Meet the researchers

Infant and Child LaboratoryThe Birmingham Infant and Child Laboratory is run by a team of researchers and research students with interests in different aspects of infant and child development.

You can read more about each person's work by clicking on the links below, or more about our current research projects here.

Project leaders

Ian Apperly
Sarah Beck
Jackie Blissett
Gill Harris 
Andrea Krott
Joe McCleery


Dr Ian Apperly
0121 414 3339
i.a.apperly@bham.ac.uk
Personal website

I study perspective-taking from infancy right through to adulthood. I am especially interested in social perspective-taking - how it is that children come to understand what other people want, and what they see and think?

And I am just beginning to study how children's perspective-taking grows out of the social abilities seen in infants, and continues to develop into the sophisticated abilities we have as adults.


Dr Sarah Beck Dr Sarah Beck
Tel: 0121 414 4902
s.r.beck@bham.ac.uk
Personal website

I am interested in how children learn about knowledge. How good are children at recognising things they can be sure about and things they should be uncertain about? In my studies children play simple games, such as a hide and seek game where they have to guess where something is hidden.

I also use eye tracking to see where children look when they are uncertain about something. This can tell us about the different possibilities they are considering.


  Dr Jackie Blisset
Tel: 0121 414 3340
j.blissett@bham.ac.uk
Personal website

Dr Jackie Blissett's research focuses on how parents interact with their infants and children, particularly when eating. Her research has looked at how parents feed their children, the different feeding practices that parents use, and the child characteristics that make some children easy or more difficult to feed.

Amongst other things, Dr Blissett's recent research has shown that:

  • Children's characteristics, such as how sensitive children are, make a large difference to how successful parents are at getting their children to eat fruit and vegetables!
  • Fathers also have an important role to play in their children's eating behaviour. The eating attitudes and behaviours of mums and dads have a different relationship with children's eating depending on whether your child is male or female.
  • Parents who are experiencing more mental health problems also experience more problems when feeding their children. Anxiety, depression and eating disorders can make feeding children particularly difficult.
  • Family approaches are successful when intervening with childhood obesity.

Dr Gill Harris
Tel: 0121 414 4934
g.harris@bham.ac.uk
Personal website


Dr Andrea Krott
Tel: 0121 414 4903
a.krott@bham.ac.uk
Personal website

I am interested in how children learn so many words in such a short time and how they learn so quickly how to pronounce them correctly.

For instance, at around the end of the second year, children learn between 10 and 20 words per week.

My main research focus has been on children's acquisition of words that refer to relations between objects. I have investigated how children understand the relations in novel noun combinations.

For example, why is it that children think that an 'animal lorry' is a lorry with animal pictures on it rather than a lorry for animals?


Dr Joe McCleery Dr Joe McCleery
Tel: 0121 414 9775
joe.mccleery@gmail.com
Personal website

I am interested in typical and atypical social-emotional, social-communicative, and language development. The primary focus of my research is on young children diagnosed with autism, as well as infants who are at risk for autism and other developmental and psychiatric disorders.