Dr Jessie Ricketts, LARA lab Director
I am interested in reading and oral language development in childhood and adolescence, particularly in the role of vocabulary in reading (both word-level reading and reading comprehension), and reciprocally, the role of reading in oral vocabulary acquisition. My research adopts a range of methodological approaches including longitudinal, cross-sectional and word learning studies to investigate acquisition, development and causal hypotheses, working with typically developing children and children with developmental disorders such as poor reading comprehension, dyslexia, specific language impairment and autism spectrum disorders. I aim to collect data that address questions of theoretical importance that have practical implications for policy and practice.
Miss Amrita Bains
Currently, I am a PhD student investigating intrinsic motivation for reading. I am working in collaboration with The Reading Agency to start building a framework of cognitive and neural bases of reward and motivation when reading. My research interests are understanding reading development and language learning using both behavioural and neuroimaging techniques.
Miss Grace Pocock
I’m a PhD student investigating whether ‘educational’ apps are really educational. I will be looking to work with local nurseries to look at this in terms of preschoolers early literacy development. I will systematically assess at the different features apps offer to children, and see which ones are beneficial to learning, as well as which ones hinder it.
Miss Jessica Dyson
My current research is on adolescent sleep restriction during puberty, and how this affects word learning and memory. This research will use polysomnography to measure objective changes in sleep patterns between school term and holidays.
Dr Amber Muhinyi
I am a Postdoctoral Researcher based in the LARA Lab and Baby Lab at the Royal Holloway. I am currently working on the Baby Books Project with Dr Jeanne Shinskey (Principal Investigator) and Dr Jessie Ricketts (Co-Investigator). The general aim of this project is to assess 1-year-olds’ learning of words from educational picture books.
Dr Sanne Van-Der-Kleij
I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow currently based at the University of Birmingham. I’m interested in reading and vocabulary development in children and adolescents. Especially, in how much we read and what we read influences our vocabulary and reading development. I’m also involved in the Reading and Vocabulary (RAV) project with Dr. Jessie Ricketts, Dr. Laura Shapiro and Prof. Adrian Burgess, investigating reading and vocabulary development in children as they transfer from primary to secondary school.
Dr Desislava Arabadzhiyska
I am a Postdoctoral Researcher examining intrinsic reward and motivation in children with reading disorders. My funding comes from an Academy of Medical Sciences Springboard award. During my PhD I studied the neurocomputational principles of social decision making using simultaneous EEG-fMRI and tDCS in Prof. Marios Philiastides’ lab and during my undergraduate and master studies I investigated the cognitive processes involved in irony detection under the supervision of Dr. Christoph Scheepers.
Miss Jemma Baker
I am a Graduate Research Assistant currently involved in the Reading and Vocabulary (RAV) project with Dr Jessie Ricketts (Royal Holloway, University of London), Dr Laura Shapiro (Aston University) and Dr Sanne Van-der-Kleij (University of Birmingham).
Undergraduate Research Assistants
2014-2015: Natascha Ahmed, Keely Pridden
2015-2016: Rosie McGuire, Grace Pocock, Eva Dvorakova, Emily Crosby, Sophie Groosman
2016-2017: Iqra Arshad, Rebecca Crowley, Nardeen Massoud, Katherine Worster
2017-2018: Lianne Farrer
2018-2019: Charlotte Stoate, Lucy Hemmings, Daisy Miller, Paige Mahoney
2019-2020: Aiswarya Thamilselvan, Alice Storr, Lauren Smith, Lauriane Bonnet, Rebecca Bright, Ellie Gray
2020-2021: Ellie Gray, Ele Crow, Courtney Hooton, Abigail White, Selan Lee, Alice Watters, Haniya Zaka
2021-2022: Courtney Hooton, Selan Lee, Alice Watters, Emily Nevill, Ellie Hawkes