Dr Dean D'Souza

Lecturer in Psychology

Faculty:Faculty of Science & Technology

Department:Psychology

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Brain & Cognition

Dean is interested in various aspects of brain and cognitive development in both typically developing infants/toddlers and those with neurodevelopmental disorders (autism, Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, Williams syndrome).

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dean.dsouza@anglia.ac.uk
Find out more about Dean’s research via the ELAN lab or read his blog.

Background

Before joining our department in 2017, Dean was investigating the effects of bilingualism on brain and cognitive development at UCL and atypical development at Birkbeck, University of London. For his PhD, which he completed under the supervision of Professor Annette Karmiloff-Smith and Professor Mark Johnson at Birkbeck’s Centre for Brain & Cognitive Development, Dean investigated early cognitive and neurophysiological processes that underlie language development in infants at high risk of developing autism and children with different neurodevelopmental disorders (Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, Williams syndrome).

Research interests

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  • Attention
  • Language
  • Typical and atypical development

Dean is interested in typical and atypical neurocognitive development. He is particularly interested in the factors (e.g., attention, sleep) that constrain brain and cognitive development in both typically developing infants/toddlers and those with neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, Williams syndrome).

Dean is a member of our Language & Cognition Research Area and our Child Development Research Area which form part of our Brain and Cognition Research Group.

Find out more about our Psychology PhD.

Areas of research supervision

Typical and atypical neurocognitive development.

Teaching

Dean is Module Leader of ‘Atypical Development’ and ‘Theoretical Foundations in Psychology’.

Qualifications

  • PhD Psychology (Birkbeck, University of London)
  • MSc Cognitive Neuroscience (Birkbeck-UCL, University of London)
  • BSc Psychology (Birkbeck, University of London)
  • MA Philosophy (The Open University)

Memberships, editorial boards

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  • 2017 Fellow of the Cambridge Philosophical Society (FCPS)
  • 2013 NIH Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience Fellowship – Lake Tahoe, California, USA
  • 2011 NIH Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience Fellowship – University of California at Santa Barbara, California, USA
  • 2010 Cornell University Summer Institute Fellowship – Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

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  • Consultancy, from 2012 onwards: Families of the Williams Syndrome Foundation  2017
  • Better Data – Embodied language development: Using head-mounted cameras and LENA to understand word learning in atypically developing toddlers by Hana D'Souza & Dean D’Souza (£1,934)
  • 2017 Autour des Williams –What early processes in infancy have the greatest impact on later developmental outcomes in children with Williams syndrome? By Dean D'Souza, Hana D’Souza, & Michael Thomas (£13,062)
  • 2016 British Academy Small Grant – grant for a research project entitled Raising bilingual children: the effects of exposure to a bilingual environment on cognitive development in infants by Dean D'Souza, Peter Bright, Mark Johnson, & Roberto Filippi (£9,900)
  • 2014 Williams Syndrome Foundation (Neurocognitive studies of infants and toddlers with Williams syndrome by D’Souza & Karmiloff-Smith) £3,000
  • 2013 Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience Fellowship (Lake Tahoe, California, USA)
  • 2012 The Waterloo Foundation (Are early behavioural and neurophysiological markers syndrome-specific? A cross-syndrome comparison by D’Souza, Kyjonková, Smith, Scerif, & Karmiloff-Smith) £32.2k
  • 2012 Autour des Williams (Alterations in domain-relevant mechanisms constrain language acquisition in Williams syndrome by D’Souza, Kyjonková, & Karmiloff-Smith) £4.5k
  • 2011 Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience Fellowship (University of California at Santa Barbara, California, USA)
  • 2010 Cornell University Summer Institute Fellowship (Cornell University, NY, USA)

Selected recent publications

D’Souza, D., Brady, D., D’Souza, H., Quiroz, I., Johnson, M. H., & Filippi, R. (under review). Raising bilingual children: the effects of bilingual environments on infant cognitive development.

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., Horvath, K., Plunkett, K., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (under review). Sleep constrains language development in atypically developing infants: A cross-syndrome infant study.

Filippi, R., D’Souza, D., & Bright, P. (under review). A developmental approach to bilingual research: The effects of multi-language experience from early infancy to old age.

D’Souza, D., & Filippi, R. (2017). Progressive modularization: reframing our understanding of typical and atypical language development. First Language, 1-12 [Pre-published on Online First].

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2017). Precursors to language development in typically and atypically infants and toddlers: the importance of embracing complexity. Journal of Child Language, 44(3), 591-627.

Soukup-Ascençao, T., D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2016). Parent-child interaction as a dynamic contributor to learning and cognitive development in typical and atypical development. Infancia y Aprendizaje, 39(4), 694-726.

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., Johnson, M. H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2016). Audio-visual speech perception in infants and toddlers with Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, and Williams syndrome. Infant Behavior and Development, 44, 249-262.

D’Souza, D., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2016). Why a developmental perspective is critical for understanding human cognition. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 39, e122.

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., Johnson, M. H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2015). Concurrent relations between face scanning and language: A cross-syndrome infant study. PLOS ONE, 10(10), e0139319.

