Hannah Wilkinson

Postdoctoral Researcher

Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development
Department of Psychological Sciences
Birkbeck College, Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX
Phone: 0207 079 0752
Email: hannah.wilkinson@bbk.ac.uk


Research interests

My research investigates the neuropsychological profiles of primary school pupils to help inform the development and evaluation of interventions which aim to improve behaviour and learning. I have predominantly worked with children with social, emotional, and behaviour difficulties, and also those disadvantaged by low socioeconomic status or extreme poverty.

Taking an educational neuroscience approach, my research primarily examines the association between executive functions, classroom behaviour, and academic achievement in primary school pupils. I am also interested in the association between social relationships and classroom behaviour, including the student-teacher relationship, peer bullying, and the role of parental depression and marital discord on the child's school adjustment.

My work has involved the development and evaluation of three key interventions:

Behaviours for Learning: A teacher-led classroom intervention to promote executive function and emotion regulation skills in pupils with conduct problems and early psychopathic or 'callous-unemotional' traits (funded by the ESRC)

Lively Minds: A training programme for uneducated mothers to run low-cost and sustainable educational play schemes with young children in remote and deprived villages in Ghana and Uganda (funded by DFID and Comic Relief) http://www.livelyminds.org

UnLocke: A computer software programme to train mainstream pupils to inhibit immediate response in order to learn counterintuitive concepts in maths and science (funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Education Endowment Foundation) http://www.educationalneuroscience.org.uk/?page_id=237



2012-2016  PhD Psychology, Goldsmiths College, University of London

  • PhD thesis: A developmental cognitive neuroscience approach to the investigation of conduct problems and classroom behaviours for learning

2013-2015   PG Certificate, Management of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, Goldsmiths College, University of London

2010-2011   MSc Psychological Research Methods, Birkbeck College, University of London

  • MSc dissertation: Paternal postnatal and subsequent mental health symptoms and Child Socio-Emotional and Behavioural Problems at school entry

2004-2007 BSc Psychology (Honours), University of Nottingham



2012 –2016   Associate Lecturer, BSc Psychology, Goldsmiths College, University of London

2013 –2016   Associate Lecturer, BSc Clinical Psychology, Goldsmiths College, University of London


Funding Awards

2014-2015   ESRC Internship with NGO Lively Minds

2013-2016   ESRC PhD scholarship

2013   ESRC International Collaboration Internship, Beijing Normal University & Institute of Psychology



(née Smith)

Smith, H. R. (2014). Play as a tool for change: Strengthening early years education and children’s well-being in rural Africa through play. British Association of Play Therapists

Smith, H. R., Eryigit-Madzwamuse, S., & Barnes, J. (2013). Paternal Postnatal and Subsequent Mental Health Symptoms and Child Socio-Emotional and Behavioural Problems at School Entry. Infant and Child Development, 22

Smith, H. R., Polenik, K., Nakasita, S., & Jones, A.P. (2012). Profiling social, emotional and behavioural difficulties of children involved in direct and indirect bullying behaviours. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 17, 243-257



Using psychological research tools to improve and evaluate educational interventions in rural Africa: An international collaboration with NGO 'Lively Minds'. InLab International Conference - Building Bridges: mobilising international interdisciplinary science to benefit societies, Goldsmiths College, University of London, October 2015

Lively Minds Impact Report 2014. Unit for School and Family Studies, Goldsmiths College, University of London, March 2015

Neuropsychological profiling to inform classroom-based strategies to improve ‘Behaviours for Learning’. British Psychological Society Educational Psychology Conference, Durham, January 2015

Neuropsychological profiling of pupils with Conduct Problems: Targeting ‘Behaviours for Learning’. Equity and Justice in Childhood and Adolescence Conference, Goldsmiths College, University of London, May 2014

Neuropsychological profiling of pupils with Conduct Problems: Targeting ‘Behaviours for Learning’. ESRC London DTC Interdisciplinary Conference, London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London, April 2014

‘Behaviours for Learning’: An education neuroscience approach. Beijing Normal University, Beijing, September 2013

A cognitve neuroscience informed intervention to improve ‘behaviours for learning’. Institute of Psychology, Academy of Sciences, Beijing, September 2013