skip to primary navigationskip to content

Cambridge Developing Cognition Lab.


CDCL logo



CDCL Director: Professor J. Russell

MA (Oxon), PhD (London), Reader in Cognitive Development
Fellow of Queens' College

Tel: 01223 333553


Current projects in the CDCL


Confused babyA. Future thinking and the development of imagination in young children. If you have a child aged between three-and-a-half and six-and-a-half years you can help us with this study (see below).

B. What do babies understand about other people’s goal directed actions? At what age are infants able to perform goal-directed actions themselves? (now complete - summary of findings to follow later in the year)

C. Episodic memory project (now complete - summary of findings to follow soon).

D. Why do young children think they are invisible when they shut their eyes? For a link to our work on this see Russell, Gee, and Bullard.


Volunteers wantedAiden's artwork

A: Future Thinking study: Here comes the train!

Calling all parents of 3.5- to 6.5-year-old children...

We are interested in learning about how and when children develop the ability to envisage events in the near future. We believe this ability is closely related to the ability to recall past events to mind (episodic memory). In the study a toy train travels around a track and passes by a wall with a little window through which children can gaze on to the track. The train is painted two different colours. Children are shown pictures and videos of the train passing the window and asked to select the one which shows what the train will look like when it eventually passes the window. We also test children on 5 further tasks which examine in turn (i) their understanding of the link between knowledge and sense modality (ii) understanding of temporal order markers in language (iii) their ability to mentally rotate objects (iv) the ability to think about conditional statements about future and past events and (v) receptive vocabulary. 

Will you be able to bring your child into the lab to help us with this study? We will give you £8 for your expenses and your child will receive a special CDCL t-shirt. Click here for more details.

B: Goal direction actions in infancy

This study is now complete. Thanks to all who helped!

Thank you to all the parents, babies and toddlers who helped out with these series of studies. They are currently being written up as part of Richard O'Connor's PhD thesis. If you are a parent of with a young baby visiting the site after finding one of my flyers, please note that infant psychology research is still going on at various other sites in Cambridge. If you would like to take part, please visit for more information.   

C: Episodic Memory Project

This study is now complete. Thank you to all who helped!

Thank you to every one who helped with our 'fun in the jungle' study and our 'music box' study. We have submitted the findings of latter for publication and should be able to share those findings with you very soon once our manuscript has been accepted for publication. 

CDCL Personnel

Professor James Russell: , 01223-333553
Dr Patrick Burns: , 01223-764413
Richard O'Connor: , 01223-766315