Cognition, Education and Language Research Theme

Working to advance our understanding of the factors, processes and mechanisms involved in language and education.

We conduct research in basic processes of cognition and language in humans and primates. Promotes the application of findings to education and learning. Exploiting overlaps in these three areas is a key strength of the group.

Researchers within the theme Cognition, Education and Language are experts in their field and have been funded in their work by the British Academy, EPSRC, ESRC, Experimental Psychology Society, Medical Research Council, Mind and Life Institute, the National Science Centre, Poland and the Nuffield Foundation.

Our research interests include:

  • Spatial cognition
  • Social media use and social relationships
  • The links between cognition, communication and sociality in primates
  • Emotion perception
  • How language influences the way in which we perceive colours, facial expressions and recall of events
  • The development of numeracy and literacy skills in childhood
  • Preschool home environment and early number and literacy development
  • Cognitive processes underpinning language development
  • Media multitasking and its relationship with cognition
  • Role of non-intellective variables on study processes and attainment

We employ a variety of methodologies to explore these topics including:

  • Observational studies; of children’s and parents’ talk and interactions during book sharing
  • Survey studies; examining self-reports of personality, emotional intelligence etc. and in the psychometric evaluation and development of new tools
  • Big Data analyses; to investigate social media usage and well-being
  • Experimental lab-based studies; visual perception skills, impact of bilingualism on cognition
  • Eye-tracking; in language and reading comprehension and to indicate the uptake of social cues when learning in person and online

Our expertise





We have strong collaborative links, both nationally and internationally, with other universities, charities and industrial partners.

  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Bangor University
  • University of Arizona
  • MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit             
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University
  • Liverpool Hope University
  • University of Milano-Bicocca
  • University of La Sapienza
  • University of Northumbria
  • University of Urbino
  • University of West London
  • University of Alberta
  • Cardiff University
  • University of Padova
  • Swansea University
  • The University of Manchester
  • Edge Hill University
  • University of Geneva
  • Leiden University
  • Jagiellonian University


Meet the researchers within this theme:

PhD students

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