Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development
Department of Psychological Sciences
Birkbeck, University of London
Dr. Natasha Kirkham (Birkbeck)
Prof. Daniel Richardson (UCL)
My research is focused on how noisy environments impact on learning during early development. More specifically, I’m looking at how noise influences young children’s ability to focus and sustain their attention on the important information in their environment, while ignoring and inhibiting the distracting information, as this skill is incredibly important for effective learning to take place. Furthermore, I’m interested in understanding how experience with in-home environmental noise levels, sensory processing abilities, and quality of sleep play a role in the relationship between environmental complexity and learning. These questions are important to address, as children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are more at risk of being exposed to higher levels of neighbourhood noise.
My research will be using both a fixed eye-tracking system in the lab, as well as a portable eye-tracking system in daycare centres. I will also be using EEG simultaneously with eye-tracking to further unravel the mechanisms by which environmental noise impacts on the early development of learning at the neurological, cognitive, and behavioural level. This project will additionally involve using sound level meters to attain an accurate measure of the in-home noise levels that children experience, as well as using actigraphy to measure sleep quality and sleep patterns.
PhD Psychology, Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck (2018 – present)
MSc Educational Neuroscience (Distinction), UCL Institute of Education & Birkbeck (2017 – 2018)
BSc Psychology & Human Development (Distinction), University of California Davis (2012 – 2016)
Research Assistant, Supervised by Marko Nardini, Developmental Science Research Group, Durham University (2016 – 2017)
Research Assistant, Supervised by Susan Rivera, Neurocognitive Development Lab, University of California Davis (2010 – 2012)
Negen, J., Chere, B., Bird, L., Taylor, E., Roome, H. E., Keenaghan, S., Thaler, L., Nardini, M (under review). Sensory cue combination in children under 10 years of age. Cognition.
Negen, J. Bou-Ali, L., Chere, B., Roome, H. E., Park, Y., Nardini, M. (under review). Coding locations relative to one or many landmarks in childhood. PLOS Computational Biology.
Chere, B., Kirkham, N. How noisy environments may be impacting selective attention and learning during infancy. Accepted for Presentation at the Psychological Convention of Psychological Science, Paris, March 2019.
Chere, B., Barry, R., Rivera, S. Can Infants Learn Better when their Attention is Guided by a Social Cue? Poster presented at the 27th Annual Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities Conference, Davis, California, April 2016.
Awards and Funding
ESRC +3 PhD studentship (2018 – 2021): Fully funded studentship to cover PhD fees (£4,327), living expenses (£17k per annum), and research expenses (£2,250).
ESRC Advanced Quantitative Methods (2018): funding towards gaining skills in quantitative methods (£2,250).
Summa Cum Laude (2016): awarded for receiving highest honours on an undergraduate research dissertation.