatric disorders (e.g., Schizophrenia, ADHD). A central goal is to integrate cognitive-experimental and psychiatric epidemiological research by using brain imaging techniques, novel web-based approaches and information from the Swedish twin registry.
MSc Student February - June 2011
MSc. student at Ecole Normale Superieure de la Rue d'Ulm.I conducted my dissertation project under the joint supervision of Franck Ramus at the Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique and Dr. Eamon McCrory at the Developmental Risk and Resilience Unit.
For my dissertation I investigated attentional biases to threat in a population of maltreated children. More generally, my research interests include developmental psychopathology, the evaluation of psychotherapies and the history of psychology.
MSc Student - June 2011
I am currently a Doctoral student at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education. Broadly, my research interests concern the longitudinal effects of adversity and trauma in early childhood. I am especially interested in translational research, particularly within the school, that can be leveraged to substantively improve life outcomes for children who are vulnerable or 'at-risk'.
Prior to this, I graduated from the University of Bath with a BSc. in Psychology, taught secondary school English, and received my Master's degree from UCL. For my Master's thesis, supervised by Dr. Eamon McCrory, I investigated the neural correlates of resilience in adolescence, using structural imaging methods.
Dr Philip Shaw
Dr Gregory L. Wallace