Dean D'Souza

Dean D'Souza

 

Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development
Birkbeck, University of London
London WC1E 7HX

Phone: +44 (0)20 7631 6327
Fax: +44 (0)20 7631 6587
Email: dean.dsouza@ymail.com

 

Research interests

I am interested in elucidating mechanisms of change and tracing the developmental trajectories of higher-level abilities such as language back to their basic-level origins in infancy, in typical and atypical populations. I am currently studying visual attention, auditory-visual integration, cognitive and communication skills, and the neural correlates of social and non-social perceptual and attentional processes in infants and toddlers with Down syndrome (DS), fragile X syndrome (FXS), and Williams syndrome (WS; a rare genetic syndrome). I am comparing the DS, FXS, and WS data with data from typically developing children and infants at high risk of developing autism.

 

Curriculum vitae

I have an honours degree in Psychology (First Class) and an MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience (Distinction). I received a PhD at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development (CBCD), under the supervision of Professors Annette Karmiloff-Smith and Mark Johnson.


Education

  • PhD Psychology

  • MSc Cognitive Neuroscience

  • BSc Psychology

  • MA Philosophy

  • BA Peace Studies
     

Grants and Awards

  • 2017 Better Data (British Academy) – grant for a research project entitled Embodied language development: Using head-mounted cameras and LENA to understand word learning in atypically developing toddlers by Hana D'Souza & Dean D’Souza (£1,934.00)

 

  • 2017 Autour des Williams – grant for a research project entitled What early processes in infancy have the greatest impact on later developmental outcomes in children with Williams syndrome? By Dean D'Souza, Emily Farran, & Hana D’Souza (£13,062.33)

 

  • 2016 British Academy Small Grant – grant for a research project entitled Raising bilingual children: the effects of exposure to a bilingual environment on cognitive development in infants by Dean D'Souza, Peter Bright, & Roberto Filippi (£9,900.00)

 

  • 2016 The Experimental Psychology Society’s Grindley Grant – to attend the XX Biennial International Conference on Infant Studies, New Orleans, USA (£500.00)

 

  • 2014 Williams Syndrome Foundation – grant to publish neurocognitive studies on Williams syndrome (£3000.00)

 

  • 2013 Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience Fellowship – all expenses paid, awarded to attend a special three-week summer institute at Lake Tahoe, California, USA

 

  • CogDev2013 – bursary winner to present research at the joint Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society’s Developmental and Cognitive Sections

 

  • 2012 The Waterloo Foundation – grant to cover participant and equipment costs (e.g., high-density ERP nets) for a research project entitled Are early behavioural and neurophysiological markers syndrome-specific? A cross-syndrome comparison by Dean D'Souza, Hana D’Souza, Tim Smith, Gaia Scerif, & Annette Karmiloff-Smith (£32,200.00)

 

  • 2012 The Visceral Mind – awarded to attend a (“hands-on”) course in the neuroanatomy of cognition at Bangor University, Wales.

 

  • 2012 BPS Developmental Section – bursary winner to orally present research on Williams syndrome at the British Psychological Society (BPS) Developmental Section at Glasgow, Scotland.

 

  • 2012 Autour des Williams – grant to cover participant and equipment costs for a research project entitled Alterations in domain-relevant mechanisms constrain language acquisition in Williams syndrome by Dean D'Souza, Hana Kyjonková, & Annette Karmiloff-Smith (£4,000.00)

 

  • 2011 Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience Fellowship – all expenses paid, awarded to attend a two-week summer institute at University of California at Santa Barbara, USA.

 

  • 2010 Cornell University Summer Institute Fellowship – all expenses paid, awarded to attend a one-week summer institute at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, USA.
     

Selected Career History

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Anglia Ruskin University and University College London (UCL) (2015-present)

  • Teaching Fellow in Developmental Psychology, University College London (UCL) (2015)

  • Associate Lecturer, Masaryk University, Czech Republic (2013-14)

 

Invited Talks

D’Souza, D. (2017, May). Neurocognitive constraints on language development in typically and atypically developing infants. Paper to be presented at the Department of Psychology, Swansea University, Swansea, UK.

 

D’Souza, D. (2017, May). Neurocognitive constraints on language development in typically and atypically developing infants. Paper to be presented at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck, University of London, London, UK.

 

D’Souza, D. (2016, September). What cross-syndrome studies tell us about autism. Paper presented at the Interdisciplinary Approaches to Autism Workshop, London, UK.

 

D’Souza, D. (2016, July). What influences language development in infants and toddlers with Williams syndrome? Paper presented at the Williams Syndrome Foundation, U.K.

 

D’Souza, D. (2015, October). Are early cognitive and neurophysiological markers of autism syndrome-specific? A cross-syndrome comparison. Paper presented at the Department of Psychology, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK.

