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How our kindergarten helps psychology research

Psychology at the University of Stirling has a long history of forward-thinking excellence in developmental research. As University researchers we’re concerned with the crucial changes children undergo in their first year of life.

The preschool kindergarten and parent-toddler group is invaluable for our research. In turn, our kindergarten benefits from new research ideas. Our staff members are trained in modern child care and communication.

Parents and research

Parents can be reassured that all research projects are carried out to rigorous health and safety standards, and are passed through our University ethics committee. We always require parental consent from you.

Once a year parents are invited to an informal meeting where they can hear about the most recent studies, and discuss findings with researchers.

Research facilities

The kindergarten offers excellent research facilities, including several video-monitored testing rooms and a one-way mirror observation room. We use a variety of approaches, ranging from observational studies, free-play paradigms, and experimental studies, including eye-tracking. We’re also developing a child neuroimaging (EEG) lab.

Contact our researchers

You can contact any of our researchers to discuss their projects.

Main Researchers

Name

Area of Research

Dr Jan Kuipers

I’m interested in speech perception and the development of a mental lexicon in mono- and bilingual infants and toddlers using Event Related Potentials (ERP) and eye-tracking techniques.

Dr Sarah Vick

I’m interested in nonverbal communication, human animal interactions and outdoor learning.

Dr Eva Rafetseder

I’m particularly interested in the developmental changes of children. Most of my work has focuses on counterfactual reasoning (i.e., what children conclude, if past events had not occurred the way they did) and how this is related to the development of complex emotions (e.g. regret, relief).

Dr Stephen Langton

I research eye gaze in children with autistic spectrum disorders (the use of luminance and geometric information).

Prof Christine Caldwell

I am interested in social learning, traditions, and cultural evolution, in nonhumans and humans.

Dr Elizabeth Renner

I study the conditions which affect children’s learning from others (social learning) and learning on their own (individual learning). In addition, I am interested in how non-human primates engage these learning abilities.

Mr Mark Atkinson

I’m interested in how and when children use different types of information to learn. In particular, I’m looking at how children learn from adults and other children, and how this differs to other primates using social information. I’m also interested in language acquisition, and how children may play a part in changing a language as they learn it.

Dr Line Caes

I'm interested in how children learn to deal with events that can cause distress. In particular, I'm interested to find out how they learn from observing how others (kindergarten caregivers and peers) respond to a sad or painful situation.

Dr Catherine Grainger

I am interested in cognitive development, and how cognitive processes differ in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Sobana Wijeakumar

The overarching objective of my research is to understand the behavioural and neural bases of executive functions across the spectrum of life using a suite of behavioural measures, neuroimaging techniques and computational modelling
Gema Martin-Ordas  I am interested in comparative cognition and the evolution of cognitive processes. I study different aspects of physical cognition that can inform us about the cognitive processes that human and non-humananimals use to solve problems. 
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