Sinead Rocha

PhD Student

Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development
Department of Psychological Sciences
Birkbeck, University of London
London
WC1E 7HX
Phone: 020 7079 0865
Email: s.rocha@bbk.ac.uk, sineadrocha@gmail.com

 

Under the supervision of Prof. Denis Mareschal and Prof. Victoria Southgate, my PhD examines the development of rhythm perception and production skills in human infants. I am particularly interested in the role of the vestibular system, and how experience of being carried by the caregiver may impact our sense of rhythm in the audiomotor domain. To explore this topic in pre-verbal populations, I have conducted experiments using surface electromyography (EMG), electroencephalography (EEG) and behavioural measures. My PhD is funded by the ESRC.

 

Education

PhD, Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck College, University of London, (October 2014 - present, FT).

MSc Developmental Sciences (Distinction), Birkbeck College, University of London, (October 2012 - June 2014, PT).

BSc (Hons) Psychology (1st Class), University of Bath (October 2007 - June 2011, 4 year FT with one year placement).

Research Experience

Research Assistant, Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck College, University of London, (October 2011 - December 2014, PT)

Lab Administrator, Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck College, University of London, (November 2011 - September 2014, PT)

Maternity cover for post-doctoral researcher, Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck College, University of London, (March 2012 - October 2012, PT)

Student Research Assistant, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, (June 2009 - May 2010, FT).

Publications

Rocha, S., & Mareschal, D. (2017). Getting into the Groove: The Development of Tempo‐Flexibility Between 10 and 18 Months of Age. Infancy, 22(4), 540-551.

Addyman, C., Rocha, S., Fautrelle, L., French, R. M., Thomas, E., & Mareschal, D. (2016). Embodiment and the origin of interval timing: kinematic and electromyographic data. Experimental Brain Research, 9, 1-8.

Addyman, C., Rocha, S., & Mareschal, D. (2014). Mapping the origins of time: Scalar errors in infant time estimation. Developmental Psychology, 50(8), 2030.

Presentations

(Presenting author)

Rocha, S., Southgate, V. & Mareschal, D. (July 2017). Infant Spontaneous Motor Tempo: Correlations with age, body size, and parental body size. Talk presented at the 16th Biennial Rhythm Production and Perception Workshop, Birmingham, UK.

Rocha, S., Southgate, V. & Mareschal, D. (June 2017). Little Drummers: Infant Spontaneous Motor Tempo correlates with parental height. Talk presented at the Music, Language & Cognition Summer School, Lake Como, Italy.

Rocha, S., Southgate, V. & Mareschal, D. (September 2016). What drives musical skill? An investigation of the development of rhythm production in infancy. Talk presented at the British Psychological Society Developmental Section Conference, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Rocha, S., Southgate, V. & Mareschal, D. (May 2016). Walk to the Beat: The effect of bipedal locomotion on infant ability to move in time with music. Poster presented at the 20th International Congress of Infancy Studies, New Orleans, USA.

Rocha, S., Southgate, V. & Mareschal, D. (January 2016). Step in time: Walking training reduces the gap in rhythm production skills between crawling and non-crawling infants. Poster presented at the 6th Annual CEU Conference on Cognitive Development, Budapest, Hungary.

Rocha, S., Soutgate, V. & Mareschal, D. (October 2015). Charting the development of infant rhythm production using sEMG. Talk presented at the Birkbeck College led EMG Workshop, using surface electromyography to study development: methodological and theoretical considerations. Organised and chaired by S Rocha and C de Klerk.

    Rocha, S. Southgate, V. & Mareschal, D. (July 2015). What bell ringing can tell us about infant rhythm production: An EMG study. Poster presented at the 15th Biennial Rhythm Production and Perception Workshop, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

    Rocha, S., Southgate, V. & Mareschal, D. (June 2015). Walk to the Beat: The impact of bipedal locomotion on infant rhythm production. Talk presented in organized symposium, titled On Learning New Things: From Infancy to Adolescence. (Organised and chaired by S Rocha), at the UCL Institute of Education’s Annual Summer Doctoral Conference, London, UK.

    Rocha, S. & Mareschal, M. (March 2015). Shake, Rattle & Roll: Infant’s rhythmic behaviour in a bell-ringing task. Poster presented at the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Biennial Meeting, Philadelphia, USA.

    Rocha, S. & Mareschal, D. (January 2015) Dance like nobody's watching: Infants display a wider variety of rhythmic movements in the absence of a social partner. Poster presented at the 5th Annual CEU Conference on Cognitive Development, Budapest, Hungary.

    Rocha, S. & Mareschal, D. (September 2014) Getting into the Groove: An EMG study of rhythmic movement to music in infancy. Poster presented at the British Psychological Society Developmental Section Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

    Rocha, S. & Mareschal, D. (January 2014). ‘Dance with me? An investigation of early rhythmic and synchronous behaviours in infancy’. Poster presented at the Budapest CEU Conference on Cognitive Development, Budapest, Hungary.

    Addyman, C., Rocha, S. & Mareschal, D. (January 2014). Mapping the Origins of Time: Scalar Errors in Infant Time Estimation. Poster presented at the Budapest CEU Conference on Cognitive Development, Budapest, Hungary.

    Addyman, C., Rocha, S. & Mareschal, D. (September 2013) Dissociating voluntary and involuntary time expectancies in infancy. Poster presented at the British Psychological Society Cognitive and Developmental Sections, Reading, UK.

    Public Engagement

    Scientific Advisor February 2016- November 2016

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k11iJIdjBlI

    Collaboration with Polka Theatre, Wimbledon. As part of the Wellcome Trust funded ‘Brain Waves’ festival, I helped to create a piece of theatre designed for infants aged 6-18 months, informed by my own research into infant rhythm production and other research across developmental psychology. The performance included music composed for the show, which drew upon my own research. The piece ran from the 21st September – 16th October. The festival had an in-person reach of over 3000 people, and our show ‘Shake, Rattle & Roll’ sold over 1000 tickets.

    Awards and Funding

    Funding for Interdisciplinary Initiatives, ESRC Bloomsbury Doctoral Training Centre – Awarded 9/2015 to fund workshop ‘“Using surface electromyography to study infant development: methodological and theoretical considerations” (£600).

    Support for Short Meetings and Conferences, Guarantors of Brain, - Awarded 4/2015 to fund workshop ‘“Using surface electromyography to study infant development: methodological and theoretical considerations”. Co-authored with Dr Carina de Klerk (£2000).

    LA School Studentship, Highly selective and fully funded place at 5th Latin American School for Education, Cognition and Neural Sciences - Awarded 12/2014, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. School funded by James S. McDonnell Foundation.

    Advanced Quantitative Methods Stipend, ESRC – Awarded 7/2014 to encourage advanced training in quantitative methods (£9000).

    PhD Stipend, ESRC – Awarded 7/2014 to cover maintenance costs for duration of PhD (c. £16000 per annum for three years).

    Student Bursary, British Psychological Society Developmental Section - Awarded 6/2014 to attend annual BPS Developmental Section Conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

    Student Bursary, Central European University - Awarded 11/2013 to attend annual CEU Conference on Cognitive Development in Budapest, Hungary.