D’Souza, D., Cole, V., Farran, E. K., Brown, J. H., Humphreys, K., Howard, J., Rodic, M., Dekker, T. M., D’Souza, H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2015). Face processing in Williams syndrome is already atypical in infancy. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 760.

D’Souza, D., Booth, R., Connolly, M., Happé, F., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2015). Rethinking the concepts of “local or global processors”: Evidence from Williams syndrome, Down syndrome, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Developmental Science. doi: 10.1111/desc.12312 [Epub ahead of print].

Arzi, A., Banerjee, S., Cox, J. C., D’Souza, D., et al. (2014). The significance of cognitive neuroscience: Findings, applications, and challenges. In M. S. Gazzaniga & G. R. Mangun (Eds.), The Cognitive Neurosciences (5th Ed.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Karmiloff-Smith, A., D’Souza, D., Dekker, T. M., Van Herwegen, J., Xu, F., Rodic, M., & Ansari, D. (2012). Genetic and environmental vulnerabilities in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109, 17261-17265.

Karmiloff-Smith, A., Broadbent, H., Farran, E. K., Longhi, E., D’Souza, D., Metcalfe, K., Tassabehji, M., Wu, R., Senju, A., Happé, F., Turnpenny, P., & Sansbury, F. (2012). Social cognition in Williams syndrome: Genotype/phenotype insights from partial deletion patients. Frontiers in Psychology, 3, 168.

D’Souza, D., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2011). When modularization fails to occur: A developmental perspective. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 28, 276-287.

Recent presentations and conferences

Invited talks

D’Souza, D., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2014, November). Neurocognitive studies of infants and toddlers with Williams syndrome. Paper presented at the European Williams-Beuren Syndrome Conference, Federation of European Williams Syndrome Associations and the Hungarian Williams Syndrome Association, Budapest, Hungary.

D’Souza, D. (2014, October). Are early cognitive and neurophysiological markers of autism syndrome-specific? A cross-syndrome comparison. Paper presented at the 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting of the British Autism Study of Infant Siblings (BASIS), London, UK.

D’Souza, D. (2014, June). Variations in basic-level attentional mechanisms have differential effects on language acquisition: A cross-syndrome study. Paper presented to members of the Child and Brain Development research program, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, London, UK.

D’Souza, D. (2014, March). Developmental Disorders and Genetics. Paper presented at the Specialist Registrars Training Day, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, UK.

D’Souza, D. (2014, March). Neurocognitive studies of infants and toddlers with fragile X syndrome. Paper presented at the Fragile X Society, London, UK.

D’Souza, D. (2013, June). Are early cognitive and neurophysiological markers of autism syndrome-specific? A cross-syndrome comparison. Paper presented at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck, University of London, London, UK.

D’Souza, D. (2013, May). Neurocognitive studies of infants and toddlers with Williams syndrome. Paper presented to Autour des Williams, Dijon, France.

D’Souza, D. (2012, February). Speech/pitch discrimination in toddlers with Williams syndrome: An electrophysiological study. Paper presented at the Institute for Research in Child Development, University of East London, London, UK.

D’Souza, D. (2011, May). Rethinking local processing. Paper presented at an Academic Meeting of the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Unit, UCL Institute of Child Health, London, UK.

Conference presentations (talks)

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., Horvath, K. & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2017, September). Sleep constrains language development in atypically developing infants: A cross-syndrome study. BPS Developmental Psychology Section Annual Conference, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK.

D’Souza, D. (2017, June). Raising bilingual children: the effects of bilingual environments on infant cognitive development. The Bi-/Multilingualism and the Declining Brain Workshop, University of Reading, Reading, UK.

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2017, March). Constraints on language development in toddlers with fragile X syndrome. The Fragile X Syndrome Research Workshop, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2016, September). Neurocognitive constraints on language development in infants and toddlers with Down syndrome. The Down Syndrome Research Forum 2016, Down Syndrome Education International, York, UK.

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., Horvath, K. & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2016, June). Sleep and language development: A cross-syndrome infant study. The Neurodevelopmental Disorders Seminar Series, UCL Institute of Education, London, UK.

D’Souza, D. (2014, July). Are early neurophysiological markers of ASD syndrome-specific? A cross-syndrome comparison. Paper presented at the XIX Biennial International Conference on Infant Studies, International Society on Infant Studies, Berlin, Germany.

Conference presentations (posters) - selected out of 10+ posters

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2017, March). Neurocognitive constraints on language development in typically and atypically developing infants. Poster presented at the second biennial International Convention of Psychological Science (ICPS), Vienna, Austria.

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2016, Aug-Sept). Neurocognitive constraints of language development in typically and atypically developing infants. Poster presented at the ‘Early experience and sensitive periods in development’ workshop, International School of Neuroscience, The Ettore Majorana Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture, Erice, Italy.

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., Horvath, K. & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2016, May). Sleep and language development: Insights from a cross-syndrome study. Poster presented at the XX Biennial International Conference on Infant Studies, International Society on Infant Studies, New Orleans, USA.

Media experience

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Dean has written a blog for The Guardian.