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Department of Psychology


Announced today, Dr Sarah Loiyd-Fox, one of the 41 fellows that will investigate a diverse range of challenges from the effects of poverty on child development to climate change and next generation mobile networks, with the time, freedom and encouragement to cross boundaries and disciplines in pursuit of excellence

We know remarkably little about the development of babies’ brains in the first days and months of life. Furthermore, while we know poverty in childhood impacts on academic achievement, mental health and economic status we know almost nothing about how it affects early brain development as most research is done in older children and adults. Sarah has been developing a non-invasive and safe technique which uses light to detect activity in babies’ brains, called functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). This tool, which looks like a swimming cap with wires, is transportable – so she can scan babies in their homes. In this fellowship Sarah will investigate baby’s brain development and how it is altered by poverty both here in the UK and in Africa, and work with communities to develop and test interventions to enable parents to support early child development.

“This fellowship will enable me to radically change the way we study families living in low resource areas by bringing tools to measure brain development into the home and engaging with communities to create intervention programmes for parents to support early child development. It’s wonderful to have a fellowship that allows long-term continuity for my research and career progression around part-time childcare commitments.” 


Congratulations to Dr Sarah Lloyd-Fox for obtaining one of the very competitive UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships