Head, Principle Investigator
(Head) Professor Caroline Floccia (personal)
Caroline is a PhD graduate from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Science Sociales in Paris, and is the founder of the Plymouth Babylab in 2006. She is mainly interested in the early stages of language acquisition, from speech perception to the lexicon.


Lab Manager
Anna Caunt
Miss Anna Caunt is a Teaching and Research Associate and PhD student under the supervision of Dr Rana Abu-Zhaya. Her research focuses on bilingual infant input and the effect it has on language development. She is interested in non-WEIRD language environments, code-switching and bilingual acquisition and development.


Dr. Chi-hsin (Esther) Chen
Chi-hsin (Esther) is a Lecturer in Developmental Psychology. She is interested in early language and cognitive development. Her research program focuses on three aspects that contribute to early language learning: 1) learning mechanisms, 2) the input children receive in real-time interaction, and 3) how young children’s sensory experience (e.g., with or without hearing loss) influences input and affects learning. She uses multiple methodologies (screen-based experiments, head-mounted eye-tracking, and high-density linguistic and gaze analyses) to investigate how infants, young children, and adults seek information and learn.

Dr Patricia Kanngiesser
Dr Patricia Kanngiesser is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology. Her research focuses on children’s social cognition and social development from a cross-cultural perspective. She is particularly interested in how children across the world learn social norms, how they cooperate, and what enables them to behave ethically. Her research also branches out into topics such as children’s reasoning about nature and into more applied areas such as refugee adolescents’ resilience and well-being.

Dr Allegra Cattani
Dr Allegra Cattani graduated at the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ and completed her Ph.D. at the University of Genova. She worked at the National Research Council of Rome and at the Institute of Developmental Neurology, Psychiatry and Educational Psychology in Pisa. Then, Dr Allegra Cattani moved to the University of Plymouth in 1999. Her research expertise sits largely in early communication and language and its links to cognitive processes and perceptual and motor actions. She has always had enthusiasm in the developmental psychology of young children growing up in different languages and cultures, in particular how language experience (e.g. bimodal/bilingual languages) affects motor, cognitive and social abilities. She also has developed vocabulary test to screen the early word learning of English monolingual and bilingual toddlers.

Dr Alshaimaa Gaber Abdel Wahab
Dr Alshaimaa Gaber Abdel Wahab studied for her PhD at the University of Plymouth and she was awarded the Doctoral of Philosophy in 2020 in the topic of assessing language development in Arabic-speaking monolingual and bilingual toddlers. Her research interests focus on child and adult language acquisition, bilingual acquisition, dialects and accents processing.


Darya Klymenko
Darya is a PhD student on a 1+3 programme funded by ESRC and the SWDTP. She is interested in how exposure to speech variability influences language acquisition in infants. Her PhD will focus on the comparison between infants who grow up in families where both parents speak with the same accent, and families where parents have different accents. Her current Masters project investigates whether regional and foreign accents activate different brain networks, under the supervision of Prof Caroline Floccia.

Delphine Nguyen
Miss Delphine KL Nguyen is a PhD student in Psychology at the University of Plymouth. Her doctoral research is investigating whether technology supports young children’s language development which is essential on a child's long-term health outcomes. Our society is concerned about the effects of mobile devices on children’s language and cognitive development. Her research focuses on the relationship between parental screen time and young children's language development, social robots and word learning in children under the supervision of Prof Caroline Floccia.

Paul Ratnage
Mr Paul Ratnage is a PhD student investigating how phonetically specified infant’s first words are. In particular, He is interested in whether infants show an adult-like bias for consonant information in lexical processing tasks during the first year of life. He is also working on projects examining how unfamiliar accents influence children’s selective attention to audiovisual speech cues and their social preferences under the supervision of Prof Caroline Floccia.


   Nadine Fitzpatrick
   Michaela Gummerum
   Marina Wimmer
   Laurence White
   Jacqueline Turner
   Bazah Almubark
   Samantha Durrant
   Claire Delle Luche
   Belen Lopez Perez
   Beata Grzyb
   Hester Duffy
   Joseph Butler
   Rafalla Farag
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