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Dr Rachael Elward

My research focuses on the cognitive neuroscience of learning and memory in typical and atypical development. I work with typically developing people as well as young people with memory disorders at The UCL Great Ormond Street Institute for Child Health. I am a Senior Lecturer at the Division of Psychology at London South Bank University.

Rachael Elward, PhD

I'm interested in the cognitive neuroscience of learning and memory. That is, how the brain is able to store all the information that we acquire over our lifetime. Some of this information is learned very readily (i.e. when children learn language in infancy), and some memories can be easily recalled even after decades have passed, while other information is difficult to learn, or is forgotten quickly.


In my research, I take a lifespan development perspective, so I study how the memory system develops over childhood, how memory functions in adulthood, and why memory abilities decline in older age. These questions are important for education, for supporting people that have memory disorders, and for supporting older adults who are suffering from age-related memory impairments.

I use a range of neuroscience techniques including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), eye-tracking, alongside cognitive science. The combination of these methods enables me to investigate which areas of the brain are involved in memory-related processing, the time-course of these processes, and the ways in which these processes differ across development.

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