Personal profile

Research interests

For more about my research, please see my lab's website using the link below.

The Neuroscience of Communication Development Lab:

Personal profile

I am a developmental cognitive neuroscientist investigating how language is organised in the developing brain. I am interested in brain organisation in typical and atypical development. My work has revealed brain differences in several developmental communication disorders, such as DLD and stuttering.

My current research focuses on understanding how motivation and reward influence language learning, using behavioural, computational and MRI techniques. With funding from the Academy of Medical Sciences, I am examining reward and motivation for reading, including in children with dyslexia. In new work, funded by the Medical Research Council, I will be examining reward and motivation processes for language learning in children with DLD and autistic children.


I initially qualified as a speech and language therapist in India, and then completed an MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience in London (joint program, UCL & Birkbeck). I then pursued a PhD at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development at Birkbeck. After receiving my PhD in 2014, I held postdoctoral positions at UCL and Oxford. At Oxford, I was the postdoctoral lead for the BOLD (Brain Organisation in Language Development) study, a large-scale neuroimaging study to understand how the brains of those with developmental language disorder differ from those who are developing typically. I moved to Royal Holloway as a Lecturer in 2019, and was promoted to Reader in 2022. I have received several awards for my work, including the APS Rising Star designation, the BPS Neil O’Connor prize. I received a commendation from the British Neuroscience Association for my open science leadership.



Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Birkbeck, University of London


Award Date: 31 Jan 2015

MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience and Cognitive Neuropsychology, UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience


Award Date: 1 Sept 2009

Bachelors in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology, Manipal University


Award Date: 1 Oct 2008

External positions

Junior Research Fellow, Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford

1 Oct 201730 Sept 2020

Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford

1 Sept 201529 Apr 2019

Research Associate, UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience

1 Oct 201431 Aug 2015

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Birkbeck University of London


Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or