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Centre for Neuroscience in Education

Welcome to the Centre for Neuroscience in Education

CNE staff & students

The Centre was established in 2005, and was the first of its kind in the UK. We are based in the School of Biological Sciences (Department of Psychology) on the Downing Site having moved from the Faculty of Education in 2010. We retain strong links with the Faculty and shared grants (e.g. Education Endowment Foundation). The Centre's goal is to apply the substantial advances in understanding the brain to education.

The main research programmes in the Centre aim to establish the basic parameters of brain development in the cognitive skills critical for education. For example, we aim to understand how the brain functions and changes during the development of reading and maths, also by exploring the development of related skills such as language, memory, numerosity and attention.

In 2016 Professor Usha Goswami was awarded ERC funding to examine rhythm processing in early language development, specifically during infancy. Learning how the typically-developing brain processes rhythm from the “get-go”, across the senses of hearing, vision and limb movement, should eventually help us to improve language learning for all children - and in all languages.

Visit the CNE BabyLab team for more information . . .                 CNE BabyLab


The Research

Scientists in the CNE use a variety of non-invasive techniques, including event related potentials (ERPs) to measure changes in both adult's and children's brain activity. ERPs are tiny variations in electricity measurable from the scalp when someone is processing information. The researchers also study the variations from typical developmental trajectories that characterise learning disorders such as dyslexia and dyscalculia. For an introduction into EEG, click the image: Introduction to EEG


Information on ERPs can be accessed by clicking on this image: ERP


For Teachers & Parents

A short document on dyslexia research is available for download. This may be of specific interest to parents and educators:  "CNE dyslexia research: educational implications"  paper


A radio interview with Professor Usha Goswami on Cambridge 105 about the way babies learn to speak can be heard by clicking here

A documentary programme aired on BBC 4 television featured the work of Professor Usha Goswami and the Centre for Neuroscience in Education, see "Growing Children - Dyslexia"

Goswami, U. Child Psychology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press Child Psychology: A Very Short Introduction

This Very Short Introduction provides an up-to-date, authoritative, and accessible guide to modern child psychology, from birth to early adolescence. Beginning with infancy, Usha Goswami considers the process of attachment and 'bonding', showing how secure attachments enable the development of self-understanding. Exploring childhood learning, ranging from aspects of language and thinking to cognitive reasoning, Goswami looks at how babies and toddlers develop an understanding of the physical, biological, and social worlds, and develop complex abilities like language and morality... 

[Download the book's Reference List paper here]


Funding Organisations

Current and past funding organisations for the Centre's research include: the Botnar Foundation, Basel; the ERC; Education Endowment Foundation (EEF); James S McDonnell  Foundation; Wellcome Trust; Medical Research Council; The Nuffield Foundation; The Leverhulme Trust; the European Union (STREP 6); the ESRC.



« June 2020 »


This project, supported by the Wellcome Trust and Education Endowment Foundation, is investigating the ways in which the development of phonological awareness through ‘rhyme analogy’ can affect how children learn to read. The children will use a computer-based task called GraphoGame Rime .

Please find here the link to the GraphoGame Teacher Guide.

Nuffield Foundation  

Nuffield Briefing Report

Rhythmic perception, music and language: A new theoretical framework for understanding and remediating Specific Language Impairment (SLI)