Anna Peng

PhD student


  • Prof. Denis Mareschal
  • Dr. Natasha Kirkham

My research is funded by the ESRC and focuses on cross-modality task switching in children. Past research using unimodal task switching shows that preschool children have difficulty in switching between different tasks when the stimuli affords multiple tasks (bivalent stimuli), indicating some constriction in their selective attention. However it is not known whether children will also show the same difficulty when switching between tasks in different modalities.

The experiments employ task switching paradigm with the measurement of switch cost in error rates and reaction time. In adult literature, task switch cost is reliable when using either bivalent or univalent stimuli, and when switching between within-modality tasks or cross-modality tasks. However in cross-modality task switch, modality switch effect (MSE) induces extra non-task related switch cost. Most interestingly, task and modality switch costs are often underadditive in cross-modal task condition, compared with pure task- or modality-switch condition.

The research aims to answer questions such as 1) Do older children show better performance in both within- and cross-modal task switches, 2) Does performance on within-modality task switch correlates with cross-modality task switch, 3) Is the underadditive effect of cross-modal task switch also observed in children.


2014 - Present   ESRC funded PhD Psychology Student

2013 - 2014       MSc Computation and Cognition (Distinction)

Dissertation title: 'Intrinsic Capacities and Latching Dynamics of Different Network Structures'

2005 - 2008       BSc Psychology (2:1)

Dissertation title: 'Anterior Prefrontal Cortex in Internal Evaluation of simple WM task'

IT Skills

SPSS; Matlab; Microsoft Office; After Effects; AutoCAD; Photoshop; InDesign