Suzanne Pahlman

PhD Student


Professor Annette Karmiloff-Smith

Professor Rick Cooper

Research Interests

I am a second year PhD student on the 4-year Graduate Teaching Assistant programme. This means that I study full time at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development and teach part time at the main Department of Psychological Sciences at Birkbeck.

Internal representations change over development from more implicit to increasingly explicit knowledge as learning proceeds. A theoretical model of these cognitive processes during development has been proposed as Representational Redescription (Karmiloff-Smith, 1992). The purpose of my research is to test and adapt this framework in a computational model for both typical and atypical learning. 

I employ a combined empirical and computational approach, including a cross-syndrome comparison of Williams and Down syndrome. To increase our understanding of underlying cognitive processes in implicit and explicit learning I am currently investigating:

  • different types of sequential learning when children play games on a touchscreen tablet
  • a computational model of reinforcement learning


Postgraduate courses:

  • Introduction to Matlab programming
  • Advanced Matlab programming

Undergraduate courses:

  • General Foundations of Psychology (MSc Psychology cohort)
  • Introduction to Research Methods