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Language and Memory

PGR-RA-100

Expertise of research area
Language and memory; language research; memory; social interaction


<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

The Language and Memory Lab (LaMLab) works on all aspects of memory and language research, in healthy individuals at each point in their lifespan and more specialised population groups.

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p>Language and memory are the foundations of social interaction. The Language and Memory lab (LaMlab)&nbsp;is an active group of staff members and postgraduate students working on all aspects of memory (verbal and&nbsp;nonverbal) and language research, in healthy individuals (across the lifespan) and special populations. Our research addresses several key questions:</p> <ul> <li>How different aspects of language and memory function</li> <li>How they develop and sometimes decline throughout life in different groups</li> <li>Why and when some people experience problems</li> </ul> <p>Our findings help to improve language and memory in vulnerable groups or challenging situations.</p> <h2>Ongoing Projects</h2> <h3>Born in Bradford New Wave</h3> <p>In this large-scale, 5 year project we are following-up families taking part in the&nbsp;<a href="https://borninbradford.nhs.uk/">Born in Bradford</a>&nbsp;(BiB) study, which was set up in 2007 to track the lives of 13,500 babies and their families. We are collecting information from at least 9,000 BiB children aged 7 &ndash; 10 years and their parents. In particular, we would like to understand the factors that affect children&rsquo;s well-being, their cognition and academic achievement and their physical growth.</p> <h3>Assessing functional ability in older adults</h3> <p>The WHO recently proposed a focus-shift from disease and symptoms to functional ability in older adults (WHO, 2015). Functional ability &mdash; to be and to do what the individual values &mdash; is determined by physical and mental ability, as well as the environmental and situational context. However, little is known about what affects functional ability in older adults. This project works directly toward meeting this gap in our understanding, through the development of smartphone-based prototypes designed to assess cognitive and functional ability in older adults.</p> <h3>The Dynamic Assessment of Reading Test (DART) project</h3> <p>We know that 25% of children leave primary school unable to read well and we need to identify these children early. Children starting primary school come from a range of home backgrounds but current screening tests focus on existing knowledge, which is influenced by experience. We propose an alternative; dynamic tasks measure the ability to learn and so could be more accurate screeners &ndash; differentiating children with underlying learning disorders from children who have not had sufficient experience to learn.We are undertaking the first large scale study of dynamic assessment of three components of reading (decoding, orthographic learning and vocabulary) in a UK context.</p> <h2>Facilities and Resources</h2> <p>The School of Psychology has a wide range of specialised&nbsp;<a href="http://medicinehealth.leeds.ac.uk/directory/facilities-medicinehealth?query=&amp;categoryID=41">facilities&nbsp;and resources</a>&nbsp;available for research projects.&nbsp;</p>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>To submit an application in this research area please complete an <a href="https://studentservices.leeds.ac.uk/pls/banprod/bwskalog_uol.P_DispLoginNon">online application form</a> and submit this alongside a research proposal, a full academic CV, degree transcripts (or marks so far if still studying) and degree certificates. If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the Faculty&rsquo;s minimum <a href="https://medicinehealth.leeds.ac.uk/faculty-graduate-school/doc/entry-requirements-1">English language requirements</a>.</p> <p><em>We welcome applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.</em></p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information please contact the Graduate School Office<br /> e:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:fmhpgradmissions@leeds.ac.uk">fmhpgradmissions@leeds.ac.uk</a>, t: +44 (0)113 343 8221.</p>