The Cognitive Basis of Social Communication and Ageing

Previous news

Congratulations to Dr Heather Ferguson who was awarded the University of Kent’s prestigious prize for ‘excellence in research’!

Today we are testing our first ‘real’ participant! We’ve done lots of pilot testing and everything’s running smoothly so we’re excited that real data collection has begun! You might have seen some of our adverts in the locals newspapers or on KMFM radio- a big thank you to all those who have expressed interest, we’ve had such a great response and filling up spaces quickly. We couldn’t do any of this without you!

Congratulations to Dr Lizzie Bradford who passed her PhD viva today with no corrections! A huge well done from us all!

Applications are invited to join our research team on a funded 3-year PhD studentship, examining whether ToM ability can be enhanced through training specific EF skills, and how these training effects differ across a broad and dynamic age range (10 to 80+ yrs old). The studentship will be undertaken under the supervision of Dr Heather Ferguson and Dr Victoria Brunsdon, starting in September 2016. The deadline for applications is 1 March 2016; all materials, including references, must be received by that date. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed and a decision made by 1 April 2016. For more information about eligibility and how to apply, please see the full advertisment at

Happy new year and welcome to Lizzie Bradford who joins the CogSoCoAGE team as a Postdoctoral researcher for the next three years. Lizzie joins us from the University of St Andrews, where she completed her PhD exploring how Theory of Mind abilities relate to executive function skills and cultural biases, under the supervision of Dr Juan-Carlos Gomez and Dr Ines Jentzsch. Welcome to Kent, Lizzie!

Today marks a massive milestone in the project- our massive battery of experimental tasks, assessments and questionnaires are finalised, programmed and ready to go! All the new equipment is either ordered or has arrived and we’re excited to get the new lab set up to start collecting data in the new year. Merry Christmas everyone, and watch this space for news on our recruitment…

Congratulations to Dr Victoria Brunsdon who passed her PhD viva today with no corrections! This is hugely impressive- well done!

Today we are starting to pilot test some of our new tasks, while planning and programming is still going on behind the scenes to prepare the full set of tasks. All on track to start real testing in the new year!

We have now received full ethical approval for our research with adults and children! That means that we fully comply with the British Psychology Society code of ethics, in agreement with the 1998 Data Protection Act.

We welcome two new postgraduate students to the CogSoCoAGE team- Chanel Carpenter and Galina Donevska are completing their MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience/Neuropsychology in the School of Psychology. Chanel is examining whether we attribute reduced mental states to children and how this impacts on perspective-taking, and Galina is examining whether vestibular stimulation can enhance our ability to see things from other peoples’ point of view.

CogSoCoAGE officially kicked off today, with Victoria Brunsdon taking up her post as a Postdoctoral researcher for the next five years. Victoria joins us from the department of Social Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry at Kings College London, where she recently completed her PhD entitled, Exploring the fractionation of autism spectrum disorder at the cognitive level, under the supervision of Professor Francesca Happé. Welcome to Kent, Victoria!