Seminar Series and Conferences

Centre for Educational Neuroscience Research Seminars are open to the public. They take place on Thursdays between 4pm-5pm at in Room 402 in Birkbeck Main Building (unless a different room is specified).

Summer 2017

  • 4th May – Professor Michael Thomas (Birkbeck). Can executive functions be improved through training? Discussion of Diamond and Ling’s (2016) review paper’
  • 11th May – Dr John Jerrin (UCL Institute of Education). Title TBC (topic: quantitative education and social research). NOTE, MAY BE LUNCHTIME SEMINAR
  • 18th May – Dr Emma Meaburn (Birkbeck). Evidence for wide scale pleiotropy in genetic studies of cognition: what is it and what does it mean? (Final title TBC)
  • 25th May – READING WEEK. No seminar.
  • 1st June – Dr Thomas Hunt (Department of Life Sciences, University of Derby). Title TBC (topic: Maths performance and anxiety)
  • 8th June: Alice Jones Bartoli (Goldsmiths College). Title TBC (topic: Social and emotional processing in children with behavioural problems)
  • 15th June: Prof. Nazanin Derakshan (Birkbeck). Title: Improving attentional control to reduce anxiety and depressive related vulnerability in adolescents
  • 22nd June: TBC
  • 29th June: Dr Darya Gaysina (University of Sussex). What rare genetic syndromes can tell us about variation in educationally relevant traits. Title TBC
  • 6th July: Dr Toni-Kim Clarke (Edinburgh University). UK biobank and Generation Scotland findings: positive genetic links between alcohol consumption and education

Spring 2017

  • 19th January – Katie Gillingham (CEN PhD student). Exploring the developmental relations between spatial cognition and mathematics in primary school
  • 26th January – Su Morris (CEN PhD student). The relationship between Field Independence, and maths and science ability – early indications from a recent study.
  • 2nd February – Dr Sam Wass (University of East London). New Meanings of ‘thin-skinned’: autonomic and neural correlates of biological sensitivity to context
  • 9th February – Dr Roberto Filippi (UCL Institute of Education). Bilingual minds: The impact of speaking two (or more) languages on cognitive development
  • 23rd February – Dr Anna Pearce (UCL Institute of Child Health). Socio-economic inequalities and academic achievement
  • 9th March – Professor Michael Thomas (Birkbeck). Challenges in evaluating educational interventions: Evidence vs. evidence-based practice
  • 16th March – Professor Jacqueline Barnes (Birkbeck).Professor Jacqueline Barnes (Birkbeck). Challenges to evaluating early (group) intervention: Results of an RCT of group family nurse partnership.
  • 23rd March – Dr. Iro Xenidou-Dervou (Loughborough University). Explaining individual differences in early mathematics achievement

Autumn 2016

  • 13th October – Prof. Michael Thomas, Birkbeck. “Is educational neuroscience all it’s cracked up to be?”
  • 20th October – Dr Iroise Dumontheil, Birkbeck. “Mindfulness training during adolescence”
  • 27th October – Ms Georgie Donati, Birkbeck. “Executive functions and academic performance during adolescence in the ALSPAC sample”
  • 3rd November – Dr Josie Booth, The University of Edinburgh. “Linking the mind and the body in education: The role of physical activity in children’s cognition and attainment”
  • 17th November – Ms Kaili Rimfeld & Ms Eva Krapohl, Institute Of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London. “Aetiology of educational achievement and the cognitive and non-cognitive predictors of achievement”
  • 24th November – Dr Tom Gallagher-Mitchell, Liverpool Hope University. “A Journey Through Numbers, Space and Time: A developmental perspective.”
  • 1st December – Ms Jenny Glennon, Birkbeck. Paper discussion: Johnson et al. (2016). Omega 3/6 fatty acids for reading in children: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 9-year-old mainstream school children in Sweden. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
  • 8th December – Professor Ted Meluish, Birkbeck. “Long-term effects of early years experience”

Summer 2016

  • 21st April – Dr. Camilla Gilmore, Loughborough University. Skills underlying maths: the role of executive functions in mathematics performance G1 seminar room, 25 Woburn Square
  • 12th May – Prof Gaia Scerif/ Rebecca Merkley, University of Oxford. Beyond number sense: Domain-general and specific contributions to early childhood numeracy. G1 seminar room, 25 Woburn Square
  • 19th May – Dr Carina de Klerk, Birkbeck. Mimicry in infancy: the role of sensorimotor experience and social signals. SSRU seminar room, 18 Woburn Square.
  • 26th May – Dr Emma Meaburn, Birkbeck. The biological basis of learning abilities: key findings from contemporary genomic studies. G1 seminar room, 25 Woburn Square
  • 2nd June – Prof Michael Thomas, Birkbeck. How can the study of genetics help educators? SSRU seminar room, 18 Woburn Square.