 

D’Souza, D., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2014, November). Neurocognitive studies of infants and toddlers with Williams syndrome. Paper presented at the European Williams-Beuren Syndrome Conference, Federation of European Williams Syndrome Associations and the Hungarian Williams Syndrome Association, Budapest, Hungary.

 

D’Souza, D. (2014, October). Are early cognitive and neurophysiological markers of autism syndrome-specific? A cross-syndrome comparison. Paper presented at the 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting of the British Autism Study of Infant Siblings (BASIS), London, UK.

 

D’Souza, D. (2014, June). Variations in basic-level attentional mechanisms have differential effects on language acquisition: A cross-syndrome study. Paper presented to members of the Child and Brain Development research program, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, London, UK.

 

D’Souza, D. (2014, March). Developmental Disorders and Genetics. Paper presented at the Specialist Registrars Training Day, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, UK.

 

D’Souza, D. (2014, March). Neurocognitive studies of infants and toddlers with fragile X syndrome. Paper presented at the Fragile X Society, London, UK.

 

D’Souza, D. (2013, June). Are early cognitive and neurophysiological markers of autism syndrome-specific? A cross-syndrome comparison. Paper presented at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck, University of London, London, UK.

 

D’Souza, D. (2013, May). Neurocognitive studies of infants and toddlers with Williams syndrome. Paper presented to Autour des Williams, Dijon, France.

 

D’Souza, D. (2012, February). Speech/pitch discrimination in toddlers with Williams syndrome: An electrophysiological study. Paper presented at the Institute for Research in Child Development, University of East London, London, UK.

 

D’Souza, D. (2011, May). Rethinking local processing. Paper presented at an Academic Meeting of the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Unit, UCL Institute of Child Health, London, UK.


 

Conference Talks


 D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2017, March). Constraints on language development in toddlers with fragile X syndrome. Paper to be presented at the Fragile X Syndrome Research Workshop, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

 

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2016, September). Neurocognitive constraints on language development in infants and toddlers with Down syndrome. Paper presented at the Down Syndrome Research Forum 2016, Down Syndrome Education International, York, UK.

 

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., Horvath, K. & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2016, June). Sleep and language development: A cross-syndrome infant study. Paper presented at the Neurodevelopmental Disorders Seminar Series, UCL Institute of Education, London, UK.

 

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., Johnson, M. H., Gliga, T., Guiraud, J., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2014, July). Are early neurophysiological markers of ASD syndrome-specific? A cross-syndrome comparison. Paper presented at the XIX Biennial International Conference on Infant Studies, International Society on Infant Studies, Berlin, Germany.


 

Posters

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2017, March). Neurocognitive constraints on language development in typically and atypically developing infants. Poster to be presented at the second biennial International Convention of Psychological Science (ICPS), Vienna, Austria.

 

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2016, Aug-Sept). Neurocognitive constraints of language development in typically and atypically developing infants. Poster presented at the ‘Early experience and sensitive periods in development’ workshop, International School of Neuroscience, The Ettore Majorana Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture, Erice, Italy.

 

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., Horvath, K. & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2016, May). Sleep and language development: Insights from a cross-syndrome study. Poster presented at the XX Biennial International Conference on Infant Studies, International Society on Infant Studies, New Orleans, USA.

 

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., Johnson, M. H., Gliga, T., Guiraud, J., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2015, September). Differential effects of attentional deficits on language acquisition: A cross-syndrome study. Poster presented at the Flux Congress, Leiden, the Netherlands.

 

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., Johnson, M. H., Gliga, T., Guiraud, J., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2015, March). Differential effects of attentional deficits on language acquisition: A cross-syndrome study. Poster presented at the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, USA.

 

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., Johnson, M. H., Gliga, T., Guiraud, J., Karmiloff-Smith, A., & the BASIS team (2015, March). Differential effects of attentional deficits on language acquisition: A cross-syndrome study. Poster presented at the Association for Psychological Science International Convention of Psychological Science, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

 

D’Souza, D., Kyjonková, H., Johnson, M. H., Gliga, T., Kushnerenko, E., Scerif, G., Karmiloff-Smith, A., & the BASIS team (2013, September). Are early neurophysiological markers of ASD syndrome-specific? Preliminary results from a cross-syndrome study. Poster presented at the Joint Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society Developmental and Cognitive Sections, University of Reading, Reading, UK.

 

D’Souza, D., Kyjonková, H., Johnson, M. H., Gliga, T., Kushnerenko, E., Scerif, G., Karmiloff-Smith, A., & the BASIS team (2013, May). Are early neurophysiological markers of ASD syndrome-specific? Preliminary results from a cross-syndrome study. Poster presented at the International Society for Autism Research Annual Meeting, IMFAR 2013, San Sebastian, Spain.

