Emily Jones


Centre for Brain & Cognitive Development
Birkbeck, University of London
London WC1E 7HX

Phone: +44 (0)20 3926 1060
Fax: +44 (0)20 7631 6587
e-mail: e dot jones at bbk dot ac dot uk


Research Interests

My research interests centre on understanding the cognitive and neural mechanisms that drive variability in the developmental trajectories of young children (BOND lab). Taking a multimodal approach, I use behavioural, electrophysiological and psychophysiological techniques to investigate the development of core skills such as memory and attention in early development.

I am particularly interested in the early development of basic skills in children with Autism. Understanding how early emerging symptoms contribute to later strengths and difficulties both illuminates the aetiology of the condition and may highlight appropriate targets for intervention. My work in this area has focused on both toddlers with autism and infants with older siblings with autism,  and is associated with the Early Connections Study at the University of Washington, the British Autism Study of Infant Siblings (BASIS) and the Study of Autism and ADHD Risk in Siblings (STAARS) at CBCD. I also collaborate with the Autism Research Group at City University.

Since building collaborative networks is critical to answering core questions about the early development of autism, I am also involved in several European collaborative projects.  I am currently co-ordinating a large cross-European study of infants at high familial risk for autism as part of the AIMS2 project, and co-lead the SAPIENS network of researchers studying how the social brain is shaped by early social interactions. Finally, we work on developing new methodologies to study the developing brain through our BRAINTOOLS and BONDS projects. I also lead the EEG measure development for AIMS2, a large collaborative study of autism across Europe. 



"Comorbid Analysis of Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Epilepsy (CANDY)". Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action European Training Network. (2020-2024, Co-I, PI J Buitelaar)

"Scalable TRansdiagnostic Early Assessment of Mental Health (STREAM)". Medical Research Council. (2019-2024, Co-I, PI B Chakrabarti)

"Human neurocognitive development: Early-stage processing, modifiers, and outcomes". Medical Research Council. (2019-2024, Co-I, PI M Johnson)

Why are we social? Mapping the development of social motivation through adaptive

Sampling (BONDS), Economic and Social Research Council. (2018-2021, PI)

"Tracking individual symptom change with Bayesian Optimization". Simons Foundation. (2019-2022, Co-I, PI E Loth

"SAPIENS: Shaping the social brain through early interactions". Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action European Training Network. (2019-2022, Co-I; PI Dr. Przemysław Tomalski)

Individualised Interventions in Learning (INTERLEARN)”. Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action European Training Network. (2016-2021, Co-I; PI F Dick)

“Delineating neurodevelopmental causal paths to autism symptoms in infancy”. Simons Foundation. (2017-2020, Co-PI with E Meaburn)

“BRAINTOOLS: Optimising neurodevelopmental outcomes for global health”. Medical Research Council. (2018-2019, Co-PI; PI M Johnson)

Developmental Trajectories in Autism Spectrum Disorder from 6 months to 7 years.  Medical Research Council. (2018-2021, Co-I; PI T Charman)

AIMS-2-TRIALS EU Innovative Medicines Initiative”. (2018-2023, co-I, Co-PI for Birkbeck site with M Johnson; PI D Murphy)

TEACH-BRITE: Transforming EArly ChildHood- Bringing Research to Individuals through online Technology”, ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (2018, Co-I; PI M Johnson)

Training temporally-driven sustained selective attention to sound in children with ADHD” (2018-2019, Co-I; PI Tierney)

“Integrated view on disruptions of early brain development (BRAINVIEW)”. Marie Sklowdowska-Curie ETN (2015-2019, Work Package Leader; PI J Buitelaar).

“Attention Control Training in Infants at Risk for ADHD”.  MQ Foundation (2015 – 2018, Co-I; PI M Johnson).

“Identifying neurocognitive treatment targets in infants with Neurofibromatosis Type 1”. Action Medical Research (2016 – 2019, Co-I; PI M Johnson).

"Understanding the role social touch plays in cognitive development". BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant (2014-2015, Co-PI with T Gliga).

"Causal Pathways to Autism: The Role of Autonomic Control & Social Learning".  L'Oreal for Women in Science Fellowship (2014; PI).

"A cross-sectional study of episodic memory development in Autism Spectrum Disorder". BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant (2012-2014, Co-PI; with S. Gaigg).



Anna Kolesnik, PhD candidate

Mary Ayapong, PhD candidate

Nisha Narvekar, PhD candidate

Ayesha Javed, PhD candidate

Hana Halkola, PhD candidate

Elena Throm, PhD candidate

Eirini Papageorgopoulou, PhD candidate

Eleanor Braithwaite, PhD candidate

Louisa Gossé, PhD candidate

Pedro Costa, PhD candidate



Research Scientist III, CCHBD, Seattle Children’s, Seattle, WA; 2010-2012

Autism Speaks Postdoctoral Training Fellowship, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, W.A.; 2007-2010.

ESRC PhD. Psychology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, U.K.; 2004-2007.

Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, U.K.; 2005-2007. 

M.Sc. (Distinction) Psychological Research, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, U.K.; 2003-2004.  

M.Phil. Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, U.K.; 2002-2003.. 

B.A. (Hons.), M.A. Cantab., Natural Sciences: Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, U.K.; 1999-2002.  With Starred Double First Class.