Elena Throm

ISSF Researcher


Email: ethrom01@mail.bbk.ac.uk



Prof Emily Jones

Prof Robert Leech (KCL)



During my PhD, I have been studying neural responses during naturalistic social interaction in infancy. I am investigating how these change with age, and how they differ in infants later diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental condition. A special focus of my PhD concerns the application of an individualised method, Neuroadaptive Bayesian Optimisation, to study an individual infant's neural responses to a wide range of stimuli in the context of social interaction.

My project is part of the SAPIENS Innovative Training Network supported by a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Doctoral fellowship of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program (grant agreement No 814302).




PhD in Psychology, Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK (2019 – present)

M.Sc in Psychology, University of Vienna, Austria (2017 – 2019)

B.Sc in Psychology, University of Vienna, Austria (2013 – 2017)



Gui, A., Throm, E. V., da Costa, P. F., Haartsen, R., Leech, R., & Jones, E. J. (2022). Proving and improving the reliability of infant research with neuroadaptive Bayesian optimization. Infant and Child Development.


Scientific talks and posters

Throm, E. V. (2022, September). Using Real-Time Analysis to Study Social Brain Specialisation in the Individual Infant. SAPIENS Early Social Development Conference, Ghent. [Talk]

Throm, E. V. (2022, July). Infant Neuroadaptive Bayesian Optimisation (NBO). Pre-conference Workshop at the International Congress for Infant Studies, Ottawa. [Talk]

Throm, E. V. (2022, July). Preregistration: Neuroadaptive Optimisation to Study Individual Differences in ERP Responses to Faces of Mother and Stranger? International Congress for Infant Studies, Ottawa. [Poster]

Throm, E. V. (2022, June). Individual neural signatures of infants’ preference for social auditory stimuli: towards real-time infant fMRI. Flux, Paris. [Poster]

Throm, E. V. (2021, October). Real-time fNIRS to Study Individual Differences in Infant Social Development. fNIRS, virtual. [Poster]

Throm. E. V. (2021, May). Do Infants with a First-Degree Relative with Autism or ADHD Show Altered Brain Activity during Live Social Experiences? INSAR, virtual. [Poster]

Throm, E. V. (2020, July). BabySound - An Online Survey on Infants’ Sound Preferences. ICIS, virtual. [Talk]

Throm, E. V. (2020, July). Neural responses to live social and nonsocial displays in infants with older siblings with ASD and/or ADHD. vICIS, virtual. [Poster]

Throm, E. V. (2020, June). BabySound – What do Babies Like Listening To? An Online Survey on Infants’ Sound Preferences. BeOnline Conference, virtual. [Poster]

Throm, E. V., Ansorge, U., & Oberauer, K. (2019, May). The Effect of Free Time in Memory Tasks: Comparing Complex-Span, Brown-Peterson and Simple-Span Paradigm. Congress for postgraduate students 2019 (Masterstudierenden- und Doktorierenden-Kongress) of the Department of Psychology at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. [Poster]


Community engagement

Interactive coffee talk, 28/07/2020, hosted by Birkbeck Babylab, audience: public, mainly parents of young infants

Interactive coffee talk, 27/11/2020, hosted by National Child Trust - Clapham branch, audience: public, mainly parents of young infants

Project website, 2020-ongoing, recipients: public, mainly parents of infants who took part in our studies, https://sites.google.com/view/bonds-project/home?authuser=0


Awards and funding

2023 - Birkbeck / Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund2 (ISSF2)

2019-2022 - Marie Sklodowska-Curie Doctoral fellowship of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program (grant agreement No 814302)

2018 - Scholarship for outstanding academic achievements, University of Vienna