The Sussex Baby Lab

Baby playing with coloured rings

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Sharing the findings

Public Engagement

Our research findings are published in scientific journals. We also like to share our findings with the general public. 

You may have seen us in the BBC, The Guardian, The Times, Junior Baby and Pregnancy Magazine and many other national and international media outlets. 


Some of our previous public engagement events include:

British Science Festival Baby Art Gallery

In collaboration with the British Science Festival 2017, the Sussex Baby Lab curated a Baby Art Gallery combining art and science. Using eye-tracking, we recorded baby's eye movements when shown different artworks. We formulated this on a heatmap which was superimposed on top of the original art to show what babies were interested in looking at. 

For those who missed the Baby Art Gallery, we have made a highlight video of the event.  

A special report about our event was also reported on BBC News. Check out the video below.

Filskit Theatre - Kaleidoscope

Filskit Theatre visited the Sussex Baby Lab to learn about how a baby's vision develops and how they instinctively begin to categorise colour. Our research inspired their show, 'Kaleidoscope' - an interactive performance of all things colourful and shiny, specifically designed for babies 6-18 months old.

Flying Eye - GLOW

Flying Eye collaborated with Professor Anna Franklin at the Sussex Baby Lab to learn about the physiological and emotional development of infants. Our research inspired their award-winning show, GLOW, which was a playful and sensitive yet dynamic sensory experience for babies, toddlers and their carers.


Scientific Journals

Rogers, M., Witzel, C., Rhodes, P., Franklin, A. (2020). Color constancy and color term knowledge are positively related during early childhood, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 196, 104825,

Ludlow, A., Giannadou, A., Franklin, A., Allen, P., Simmons, D., Wilkins, A. (2020). The possible use of precision tinted lenses to improve social cognition in children with autism spectrum disorders. Vision Research. 170, 53-59.

Skelton, A. & Franklin, A. (2020). Infants look longer at colours that adults like when colours are highly saturated, Psychonomic bulletin & review,  27, 78-85. 


 Maule, J. & Franklin, A. (2019). Color categorization in infants. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 30, 163-168.

 Bosten, J., Alvaro, L., Alvarez, J., Meyer, B., Tang, T., Maule, J. & Franklin, A. (2019). Tablet-based app for screening CVD in young children. Journal of Vision, 19(8), 71.


Cong, Y. Q., Junge, C., Aktar, E., Raijmakers, M., Franklin, A. & Sauter, D. (2018). Pre-verbal infants perceive emotional facial expressions categorically. Cognition and Emotion, 1-13. doi:10.1080/02699931.2018.1455640

Maule, J., Stanworth, K., Pellicano, E. & Franklin, A. (2018). Color afterimages in autistic adults. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 48(4), 1409-1421. doi:10.1007/s10803-016-2786-5


Rothen, N., Bartl, G., Franklin, A., & Ward, J. (2017). Electrophysiological correlates and psychoacoustic characteristics of hearing-motion synaesthesia. Neuropsychologia, 106, 280-288. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2017.08.031

Forder, L., Xun, H. & Franklin, A. (2017). Colour categories are reflected in sensory stages of colour perception when stimulus issues are resolved. PLoS ONE, 12(5). e0178097. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0178097

Skelton, A.E., Catchpole, G., Abbott, J.T., Bosten, J.M. & Franklin, A. (2017). Biological origins of color categorization. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114(21), 5545-5550. doi:10.1073/pnas.1612881114

Maule, J., Stanworth, K., Pellicano, E. & Franklin, A. (2017). Ensemble perception of colour in autistic adults. Autism Research, 10(5), 839-851. doi:10.1002/aur.1725

Forder, L., Bosten, J., He, X. & Franklin, A. (2017). A neural signature of the unique hues. Scientific Reports, 7. a42364. doi:10.1038/srep42364


Forder, L., Taylor, O., Mankin, H., Scott, R.B. & Franklin, A. (2016). Colour terms affect detection of colour and colour-associated objects suppressed from visual awareness. PLoS ONE, 11(3). e0152212. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0152212

Rogers, M., Knoblauch, K. & Franklin, A. (2016). Maximum likelihood conjoint measurement of lightness and chroma. Journal of the Optical Society of America, A, 33(3), A184-A193. doi:10.1364/JOSAA.33.00A184

Maule, J. & Franklin, A. (2016). Accurate rapid averaging of multihue ensembles is due to a limited capacity sub-sampling mechanism.  Journal of the Optical Society of America, A, 33(3), A22-A29. doi:10.1364/JOSAA.33.000A22

Brooker, A. & Franklin, A. (2016). The effect of colour on children's cognitive performance. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 86(2), 241-255. doi:10.1111/bjep.12101


Álvaro, L., Moreira, H., Lillo, J. & Franklin, A. (2015). Color preference in red-green dichromats.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(30), 9316-9321. doi:10.1073/pnas.1502104112

Maule, J. & Franklin, A. (2015).  Effects of ensemble complexity and perceptual similarity on rapid averaging of hue. Journal of Vision15(6). doi:10.1167/15.4.6

Wright, O., Davies, I.R.L. & Franklin, A. (2015). Whorfian effects on colour memory are not reliable. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 68(4), 745-758. doi:10.1080/17470218.2014.966123

Elliot, A.J., Fairchild, M.D. & Franklin, A. (2015). Handbook of color psychology. Cambridge University Press.

