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NikoLAUS Steinbeis

I obtained my PhD in 2008 from the University of Leipzig. I then joined the University of Zurich as a postdoc before moving to the Max-Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences as a Senior Researcher in 2010 and a group leader in 2014. After research visits to the Weill Cornell Medical College and the Douglas Mental Health University Institute I became Assistant Professor in the Department of Developmental Psychology in 2016 at the University of Leiden. In September 2017 I joined the Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology at UCL as a Principal Research Fellow. My work is funded by the Jacobs Foundation and the European Research Council.


Abi thompson

I'm a post-doctoral research associate in the DCP Lab. Prior to joining I completed an MRC funded PhD in the Forensic & Neurodevelopmental Sciences Department at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience. My PhD research focused on frontal lobe white matter development in autistic children and adults, using diffusion MRI tractography. I then joined Autistica, the UK’s autism research charity, where I was involved in the implementation of the UK’s first national autism research network, Discover. A key part of my role was developing Autistica’s ‘involvement’ strategy, embedding the voices of autistic people at all levels of research. I am interested in both neurodiverse and neurotypical development, and have a particular interest in the frontal lobes.


Claire Smid

I joined the Developmental Change and Plasticity Lab in May 2018 as a PhD student. I previously worked as a Research Assistant at Birkbeck College on the Unlocke project. Before this, I completed an MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at Utrecht University. During my graduate studies, I conducted a research project looking into the influence of comorbidities in psychiatric disorders at the Autism Research Centre of Cambridge University and investigated stress hormones and resilience at the Utrecht University Medical Centre. I am highly interested in individual predictors of learning success, reinforcement learning and the malleability of decision-making in development.


Keertana Ganesan

I joined the DCP Lab in September 2018 as a PhD candidate. Prior to joining the lab, I conducted research as an undergraduate student at the University of Oxford investigating the relationship between psychosis and social rejection. As an MSc student at the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, I examined how social and individual factors may promote mental health resilience amongst bullied individuals. I am interested in understanding mental health outcomes, attentional processes and motivation from a developmental perspective.


Josh Spowage

I joined the lab in January 2018 as a Research Assistant. Prior to this I was a student at the University of York where I completed a BSc in Psychology, followed by an MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience. During my time in York, I worked on projects covering a wide range of topics, including: perception of within-person face variability, the neural underpinnings of mental imagery, and the effects of attentional load on hearing.



My primary interest lies in brain plasticity, how it transforms across the lifespan and potentially utilizing plasticity to improve recovery post-injury.  My previous work includes projects in molecular and cellular biology investigating autophagy and traumatic brain injury at the University of Birmingham. During my MSc at UCL, I investigated decision-making processes using fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging). Prior to this I was awarded a BSc in Psychology at the University of Reading where I conducted research on reward learning and decision-making using Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS), fMRI and behavioral testing measures.


Margot Schel

Former postdoctoral researcher now works as Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Studies at Leiden University.

Ferdinand Hoffmann

Former PhD student now works as postdoctoral researcher at the Developmental Risk and Resilience Unit at UCL

Charlotte Grosse WiesmANN

Former PhD student now works as postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Social Neuroscience at the Max-Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences