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PhD Research Project

Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

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Institution Location

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School of Psychology
Dr J P McCleery
Applications accepted all year round
Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

A variety of brain imaging tools are now available to study human brain functioning and development. One such tool, the event-related potential, is especially useful for measuring the brain activity of infants and children during the first five years of life. In our laboratory, we use event-related potentials (ERPs), along with eye-tracking and behavioural assessments, to study the brain systems involved in the development of social-emotional, social-communicative, and language skills from birth to six years of age. We are also one of only a handful of laboratories in the world that applies this technology to study young children who have been diagnosed with autism. Our on-going research in this area includes studies of infants at risk for developing autism, as well as research on the effects of behavioural intervention on brain functioning.

Based in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham (UK), we offer both PhD and MRes places in our programme for a start of October 2012. If you have a strong academic record with research or clinical training and experience, and are interested in earning your PhD or MRes degree in our laboratory, then we would be interested in hearing from you.

More information about the work going on in our laboratory can be found here:

More information about our postgraduate programmes can be found here:

Inquiries can be sent to Dr McCleery at

Funding Notes:

Partially and fully funded PhD and MRes studentships are available for both top UK/EU and top international/overseas students.

Applications and inquiries are welcomed all year round, but we strongly encourage applications by the end of March to allow an early decision on funding.


Nelson, C. A., & McCleery, J. P. (2008). Use of event-related potentials in the study of typical and atypical development. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 47(11), 1252-1261.

McCleery, J. P., Akshoomoff, N., Dobkins, K. R., & Carver, L. J. (2009). Atypical face versus object processing and hemispheric asymmetries in 10-month-old infants at risk for autism. Biological Psychiatry, 66(10), 950-957.

McCleery, J. P., Ceponiene, R., Burner, K. M., Townsend, J., Kinnear, M., & Schreibman, L. (2010). Neural correlates of verbal and nonverbal semantic integration in children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 51(3), 277-286.

McCleery, J. P., Surtees, A. D. R., Graham, K. A., Richards, J. E., & Apperly, I. A. (2011). Neural and cognitive time-course of theory of mind. Journal of Neuroscience, in press.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 40.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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