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Developmental Science

Researchers in the Developmental Science (DS) investigate the developmental origins of perceptual, cognitive, and social abilities. Our research uses cutting-edge methods including immersive virtual reality, motion capture, eye-tracking, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, thermal imaging, 4D ultrasound imaging, as well as more standard perceptual and cognitive measures. Our work is published in leading peer-reviewed academic journals and featured in the international press.

Our research ranges from the basic to the applied, and from the earliest stages of life to adolescence. We study both typical development and broader elements of neurodiversity (e.g. including neurodevelopmental conditions such as Autism, ADHD and Williams syndrome). Members of the group also run and participate in Durham University’s cross-disciplinary Centre for Neurodiversity and Development and the Durham Cultural Evolution Research Centre. Through our MSc programmes, we have a large cohort of students who study aspects of Developmental Psychology and Developmental Psychopathology, as well as Developmental aspects of Cognitive Neuroscience.

We conduct our research here in our child-friendly laboratories, in local schools and nurseries, and nationally and internationally with special populations and in cross-cultural studies. We are always looking for volunteer families to take part in our studies – this can be a fun trip taking as little as 30 minutes of your time. Our studies are presented as fun games for children. You can find out more and volunteer to take part at the bottom of this page.




Education and Research Track Staff

Research Track Staff

Education Track Staff


You can easily volunteer your child(ren) to participate in some of our research. By filling out the form linked below, we will register you on our database and contact you when a suitable study is running. You are under no obligation to take part. If you can, we then arrange a short, fun visit with you - for example after school, on a weekend, or during school holidays.

Click here to view our Volunteering Form

Your personal information is held securely by Durham University according to UK Data Protection legislation, and you may choose to withdraw it at any time. For any queries, please email: or

Research Grants

Our research is funded by a range of funders, including the British Academy, the Economic and Social Research Council, European Research Council, Leverhulme Trust, the John Templeton Foundation, the National Institute for Health and Care Research, Research England and the Wellcome Trust.