Spring 2016

  • 14th January – Prof Claire Hughes, Cambridge. Executive Function:  social influences & links with school readiness. G1 seminar room, 25 Woburn Square
  • 21st January – Dr. Tim Smith, Birkbeck. Investigating the impact of touchscreen use on toddler’s cognitive development: Introducing the TABLET project G1 seminar room, 25 Woburn Square
  • 11th February – Patricia Babtie (co-author with Jane Emerson of “The Dyscalculia Assessment”, Continuum Publishing Corporation [2010]). Dyscalculia and Numeracy Difficulties: Why does multi-sensory teaching matter. SSRU seminar room, 18 Woburn Square.
  • 18th February – Dr. John Jerrim, UCL IOE. Chess in schools. G1 seminar room, 25 Woburn Square
  • 10th March – Dr. Charles Chew, Ministry of Education, Singapore. Development of Innovative Bio-physics Demonstrations for Constructivist Teaching using the Predict-Observe-Explain [POE] Instructional Approach. SSRU seminar room, 18 Woburn Square

Autumn 2015

  • Thursday 22nd October – Sarah Punshon (see: www.sarahpunshon.co.uk). Getting stuck, going wrong and being stupid: could a theatrical adventure impact children’s beliefs about their mathematical brains? G1 seminar room, 25 Woburn Square
  • Thursday 12th November – Dr. Sam Wass, Cambridge University. What’s the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ stress? How mood, and mood stability, can affect concentration and learning in children. G1 seminar room, 25 Woburn Square
  • Thursday 26th November – Dr. Jo Van Herwegen, Kingston University. Block design performance in Williams syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorders: differences in visuo-spatial abilities or task approach skills? G1 seminar room, 25 Woburn Square

Summer 2014

  • Tuesday May 13th – Dr. Roi Cohen Kadosh, University of Oxford, – “Can Neuroscience Enhance Academic Achievements?” ROOM CHANGE: B18 Malet street
  • Tuesday July 1st – EXTERNAL SEMINAR: Prof. Sue Gathercole, MRC-CBU, Cambridge, “Assessing and intervening in developmental disorders of working memory” ROOM CHANGE: B18 Malet street

Spring 2014

  • Tuesday 21 January – Prof. Derek Bell (LEARNUS focus group, Campanula Consulting, Professor of Education in The College of Teachers, Visiting Research Associate, IoE, former head of education at Wellcome Trust): “Neuroscience and education: exploring the hinterland”
  • Tuesday 4 February – Dr. Joni Holmes (MRC-CBU, Cambridge): “Working memory training with children”
  • Tuesday 11 March – Dr. Angelica Ronald (Birkbeck, University of London): “What causes psychotic experiences in adolescence, and why is this important for educational neuroscience?”
  • Tuesday 18 March – Jo Evershed (Director of Cauldron): “How psychology and neuroscience might inform the future of teaching and learning”

 Workshop:

  • Friday 14 March: First UK Workshop on Educational Neuroscience, Clore Centre, Birkbeck College. 10am-5pm.

Autumn 2013

  • Tuesday 29 October – Dr. Catherine Sebastian (Royal Holloway): “Neural bases of emotion processing in children with conduct problems: implications for education”
  • Tuesday 12 November – Dr. Roberto Filippi (Anglia Ruskin University): “Shush, the teacher is speaking! A bilingual advantage in comprehending speech in noisy environments”
  • Tuesday 3 December – Dr. Gaia Scerif (University of Oxford): “(How) does attentional control matter? Developmental interactions with memory and learning”

Summer 2013

  • Wednesday 8 May – Jane Emerson (Emerson House): “Dyscalculia assessment and interventions – the work of Emerson House”
  • Wednesday 15 May – Dr. Rachael Bedford (Institute of Psychiatry): “Studies of siblings at risk for autism”
  • Wednesday 22 May – Dr. Fred Dick (Birkbeck): “Auditory processing and educational neuroscience”
  • Wednesday 5 June – Dr. Stephanie Burnett (Oxford University): “Adolescent social networks”

Spring 2013

  • Wednesday 30 January – Dr. Kaska Porayska-Pomsta (CEN): “Learner Modelling: what does it have to do with neuroscience in education?”
  • Wednesday 6 February – Dr. Sam Wass (MRC CBU, University of Cambridge): “An overview of the effectiveness of working memory interventions”
  • Wednesday 27 February – Dr. Prof. Judy Ireson (Institute of Education): “The effectiveness of teaching by ability grouping”

Autumn 2012

  • Wednesday 5 September – Symposium at British Educational Research Association (BERA) conference on ‘Educational Neurosicence’: Professor Andy Tolmie and Professor Michael Thomas (CEN): “Building Communities of Engagement”.
  • Wednesday 14 November – Dr. Eamon McCrory (UCL): “The neurobiology of childhood maltreatment”
  • Wednesday 21 November: Professor Michael Thomas (CEN): “Current cognitive neuroscience approaches to autism”