Franklin, A. (2015). The development of color categorization. In Elliot, A.J., Fairchild, M.D & Franklin, A. (Eds.) Handbook of color psychology.  Cambridge University Press, in press.


Bird, C., Berens, S., Horner, A. & Franklin, A. (2014). Categorical encoding of color in the brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(12), 4590-4595. doi:10.1073/pnas.1315275111

Witzel, C. & Franklin, A. (2014). Do focal colors look particularly colorful? Journal of the Optical Society of America, 31(4)A365-A374. doi:10.1364/JOSAA.31.00A365

Xun, H., Witzel, C., Forder, L., Clifford, A. & Franklin, A. (2014.) Color categories only affect post-perceptual processes when same- and different-category colors are equally discriminable. Journal of the Optical Society of America, 31(4)A322-A331. doi:10.1364/JOSAA.31.00A322

Maule, J., Witzel C. & Franklin, A. (2014). Getting the gist of multiple hues: metric and categorical effects on ensemble perception of hue. Journal of the Optical Society of America, 31(4), A93-A102. doi:10.1364/JOSAA.31.000A93

Ludlow, A., Heaton, P., Hill, E. & Franklin, A. (2014). Colour obsessions and phobias in Autism Spectrum Disorders: the case of J.G. Neurocase, 20(3), 296-306. doi:10.1080/13554794.2013.770880

Franklin, A., Skelton, A. & Catchpole, G. (2014). The case for infant colour categories. Carole Biggam et al. (Eds). Progress in Colour Studies. John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Franklin, A. (2014). Infant hue categories. Chapter in: Ronier Luo (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Color Science and Technology. Springer.


Bannisy, M.J., Tester, V., Muggleton, N.G., Janik, A.B., Davenport, A., Franklin, A., Walsh, V. & Ward, J. (2013). Synesthesia for color is linked to improved color perception, but reduced motion perception. Psychological Science, 24(12), 2390-2397. doi:10.1177/0956797613492424 

Taylor, C., Clifford, A. & Franklin, A. (2013). Color preferences are not universal. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 142(4), 1015-1027. doi:10.1037/a0030273 

Farran, E.K., Cranwell, M.K., Alvarez, J. & Franklin, A. (2013). Colour discrimination and categorisation in Williams syndrome. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34(10)3352-3360. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2013.06.043

Taylor, C., Schloss, K., Palmer, S. & Franklin, A. (2013). Color preferences in infants and adults are different. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 20(5), 916-922. doi:10.3758/s13423-013-0411-6


Clifford, A., Franklin, A., Holmes, A., Drivonikou, G.V., Ozgen, E., & Davies, I.R.L. (2012). Neural correlates of acquired color category effects. Brain and Cognition, 80, 126-143. doi:10.1016/j.bandc.2012.04.011

Taylor, C. & Franklin, A. (2012). The relationship between color-object associations and color preference: Further investigation of Ecological Valence Theory. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 19(2)190-197. doi:10.3758/s13423-012-0222-1

Franklin, A., Gibbons, E., Chittenden, K, Alvarez, J. & Taylor, C. (2012). Infant color preference for red is not selectively context specific. Emotion, 12(5), 1155-1160. doi:10.1037/a0025333


Franklin, A. & Sowden, P. (2011). Colour in Autism Spectrum Disorders. In Biggam, Carole P., Hough, Carole, Kay, Christian & Simmons, David R.C. (Eds.), New Directions in Colour Studies. John Benjamins, Amsterdam, NL.

Drivonikou, G.V., Clifford, A., Franklin, A. & Davies, I.R.L. (2011). Category training affects colour discrimination but only in the right visual field. In Biggam et al. (Eds.), New Directions in Colour Studies. John Benjamins, Amsterdam, NL.

Clifford, A., Franklin, A., Holmes, A. & Davies, I.R.L. (2011). Investigating the underlying mechanisms of categorical perception of colour using the Event-Related Potential technique. In Biggam et al. (Eds.), New Directions in Colour Studies. John Benjamins, Amsterdam, NL.


