Scott Family Junior Research Fellow in Autism
My research centres on the development of ‘executive functions’; those skills that help us control our attention and behaviour in order to achieve goals. These skills include the ability to stop ourselves from doing something (‘inhibitory control’), to keep some information in mind whilst also adding to or changing it (‘working memory’) and the ability to switch our actions or attention during a changing situation (‘cognitive flexibility’). Strong executive function skills are linked to better performance at school and higher levels of health, wealth and happiness in later life. The long-term aim of my research is to find out why some children go on to develop strong executive function skills and not others. This information will be useful for identifying which children may need early support to nudge their development towards a more positive outcome.