CBCD's Ori Ossmy featured on BBC Brain Hacks!

CBCD Lecturer Ori Ossmy was filmed in the ToddlerLab for BBC's 'Brain Hacks' documentary series. Check out his insight on why babies are the best learners, even compared to Chat GPT!

Fine motor skills in young children linked to later GCSE scores and behaviour

Published research from CBCD PhD student Aislinn Bowler involving assessments of over 9500 children identifies link between fine motor skills in toddlers and later GCSE scores and behaviour. Fine motor skills in young children, for example drawing, folding paper and block building, may play an important role in the pathway between infancy and later educational and behavioural outcomes in primary and secondary school. Importantly, the researchers found preschool fine motor skills were linked to better GCSE scores and fewer behavioural problems in childhood and adolescence. Read more here: Birkbeck Press Release. Full article here: Biological Psychiatry

Behind the scenes in our ToddlerLab!

Birkbeck filmed behind the scenes in our ToddlerLab to celebrate the University's 200th birthday! Listen to our professor Emily Jones discuss the aims of the ToddlerLab, and see a sneak peek of one of research fellow Chiara Bulgarelli's studies in our virtual reality lab, the CAVE!  

Professor Denis Mareschal offers expert comment on infants artwork preferences

The Guardian article "Adults’ penchant for Van Gogh mirrored in babies" covered research from the University of Sussex which our centre director, Professor Denis Mareschal gave expert comment on. “In a nice nod to Goldilocks, infants prefer to explore stimuli that are neither too simple nor too complex to decipher, spending the longest time exploring stimuli that are ‘just right’”.… 

Listen to our wonderful Chiara Bulgarelli describe her research into empathy with toddlers

CBCD research fellow Chiara Bulgarelli is interviewed by BabyBrains for their WoW podcast. Click the link to learn more about Chiara's research with toddlers and the development of empathy.  

The Londonist visits the ToddlerLab!

The ToddlerLab recently had a visit from a reporter for The Londonist - an online publication aimed at Londoners. Read Charlotte's description of our labs and what we do here:

Konnie Huq visits the BabyLab for new BBC One TV show!

CBCD Phd student Claire Essex and Professor Tim Smith were filmed at the BabyLab for Konnie Huq's new BBC One TV show "Kids' TV: The Surprising Story". Full episode available on iPlayer, look out for Claire and Tim at 9'10" in! 

Educational charity Learnus visits the ToddlerLab!

The ToddlerLab was pleased to showcase our new research labs and facilities with a visit from Learnus, a charity specialising in bringing research innovations in neuroscience to educators. They created a video so you can learn more about why we created the ToddlerLab and what we hope to achieve from our director, Denis Mareschal. The video is a great introduction to our exciting new labs! Watch here.

Findings from our research into brain activity in subtypes of Autism

Professor Emily Jones' flagship research into Autism was featured in 'Autism Eye'. Click here to read more!

CBCD Professor Gillian Forrester showcasing research at this year's Glastonbury Festival!

Prof Forrester, taking the aim of public engagement to the max, will be showcasing her research on great apes and the development of language in humans at Glastonbury's 'Science Futures' area. This gives festival-goers insight into the role of science in identifying environmental and societal issues as well as the scientists working to find solutions. Read more here

Our ToddlerLab was officially opened by the Lord Mayor of London!

We are happy to announce our ToddlerLab is open and ready to showcase our innovative research with babies, toddlers and children! Learn more here or see a recent article in the Evening Standard.

The ToddlerLab in The Guardian

We see what’s happening in their brain: inside the ToddlerLab

Read more:

The ToddlerLab in the NewScientist

A new kind of brain scan is letting us understand how toddlers think

Professor Tim Smith featured on BBC Radio 4's 'Archive on 4'

Listen to CBCD Professor Tim Smith chat to film critic Robbie Collin about how our brains process and react to films of varying format, from Tik Tok to wide screen. From 34'50"

ToddlerLab featured in 'Times' article

"Is my toddler smarter than a squirrel?" - read the article to find out!… 

Inside the ToddlerLab - with the Guardian's scientific correspondent Linda Geddes

In this Guardian article you can read about how we are harnessing cutting edge wearable tech to investigate development through toddlerhood and beyond at the new Wohl Wolfson Toddlerlab. 

