Jessica Massonnié

PhD Student


32 Torrington Square, London WC1E 7HX

Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development

Birkbeck, University of London


Personal page:


Dr. Natasha Kirkham (Birkbeck University)

Prof. Denis Mareschal (Birkbeck University)


Research interests

My PhD focuses on the effect of noise on learning, at elementary school. I am studying the effect of chronic and short-term exposure to aircraft, road traffic and classroom noise on children’s school performances. I am particularly investigating how executive functions (attention, working memory, inhibition) are involved when pupils have to learn in noisy conditions, and how it could explain different sensitivity to noise.

Another objective is to assess the relationships between noise and SES: are children coming from deprived and potentially noisy area more affected, or protected against the effects of noise?

This project is funded by the ESRC. It is a +3 ESRC-CASE, with enhancement for advanced quantitative methods. We work in partnership with a company called Cauldron, to design interactive platforms for data collection.



Research Master in Cognitive Science, Ecole Normale Supérieure Ulm, EHESS, Paris V - Magna Cum Laude
    M2 Thesis: Predictors of reading comprehension in first grade. Supervised by Franck Ramus (ENS Ulm) and Pascal Bressoux (Grenoble Alpes University) 
    M1 Thesis : Integrating the causal and intentional structure of a harmful situation: assessing the effect of a empathy modulation. Supervised by Marine Buon (ENS Ulm, UCL) and Nicolas Baumard (ENS Ulm) 
B.A in Psychology, Université Paris Ouest – Magna Cum Laude
Two-year university degree in PhilosophyUniversité Paris Ouest – Cum Laude



Massonnié, J. (2017). Les neuromythes, mieux les comprendre pour mieux les appréhender. Enjeux pédagogiques : la psychologie cognitive s'invite en classe, 28, 15.

Bressoux, P., Bianco, M., Bosse, M-L., Cosnefroy, O., Dessus, P., Fayol, M., Hanner, C., Joët, G., Lima, L., Massonnié, J.  & Rocher, T. (2017). Rapport de la recherche LONGIT. Rapport pour le Ministère de l’Education Nationale, Direction de l’Evaluation, de la Prospective et de la performance.

Bressoux, P., Massonnié, J., Bianco, M., Lima, L. & Joët, G. (2016). Teacher effectiveness and reading comprehension at first grade. Fith Biennial Meeting of the EARLI Special Interest Groups 18 (Educational Effectiveness) and 23 (Educational Evaluation, Accountability and School Improvement). “Closing the Gaps? Differential Accountability and Effectiveness as a Road to School Improvement”. Oslo, Norway - 28-30 september 2016. 


Poster presentations

Rogers, C., Massonnié J., Thomas, M., Tolmie, A. (2017). When older might not be wiser. The development of creativity in primary school children. The British Psychological Society, Developmental Section Annual Conference, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK– September 14th, 2017.

Massonnié, J., Bressoux, P., Bianco, M., Joët, G. & Lima, L. (2017, March). Predictors of reading comprehension in first grade. Neuroscience in the Classroom: Current Progress and Future Challenges, Wellcome Trust, London, UK

Massonnié, J., Kirkham, N., Mareschal, D. (2017, March). The effect of noise on learning in primary schools. Doctoral Poster Conference, Institute of Education, University College London, UK

Massonnié, J., Bressoux, P., Bianco, M., Joët, G. & Lima, L. (2016, August). Predictors of reading comprehension in first grade: results of a longitudinal study. Lancaster Conference on Infant and Child Development, Lancaster University, UK

Bianco, M., Lima, L., Massonnié, J. & Bressoux, P. (2016, July). Learning to read at Grade 1: cognitive and motivational predictors. Society for the Scientific Study of Reading, University of Porto, Portugal

Le Brun et al. (2016, July). Creativity, it's in your head! Brain Awareness Corner, 10th FENS Forum of Neuroscience, Copenhagen, Denmark - Participation as a member of the organizing committee and speaker of the Brain Awareness Week in Grenoble



Massonnié, J., Rogers, C., Mareschal, D. & Kirkham, N. (2017, September). The effect of classroom noise on creativity in primary school children. The British Psychological Society, Developmental Section Annual Conference, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK.

Chauvin, R., Lestage, H, Massonnié, J., Rodo, C., Lucchesi, A., Théo, H. & Saunier, C. (2016, Novembre). Créer une fiction scientifiquement au plus proche de la réalité biologique pour vulgariser les neurosciences. Colloque Telling Science, Drawing Science, Cité Internationale de la Bande Dessinée et de l'Image, Angoulême, France

Massonnié, J., Bianco, M., Joët, G., Lima, L & Bressoux, P. (2016, October). Reading comprehension development at first grade: the predictive power of code and oral comprehension skills. Colloquium CLI "Construction du sens, sens des constructions", Paris 8 University, France

Massonnié, J., Le Brun, I., Pasquinelli, E. (2016, June). Sciences cognitives et éducation: formation, prévalence et impact des neuromythes diffusés parmi les enseignants français. Pôle Grenoble Cognition, France


Public engagement

The project some friends and I are involved in is called Cogni’Junior. It aims at providing a free and open access to knowledge about cognitive science, using stories, comics, puzzles, stuffed neurons… but also more traditional conferences. Most of our interventions for children, teachers and educators have been so far led in France (list on my personal webpage), and have been broadcasted by different media (MOOC, TV, newspapers). Our initiative won a price of 1000€ from PSL University (Paris), and a 5000€ Donders Innovation Voucher from the Donders Institute in Netherlands. This has put forward an international collaboration with teachers to assess how disseminating knowledge about the brain can influence children’s learning, emotions and stress regulation. We also study the effect of supplementary mindfulness training.