Chat Lab

People and contacts

Nicola YuillPortrait of Nicola Yuill

I study how technology can be used to support collaborative work and play in children with typical and atypical development, based on theories of social and cognitive development. My PhD work on Theory of Mind led to research in children's language comprehension, followed by work on understanding language ambiguity in riddles and mothers' conversations with children. This prompted my interest in technology's role in how children learn through conversation - culminating in setting up the ChaTLab.

Samantha Holt

Portrait of Samantha Holt

I am a PhD student at the University of Sussex with a background in psychology.  My research interests are the social cognitive impairments found in children with Autistic Spectrum Conditions and technology to enable them to learn.

Zoe Hopkins

Portrait of Zoe Hopkins

I hold a PhD studentship for the ‘Meeting of Minds in Conversation’ project, which employs a technologically-augmented playset to support the verbal interactions of children with autistic spectrum conditions (ASC). My research is focused on linguistic alignment, and how this can promote better social communication in ASC children. Previously, I worked at the Autism Clinic, within the Institute of Mental Health, Singapore.

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Georgia Leith

Picture of Geortia Leith

My focus is on parent-child interactions during problem-solving activities.  Using the concepts of scaffolding, contingent shifting and self-regulatory behaviours, I explore how the parent supports their child and what factors might influence this support.  The aim of this work is to contribute to research into how to make homework sessions more effective.

Stefan Kreitmayer

Picture of Stefan Kreitmayer

I am a 3rd year full-time PhD student at The Open University and a visiting researcher at ChatLab and also University College London.

Coming from a background in digital media and music composition, my interest is in designing technologies to enable novel face-to-face learning experiences. Particularly, my PhD focuses on how we can help large groups discuss by supporting collaboration through networks of shared tablet computers and public screens.

Rob Lee

photograph of Rob LeeI undertook my MSc dissertation in the ChaTLab, exploring how the computer game Portal scaffolds collaboration between players and the impact this had on their performance on a communication task testing perspective-taking. I also worked as a visiting researcher on the Comfy Birds project and supporting projects in local schools.

My current focus is on an enactive approach to interactions between people, and in particular how the structure of the 

interaction and relationship dynamic affects behaviour within the interaction itself.I hope to explore the potential of collaborative engagement and Theory of Mind as interventions to promote greater understanding and recognition between people. I am seeking funding for a Phd studentship.

Chris Girvan

Picture of Chris Girvan

I am a Doctoral researcher here at the ChaTLab working with Nicola Yuill on the use of technology in supporting collaboration in special schools, mainstream schools and in the home. My previous research has focused on the collaborative processes employed between ASC children when using tablet technology and specific educational software (SCoSS). I am now concentrating on extending this project to include not only ASC children but also typical children, parents and teachers.