Summer 2012

  • Thursday 24 – Saturday 26 May: European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI) – SIG CONFERENCE no.22: “Education and Neuroscience” – Jeffery Hall, Institute of Education, London. Keynote speakers will include Dr. Paul Howard-Jones, Professor Torkel Klingberg, Professor Terry Jernigan, Professor Michael Thomas, and Professor Fumiko Hoeft.
  • Wednesday 20 June – Dr. Dagmara Annaz (Institute of Education): “Sleep related learning in children with developmental disorders”
  • Wednesday 27 June – Dr. Iroise Dumotheil (Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL): “Development of social cognition during adolescence”. With Dr. Anne-Lise Goddings (UCL) as discussant.

Spring 2012

  • Wednesday 29 February – Dr. Victoria Knowland (Developmental Neurocognition Lab, Birkbeck College): “The Development of Audiovisual Perception Through Primary School”.
  • Wednesday 7 March – Dr. Marinella Cappelletti (Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL): “Plasticity and Ageing of the Number Brain”
  • Wednesday 14 March – Dr. Liz Pellicano (Dept. Psychology and Human Development, Institute of Education): “Bridging Autism, Science and Society: Moving Toward an Ethically Informed Approach to Autism Research”.

Autumn 2011

  • Thursday 3 November – CEN Policy Seminar: “When to Learn What? The Brain’s Readiness to Learn at Different Ages”. This seminar will take place at 61 Whitehall. Speakers include Professor Michael Thomas (CEN): “Building Plastic Brains: Are there sensitive periods after which children’s learning abilities decline?” and Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore (UCL): “The Adolescent Brain”. . The discussion panel will be chaired by Mr. Jerry Jarvis (former CEO Edexcel) and includes Mr. Timothy Cawse (Winchester School) and Professor Denis Mareschal (Birkbeck).
  • Wednesday 9 November – Dr Chloe Marshall (Dept. Psychology and Human Development, Institute of Education): “Modality-Dependent and -Independent Factors in the Organisation of the Signed Language Lexicon: Insights from Semantic and Phonological Fluency Tasks in BSL”
  • Wednesday 16 November – Professor Michael Thomas (CEN): “What Proportion of Government Resources Should be Targeted at Early Intervention? An Overview of James Heckman’s Economic Arguments on Skill Acquisition in Society, and the Neuroscience Evidence That Supports Them”
  • Thursday 8 December – Professor Bert de Smedt (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium) & Professor Andy Tolmie (CEN): “Connecting education and neuroscience: examples from the field of mathematics learning” 

Spring 2011

  • Wednesday 23 March – Professor Cathy Price (Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, UCL): “Changes in Intelligence Over the Teenage Years”
  • Thursday 31 March – CEN Policy Seminar: “Kids behaving badly: How neuroscience can help.” This seminar will take place at 61 Whitehall. Speakers include Professor Norah Frederickson (UCL): “Bullying and Antisocial Behaviour in Schools: Lessons from Neuroscience”; and Dr Essi Viding (UCL): “Antisocial Behaviour in Children: Neuroscience Can Inform Prevention and Intervention”. The discussion panel includes Geoff Allen (Westfield School), Tara Deakes (Westfield School), and Professor Uta Frith (UCL)

Summer 2010

  • Wednesday 23- Thursday 24 June – British Journal of Educational Psychology ‘Psychological aspects of education current trends’ conference series on Educational Neuroscience. The conference will be held at the Institute of Education, London. Keynote speakers will be Prof Usha Goswami (Director of the Cambridge Centre for Neuroscience in Education), Prof Dan Schwartz (School of Education, Stanford University), and Prof Brian Butterworth (CEN, UCL).

Spring 2010

  • Saturday 1 May – CEN Symposium at AERA 2010, Denver USA: ‘A Systematic Approach to Educational Neuroscience: Research within the London-based CEN’. This symposium will be part of the Neurosciences and Education SIG.

Summer 2009

  • Monday 9 June – Workshop on Educational Neuroscience and Educational Psychology. This workshop aims to generate new or improved projects around the seven themes for Educational Neuroscience: (i) Language and Literacy Development; (ii) Mathematical Development; (iii) Conceptual Development; (iv) Computational Modelling of Learning and Teaching; (v) Social Development; (vi) Emotional Development; and (vii) Attention and Executive Control. The workshop will take place at Goodenough College, Mecklenburgh Square, WC1.

Autumn 2008

  • Thursday 29 October – Workshop on Concepts of Learning. This workshop will provide people working in the different core strands of CEN activity (education, computational modelling, and neuroscience) with the opportunity to hear about each others’ perspectives on the key shared issue of learning, and to exchange thoughts about potentially fruitful areas of collaboration. The workshop will take place at Goodenough College, Mecklenburgh Square, WC1.