Feature on The ToddlerLab in The New Scientist

Our brand new ToddlerLab was recently featured in The New Scientist. Check out this great video to see how we are utilising technological advances to understand what is going on in the minds of young children.

The article is available to read here


Professor Gillian Forrester's research into great apes' puzzle-solving abilities is featured in 'New Scientist' video

CBCD's Professor Gillian Forrester is interested in the early development of motor skills as a precursor to language development. Her amazing research investigating how great apes solve puzzles may shed insight into how human baby and children's motor skills and language develop. Check out the video here!

Do Touchscreens Make Toddlers More Distractible?

CBCD researcher Dr Ana Portugal was featured in this Verywell Family article discussing the latest findings from The TABLET Project.

Babylab featured in CBBC’s ‘Operation Ouch!’

On 17th February 2021 the Birkbeck Babylab featured in the award-winning children’s television series ‘Operation Ouch!’. The episode showcased current cutting-edge research Louisa Gossé is conducting at the BabyLab, examining what happens in babies’ brains during sleep. Watch on BBC iPlayer

Learn 21c - INTERLEARN 21st Century Learning Conference

Last week the INTERLEARN cohort of PhD students presented their PhD research during an online symposium! Talks were on sleep, active learning, touch, atypical development and individualised learning. Missed it? You can find the recordings of the talks here

Eye gaze research from CBCD's Dr Atsushi Senju referenced for CNN presidential debate opinion peice

Dr Atsushi Senju's review of eye contact effect was referenced in a CNN opinion piece analysing President Donald Trump’s and Joe Biden’s body language during the first 2020 presidential election debate.

First infant scientist visits the newly reopened Babylab!


On Friday, the Babylab reopened its doors to the public for the first time since March. It was a delight to welcome our first infant scientist and parent back to the lab! The successful visit proves our enhanced safety measures are effective. The hardest part is social distancing from wonderful babies, but it's well worth it to keep research progressing and everyone safe. Hoping to see many more budding young scientists through our doors in the coming months!

The journal 'Nature' published research by Prof Emily Jones with findings from the STAARS study linking infant brain activity to childhood intelligence

New research from the CBCD shows that measuring the brain activity of babies could help us predict cognitive development from toddlerhood to childhood. Where there are concerns, this would enable interventions to be made earlier, leading to better outcomes in later life. Click here to read the article in Nature or here to read more from Birkbeck

An interesting article about our soon to open TodderLab was published in The Times.

16/5/2020 "Toddler lab aims to decode young minds"

Prof Emily Jones on Woman's Hour


Struggling to work from home while taking care of your children at the same time? Listen to our very own Prof Emily Jones for tips and advice! Click here to listen from about 45:00.

Results from UnLocke project - How neuroscience can inform a maths and science learning activity

3 October 2019

The newest results from the UnLocke - Project, a collaboration between the Centre for Educational Neuroscience and Learnus, show that a neuroscience-based educational program can indeed improve primary school maths and science performance. An excellent example of how research can inform educational practice and have an impact in real life. To read more about their fascinating project click here and/or watch this video! They are also on twitter: @UnLockeCEN  

Me, Human at Live Science

4 September 2019

Watch this video to learn about the important work that Dr. Gillian Forrester is doing. You can take part until the 30th of September by visiting her and her research team at the Science Museum here in London! All ages are welcome, its free to attend and open Tuesday to Saturday. Also check out their twitter: @Me_Human !!

MP Chris Skidmore visits the Babylab

15 July 2019

We had the honour of MP Chris Skidmore visiting our Babylab this morning. Read his speech including a special mention of the lab!

Cycling 5000km to raise money for the world's first Toddler Lab

16 - June 2019

Rob Hargreaves, a former student of CBCDs own Natasha Kirkham is currently cycling 5000km across Europe from Paris to the Arctic circle to Berlin to raise money for our new toddler lab. Want to know more about him and how his journey is going?

Follow him on twitter: @HargreavesRJ / #RobsBikeRide and read this article… . 

Inspired by Rob's action to help the progress of developmental science?

