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How Do Children Make Sense of the World? (MalcolmGU20PSY)

Faculty of Social Sciences

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Dr G Malcolm , Dr L Ewing No more applications being accepted Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Understanding our visual world feels effortless, we simply open our eyes and see. However, the underlying processes are complex: our brain creates an incomplete representation of the visual world that is greatly affected by neural maturity and previous experiences. This raises the question as to how children – whose brains are not yet fully developed and who have limited visual experiences to rely upon – understand their world differently to adults. The focus of this PhD is to begin outlining how children view and make sense of scenes across different age groups and into adulthood. The researcher will have a chance to use eye-tracking, behavioural experiments (including drawing tasks) and EEG to create novel approaches investigating visual scene processing in young children.

Further enquiries should be directed to Dr George Malcolm ([Email Address Removed]). Project will be in collaboration with Dr Louise Ewing ([Email Address Removed]).

For more information on the supervisor for this project, please go here: https://people.uea.ac.uk/g_malcolm

This is a PhD programme.

The start date of this project is October 2020.

The mode of study is full-time/part-time. The length of studentship is 3 years for a full-time student and 6 years for a part-time student.

Funding Notes

This PhD project is in a School of Psychology competition for funded studentships. These studentships are funded for 3 years and comprise of home/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £15,009.

Entry requirements:

Acceptable first degree in Psychology or relevant other discipline.

The standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1.

Masters or equivalent experience.


i) Malcolm, G. L., Groen, I. I., & Baker, C. I. (2016). Making sense of real-world scenes. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 20(11), 843-856.

ii) Bainbridge, W. A., Hall, E. H., & Baker, C. I. (2019). Drawings of real-world scenes during free recall reveal detailed object and spatial information in memory. Nature communications, 10(1), 5.

iii) Helo, A., Pannasch, S., Sirri, L., & Rämä, P. (2014). The maturation of eye movement behavior: Scene viewing characteristics in children and adults. Vision research, 103, 83-91.

iv) Meissner, T. W., Nordt, M., & Weigelt, S. (2019). Prolonged functional development of the parahippocampal place area and occipital place area. Neuroimage, 191, 104-115

v) Batty, M., & Taylor, M. J. (2002). Visual categorization during childhood: an ERP study. Psychophysiology, 39(4), 482-490
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