the Centre for Research in Human Development and Learning

CRHDL is one of the largest centres for developmental psychology in the UK. We conduct research into development and learning at all stages of life, from infancy to childhood and adulthood. CRHDL houses the Lancaster Babylab.

We use a range of research methods such as eye tracking, pupillometry, EEG/ERP, Near-Infrared Spectroscopy, physiological measures such as skin conductance and heartbeat, behavioural observation and experimentation, and computational modelling. We engage with research users through links with the NHS and educational services and through industry-linked PhD studentships.

CRHDL comprises three research groups:

Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

Members of this group use neurophysiological and behavioural measures as well as computational modelling to investigate development over the lifespan.

Areas of investigation include object processing and categorisation, multisensory integration, perception of action and biological motion, development of emotion processing, social cognition and early communication, and psychopharmacology.

Social and Perceptual Development

Members of this group study social and perceptual processes in infancy and early childhood.

Research areas include object perception, spatial perception and navigation, early language acquisition, understanding of pictures and words in children with autism, social understanding in autism, development of empathy, the role of the father in development, markers and rehabilitation in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

Language, Memory and Literacy

Research in this group addresses vocabulary development and early communication, development of reading and listening comprehension, effects of experience on reading ability, the understanding of adult cognition as an outcome of development, integration across multiple modalities, concept acquisition, the role of sleep in learning, mathematical cognition, working memory and executive functioning.