 

D’Souza, D., Kyjonková, H., Johnson, M. H., Gliga, T., Kushnerenko, E., Scerif, G., Karmiloff-Smith, A., & the BASIS team (2013, January). Are early neurophysiological markers of ASD syndrome-specific? Preliminary results from a cross-syndrome study. Poster presented at the Neurodevelopmental Disorders Seminar Series: Seminar 2: Developmental Trajectories and Cross-syndrome Comparisons: Issues and Future Directions, Institute of Education, University of London, London, UK.

 

D’Souza, D., Kyjonková, H., Johnson, M. H., Smith, T. J., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2012, April). Speech/pitch discrimination in toddlers with Williams syndrome: An electrophysiological study. Poster presented at the British Association for Cognitive Neuroscience Annual Conference, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, UK.

 

D’Souza, D., Kyjonková, H., Johnson, M. H., Smith, T., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2012, March). Basic-level mechanisms that constrain learning and development in Williams syndrome. Poster presented at the 3rd Annual Oxford Neuroscience Symposium, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

 

D’Souza, D., Connolly, M., Booth, R., Happé, F., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2010, September). The importance of cross-syndrome comparisons: Evidence from Autism and Williams syndrome. Poster presented at the British Psychological Society (BPS) Developmental Psychology Section Annual Conference, Goldsmiths, University of London, London, UK.

 

D’Souza, D., Connolly, M., Booth, R., Happé, F., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2009, September). Reconceptualising “featural processing”: Evidence from Autism and Williams syndrome. Poster presented at the British Association for Cognitive Neuroscience Annual Conference, UCL Institute of Child Health, London, UK.


 

 

Publications

Scientific Publications

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (in press). Precursors to language development in typically and atypically infants and toddlers: the importance of embracing complexity. Journal of Child Language.

 

Soukup Ascençao, T., D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2016). Parent-child interaction as a dynamic contributor to learning and cognitive development in typical and atypical development. Infancia y Aprendizaje, 39(4), 694-726.

 

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., Johnson, M. H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2016). Audio-visual speech perception in infants and toddlers with Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, and Williams syndrome. Infant Behavior and Development, 44, 249-262.

 

D’Souza, D., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2016). Why a developmental perspective is critical for understanding human cognition. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 39, e122.

 

D’Souza, D., & D’Souza, H. (2016). Bilingual language control mechanisms in anterior cingulate cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex: A developmental perspective. The Journal of Neuroscience, 36(20), 5434-5436.

 

D’Souza, D., Booth, R., Connolly, M., Happé, F., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2016). Rethinking the concepts of ‘local or global processors’: Evidence from Williams syndrome, Down syndrome, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Developmental Science, 19(3), 452-468.

 

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., Johnson, M. H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2015). Concurrent relations between face scanning and language: A cross-syndrome infant study. PLOS ONE, 10(10), e0139319.

 

D’Souza, D., Cole, V., Farran, E. K., Brown, J. H., Humphreys, K., Howard, J., Rodic, M., Dekker, T. M., D’Souza, H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2015). Face processing in Williams syndrome is already atypical in infancy. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 760.

 

Arzi, A., Banerjee, S., Cox, J. C., D’Souza, D., et al. (2014). The significance of cognitive neuroscience: Findings, applications, and challenges. In M. S. Gazzaniga & G. R. Mangun (Eds.), The Cognitive Neurosciences (5th Ed.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

 

Karmiloff-Smith, A., D’Souza, D., Dekker, T. M., Van Herwegen, J., Xu, F., Rodic, M., & Ansari, D. (2012). Genetic and environmental vulnerabilities in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109, 17261-17265.

 

Karmiloff-Smith, A., Broadbent, H., Farran, E. K., Longhi, E., D’Souza, D., Metcalfe, K., Tassabehji, M., Wu, R., Senju, A., Happé, F., Turnpenny, P., & Sansbury, F. (2012). Social cognition in Williams syndrome: Genotype/phenotype insights from partial deletion patients. Frontiers in Psychology, 3, 168.

 

D’Souza, D., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2011). When modularization fails to occur: A developmental perspective. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 28, 276-287.


 

Manuscript in preparation

1. Parent-infant interaction in neurodevelopmental disorders.

2. Cognitive and neurophysiological predictors of language development in infants with Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, and Williams syndrome.

3. Sleep and language: Insights from a cross-syndrome design.

4. Neural connectivity as a predictor of language development: Insights from a cross-syndrome design.

 

(Selected) Non-Scientific Publications

I have written and co-written pieces for The Guardian, the Fragile X Society, the Williams Syndrome Foundation, and others, e.g.:

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2015, January 15). Understanding infants and toddlers with fragile X syndrome: New Research. The Fragile X Society. Retrieved from http://www.fragilex.org.uk/

D’Souza, D. (2006). Space. In M. Cohen (Ed.), The Essentials of Philosophy and Ethics (pp. 272-273). London: Hodders.