Clifford, A., Holmes, A., Davies, I.R.L. & Franklin, A. (2010). Color categories affect pre-attentive color perception. Biological Psychology, 85(2)275-282. doi:10.1016/j.biopsycho.2010.07.014

Franklin, A., Catherwood, D., Alvarez, J. & Axelsson, E. (2010). Hemispheric asymmetries in categorical perception of orientation in infants and adults. Neuropsychologia, 48(9)2648-57. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2010.05.011

Franklin, A., Sowden, P., Notman, L., Gonzales-Dixon, M., West, D., Alexander, I., Loveday, S. & White, A. (2010). Reduced chromatic discrimination in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Developmental Science, 13, 188-200. doi:10.1111/j.1467-7687.2009.00869.x

Franklin, A., Bevis, L., Ling, Y. & Hurlbert, A. (2010). Biological components of infant colour preference. Developmental Science, 13(2), 346-354. doi:10.1111/j.1467-7687.2009.00884.x


Franklin, A. (2009). Pre-linguistic categorical perception of colour cannot be explained by colour preference: response to Roberson and Hanley. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 13(12), 501-502. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2009.10.006

Clifford, A., Franklin, A., Davies, I.R.L. & Holmes, A. (2009). Electrophysiological markers of categorical perception of color in 7-month old infants. Brain and Cognition, 71(2), 165-172. doi:10.1016/j.bandc.2009.05.002

Holmes, A., Franklin, A., Clifford, A. & Davies, I.R.L. (2009). Neurophysiological evidence for categorical perception of colour. Brain and Cognition, 69(2), 426-434. doi:10.1016/j.bandc.2008.09.003

Franklin, A., Wright, O. & Davies, I.R.L. (2009). What can we learn from toddlers about categorical perception of colour? Comments on Goldstein, Davidoff, and Roberson. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 102(2), 239-245. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2008.08.003

Overview of Franklin, Drivonikou, Clifford et al. in ‘Editor’s Choice’ section of Science: Chin, G. (2009). ‘Reading from left to right.’ Science, 322, 1610.


Franklin, A., Drivonikou, G.V., Clifford, A., Kay, P., Regier, T. & Davies, I.R.L. (2008). Lateralization of categorical perception of color changes with color term acquisition. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 105(47), 18221-18225. doi:10.1073/pnas.0809952105

Franklin, A., Sowden, P., Burley, R., Notman, L. & Alder, E. (2008). Colour perception in children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38(10), 1837-47. doi:10.1007/s10803-008-0574-6

Franklin, A., Pitchford, N.J.P., Mahony, L., Davies, I.R.L., Clausse, S. & Jennings, S. (2008). Salience of primary and secondary colours in infancy. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 26(4), 471-483. doi:10.1348/026151007X256672

Franklin, A., Drivonikou, G.V., Bevis, L., Davies, I.R.L., Kay, P. & Regier, T. (2008). Categorical perception of color is lateralized to the right hemisphere in infants, but to the left hemisphere in adults. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 105(9), 3221-3225. doi:

2007 and pre-2006

Drivonikou, G.V., Kay, P., Regier, T., Ivry, R., Gilbert, A., Franklin, A. & Davies, I.R.L. (2007). Further evidence of Whorfian effects to the right visual field. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 104(3), 1097-1102. doi:10.1073/pnas.0610132104

Franklin, A., & Davies, I.R.L. (2006). Converging evidence for pre-linguistic colour categorisation. In C.P Biggam & N. Pitchford (Eds.), Progress in Colour Studies: Psychological Aspects (pp. 101-120). John Benjamins: Amsterdam, NL.

Franklin, A., (2006). Constraints on children’s colour term acquisition. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 94(4), 322-327. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2006.02.003

Daoutis, C., Franklin, A., Riddett, A., Clifford, C. & Davies, I.R.L. (2006). Categorical effects in children’s colour search: a cross-linguistic comparison. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 24(2), 373-400. doi:0.1348/026151005X51266

Franklin, A., Pilling, M. & Davies, I.R.L. (2005). The nature of infant colour categorisation: Evidence from eye-movements on a target detection task. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 91(3), 227-248. doi:

Franklin, A., Clifford, A., Williamson, E. & Davies, I.R.L. (2005). Colour term knowledge does not affect categorical perception of colour in toddlers. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 90(2), 114-141. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2004.10.001

Franklin, A. & Davies, I.R.L. (2004). New evidence for infant colour categories. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 22(3), 349-377. doi:10.1348/0261510041552738

Davies, I.R.L. & Franklin, A. (2002). Categorical similarity may affect colour pop-out in infants after-all. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 20(2), 185-203. doi:10.1348/026151002166406