You don't have to cycle 5000km to make a contribution! Simply use this link and donate: ToddlerLab

Teen Brain Film

19th March 2019

Dr Georgina Donati and Dr Annie Brookman-Byrne have created a great short film about the adolescent brain.  They are currently collecting tips and strategies from teachers that draw on this science so that these can be shared.  You can see the film and give feedback through the Centre for Educational Neuroscience website.  You can also follow them on twitter @teenbrainfilm.

Screen time before bed puts infants at risk for anxiety, obesity and poor sleep

29 January 2019

New research from Birkbeck, the University of Lincoln, Imperial College London, and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basel, Switzerland shows an association between various health risks and screen time before bed.  Read more about it here.

The Psychologist: Room to roam in new ToddlerLab

May 2018

This article discusses the purpose of Birkbeck's most recent project: building the world's first ToddlerLab!

Read more about it here:… 

Wired: Meet London's Babylab, where scientists experiment on babies brains'

25 March 2013

This article gives a brief description of what happens in the Babylab, including overarching goals and research findings.


Read more about it here:

Revealed: The serious science behind a baby's laugh

24 October 2012

The Independent discusses the Baby Laughter project, which investigates what makes babies laugh and smile, giving us an insight into their understanding of the world.

Read more about it here:…

BBC Future: The secret world of babies

28 March 2018

A visit to the babylab from a parent's perspective; this article covers methodologies used in the Babylab, including functional near infrared spectroscopy (sNIRS) and eye-tracking.

Read more about it here: 


Guardian Live: should you let your baby use a tablet?

18 June 2015

The TABLET project, led by Dr Tim Smith, looks at how the use of touchscreen devices may influence infants' development.

Read more abut it here:…

Here's a link to the project's website:

Nature article: The Big Baby Experiment

4 November 2015

This article provides a nice description of a typical visit to the Babylab.

Read more about it here:



The Telegraph article: How incy-wincy spider could show if your child is autistic

18 August 2018

The Telegraph wrote an interesting article on Autism, featuring the Babylab's Dr Sarah Lloyd-Fox; she comments on applications of the British Autism Study of Infant Siblings (BASIS).

Read more about it here:… 


CBCD Faculty members appear in a new BBC documentary, Babies: Their Wonderful World

19th November 2018

CBCD Faculty, Drs Emily Jones and Tim Smith, will be appearing in the first episode of Babies: Their Wonderful World on Monday 26th November at 21:00 on BBC2. This is the first of a three-part series for which Tim acted as the science consultant. CBCD present and ex members feature highly throughout: Dr Sara Lloyd Fox is in the second episode, and Dr Emily Jones also appears again.


How the Brain Imaging for Global HealTH (BRIGHT) project is helping babies in Gambia

30th October 2018

Since recording the first brain images of babies in Africa, Professor Clare Elwell, part of the Brain Imaging for Global HealTH (BRIGHT) network, of which Birkbeck is a member, has been leading a pioneering study to increase our understanding of early brain development. In a new article, Clare discusses bringing a new imaging technology to a remote Gambian village, and how it could help babies suffering from malnutrition to reach their full potential. 


Motor development in neurodevelopmental disorders highlighted at the BASIS scientific meeting

21st September 2018

On 21st September, over 100 researchers, along with parents taking part in the British Autism Study of Infant Siblings (BASIS), attended the BASIS annual scientific meeting, kindly sponsored by The Waterloo Foundation. This year, our special topic was motor development in neurodevelopmental disorders. Read more about it here.

Dr Sarah Lloyd-Fox wins prestigious Wiley and British Academy Psychology Prize

17th September 2018

The Babylab’s Dr Sarah Lloyd-Fox has won the prestigious Wiley and British Academy 2018 prize in Psychology for her impressive body of research studying infants across the globe.  The prize is awarded every two years for promising early career work by a UK based psychologist.  Congratulations Sarah!  

Click here for the full interview:

Click here to read more about her research: 

Symposium in honour of Annette Karmiloff-Smith

Understanding children’s cognitive development – past, present and future

27-28 March 2018

For recordings of select speakers click here.

The Queen's Anniversary Prize

The CBCD was awarded the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher Education.




Marie Curie Training Centre of Excellence

The CBCD and affiliated laboratories has recently been granted "Marie Curie Centre of Excellence in Training" status by the European Commission. The award came with six 3-year fully funded postgraduate fellowships that we have recently filled.