Alphablocks Research Lab

Alphablocks Nursery School’s mission is to provide outstanding early education, empowering children to become confident learners. A great deal is already known about how this can be done effectively, but a lot more remains to be discovered.

Alphablocks Research Lab conducts fundamental research on early cognition and development, in collaboration with leading experts in developmental psychology and education.

Theory of mind & social cognitive abilities in children

Theory of mind is a crucial component of social cognition, which is fundamental for social competence. These abilities are at the heart of what it takes for a child to grow into a well-adjusted person, with better life outcomes and fewer challenges to their well-being. In this project, we examine the role of theory of mind and social cognition in risk-taking behaviours later in life, and in mental health trajectories from childhood through to adolescence.

The role of greenspace & the built environment on child development

A new and exciting area of research is geopsychology, which examines how the built environment and wider ecology affects psychological development. Recent findings suggest that children growing up in neighbourhoods with pollution, traffic and crime are at risk of adverse health and developmental outcomes (including asthma, obesity, cognitive impairment, anxiety, depression and behavioural problems). On the other hand, access to green spaces has been linked to positive outcomes for children, including improved cognitive function, reduced stress and anxiety, and greater physical activity.