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Dr. Natasha Kirkham

Senior Lecturer in Psycholog

Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development

Office: Room 515, Malet Street School of Psychology, Birkbeck, University of London, London, WC1E 7HX

Phone: +44 207 631 6736





Research interests

I am interested in the development of visuo-spatial understanding, cognition, and attention in infants and preschool age children. I am involved in two streams of research, one of which addresses the question of how infants learn about their visuospatial environment with regard to the statistical regularities inherent in their perceptual world, and the other of which investigates the roles of attention and memory in young children. In a current ESRC-funded project (with Professor Denis Mareschal) I am investigating how multisensory information supports (or inhibits) learning across primary school-age children. I employ several different methodologies in my research projects, using both corneal reflection eye-tracking and habituation/dishabituation with infants, executive function tasks with preschoolers/adults, and EEG/ERP recordings from infants.

Curriculum vitae



In press

Tummeltshammer, K. S., Mareschal, D., & Kirkham, N. Z. (in press). Infants’ selective attention to reliable visual cues in the presence of salient distracters. Child Development.

Jeste, S. S., Kirkham, N., Senturac, D., Hasenstab, K., Sugar, C., Kupelian, C., Baker, E., Sanders, A., Shimizu, C., Norona, A., Paparella, T., Freeman, S. F. N., & Johnson, S. P. (in press). Neural correlates of visual statistical learning in young children with ASD. Developmental Science.

Recent publications:

Wu, R., Tummeltshammer, K. S., Gliga, T., & Kirkham, N. Z. (2014). Ostensive signals support learning from novel attention cues during infancy. Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00251

Tummeltshammer, K. S. Kirkham, N. Z. (2013). Learning to look: probabilistic variation and noise guide infants' eye movements. Developmental Science, 16, 760-771.

Barker, E. D., Kirkham, N., Ng, J, & Jensen, S. K. G (2013). Prenatal maternal depression symptoms and nutrition, and child cognitive function. British Journal of Psychiatry, 203, 417-421.

Kirkham, N. Z., Richardson, D. C., Wu, R., & Johnson, S. P. (2012). The importance of ‘what’: Infants use featural information to index objects. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 113, 430-439.

Sobel, D. M. & Kirkham, N.Z. (2012). The influence of social information on children’s statistical and causal inferences. In F.Xu (Ed.). Rational constructivism in cognitive development.

Richardson, D. C., Street, C. N. H., Tan, J. Y. M., Kirkham, N. Z., Hoover, M. A., & Ghane Cavanaugh, A. (2012). Joint perception: gaze and social context. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2012.00194

Kirkham, N. Z., Wagner, J. B., Swan, K., & Johnson, S. P. (2012). Sound support: Intermodal information facilitates infants’ perception of an occluded trajectory. Infant Behavior and Development, 35, 174-178.

Dale, R., Kirkham, N. Z., & Richardson, D. C. (2011). The dynamics of reference and shared visual attention. Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00355

Wu, R., Gopnik, A., Richardson, D.C., & Kirkham, N.Z., (2011). Social cues facilitate perceptual learning in infancy. Developmental Psychology, 47, 1220-1229.

Dale, R., Kirkham, N. Z., & Richardson, D. C. (2011). How two people become a tangram recognition device. Proceedings of the European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, Springer Verlag

Wu, R., & Kirkham, N. Z. (2010). No two cues are alike: Depth of learning in infancy is dependent on what orients attention. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 107, 118-136.

Yurovsky, D., Wu, R., Kirkham, N.Z., & Yu, C. (2010). Model selection for eye movements: Assessing the role of attentional cues in infant learning. Proceedings of the XX Neural Computation and Psychology Workshop

Kirkham, N. Z. (2009). Altogether now: Learning through multiple sources. In S. P. Johnson (Ed.), Neoconstructivism: The new science of cognitive development. New York: Oxford University Press.

Johnson, S. P., Fernandes, K. J., Frank, M. C., Kirkham, N. Z., Marcus, G. F., Rabagliati, H., & Slemmer, J. A. (2008). Abstract rule learning for visual sequences in 8- and 11-month-olds. Infancy, 14, 2-18.

Kirkham, N. Z., Slemmer, J. A., Richardson, D.C., & Johnson, S. P. (2007). Location, location, location: Development of spatiotemporal sequence learning in infancy. Child Development, 78, 1559-1571.

Sobel, D. M., & Kirkham, N. Z. (2007). Interactions between causal and statistical learning approaches. In A. Gopnik & L. Schulz (Eds.), Causal learning (pp. 139-153). Oxford University Press, New York, NY.

Richardson, D. C., Dale, R. A. C., & Kirkham, N. Z. (2007). The art of conversation is co-ordination: Common ground and the coupling of eye movements during dialogue. Psychological Science, 18, 407-413.

Sobel, D. M., & Kirkham, N. Z. (2007). Bayes nets and Babies: Infants’ developing representations of causal knowledge. Developmental Science, 10, 298-306.

Sobel, D. M., & Kirkham, N. Z. (2006). Blickets and babies: The development of causal reasoning in toddlers and infants. Developmental Psychology, 42, 1103-1115.

Diamond, A., & Kirkham, N. Z. (2005). Not quite as grown-up as we like to think: Parallels between cognition in childhood and adulthood. Psychological Science, 16, 291–297.

Richardson, D.C., & Kirkham, N.Z. (2004). Spatial indexing in adults and six month olds: evidence from eye tracking. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 133, 46-62.

Kirkham, N.Z. , Cruess, L.M., & Diamond, A. (2003). Helping Children Apply their Knowledge to their Behavior on a Dimension-Switching Task. Developmental Science, 6, 449-467.

Kirkham, N.Z., & Diamond, A. (2003). Sorting between theories of perseveration: Performance in conflict tasks requires, attention, and inhibition. Developmental Science, 6, 474-476.

Diamond, A., Kirkham, N.Z., & Amso, D. (2002). Conditions under which Young Children CAN Hold Two Rules in Mind and Inhibit a Prepotent Response. Developmental Psychology, 38, 352-362.

Kirkham, N.Z., Slemmer, J.A., & Johnson, S. P. (2002). Visual statistical learning in infancy: evidence of a domain general learning mechanism. Cognition, 83, B35-B42.

Kirkham, N.Z., Slemmer, J.A., & Johnson, S. P. (2001). Visual statistical learning in infants. Proceedings of the Twenty-third Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, Erlbaum: Mawhah, NJ.

Canfield, R. L., & Kirkham, N. Z. (2001). Infant cortical development and the prospective control of saccadic eye movements. Infancy, 2, 197-211.

Diamond, A., Churchland, A., Cruess, L.M., & Kirkham, N.Z. (1999). Early developments in the ability to understand the relation between stimulus and reward. Developmental Psychology, 35, 1507-1517.

Jacques, S., Zelazo, P.D., Kirkham, N.Z., & Sencesen, T.K. (1999). Rule selection and rule execution in preschoolers: An error-detection approach. Developmental Psychology, 35, 770-780.