Meet The Team

Dr Jeanne Shinskey

Jeanne is the Lab Director of the Royal Holloway Baby Lab and has been working with infants since 1993. She studies cognitive development in infancy and early childhood, with a particular focus on how infants develop mental representations of objects, and learn from books, pictures, and apps. Jeanne also lectures on developmental psychology courses and supervises final-year research projects.

Twitter: @JLShinskey



Rosie Drysdale

Rosie is working towards her PhD in Psychology, researching how babies become aware of themselves and their bodies in the first months and years of life, as well as how the infant and caregiver interact. She is running a study looking at how sensory information from both outside the body (vision, touch) and inside the body (heartbeat) contributes to infants’ self-awareness and social-emotional development. In this study, Rosie uses a range of interesting methods, including eye tracking, which shows where babies are looking on a screen, and ECG, which measures babies’ heartbeats. Rosie’s last research project focused on how 4-6 month old babies learn about touch, and how this helps them to develop empathy. In this study, she used a special technique to study how the brain responds to touch, called EEG.


Twitter: @Rosie_Drysdale

Dr Amber Muhinyi

Amber is a postdoctoral researcher, currently working on the Baby Books Project with Dr Jeanne Shinskey (Principal Investigator) and Dr Jessie Ricketts (Co-Investigator). Amber’s previous research has focused on parent-child book sharing as a context for preschoolers’ language development, and on the role of early book-sharing interactions in infants’ language development. The Baby Books Project will assess 1-year-olds’ learning of words from educational picture books read by parents at home for several weeks. Specific objectives are to establish how infants’ word learning is affected by the book’s 1) pictorial features such as realism; 2) tactile features such as texture (i.e., touch-and-feel books).



Grace Pocock

Grace is working towards a PhD degree in Psychology. She researches what children can learn from ‘educational’ apps and what features makes these apps educational (or not!). She investigates whether preschoolers can learn letter sounds from apps, and how this learning compares to learning from traditional methods such as books. In the future, she will also investigate how interaction with apps and books affects learning and enjoyment outcomes, as well as the potential benefits of co-using apps.


Twitter: @Grace_1102