I joined Swansea University in September 2013. Prior to this I was a Lecturer in Developmental Psychology at Bangor University. I specialise in child development from early social and cognitive development in babies through to late adolescence. My Ph.D. entitled "The determinants of imitation in infants and young children was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and was supervised by Prof Pauline Horne and Dr. Mihela Erjavec. In the last few years I have started to develop research in the areas of cognitive development during puberty, and the potential influences of video games on adolescents and adults (I currently hold a small BA/Leverhulme grant on this topic). I use many techniques to conduct my research, such as behavioural and observation studies, questionnaire designs and GSR, EEG, and eye-tracking.

I am the Director of the Swansea Playlab

Areas of Expertise

  • Early imitation
  • Infancy
  • Developmental psychology
  • Cognitive neuroscience
  • Emotion regulation
  • Adolescence

Publications

  1. Ellis, C., Kuipers, J., Thierry, G., Lovett, V., Turnbull, O., Jones, M., Lovett, V. Language and culture modulate online semantic processing Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
  2. Turnbull, O., Lovett, V., Chaldecott, J., Lucas, M., Lovett, V. Reports of intimate touch: Erogenous zones and somatosensory cortical organization Cortex 53 146 154
  3. Turnbull, O., Lovett, V., Lovett, V. Bridging the gap between neuroscience and psychoanalysis (Ed.), From the Couch to the Lab: Trends in Neuropsychoanalysis 186 206 Oxford Oxford University Press
  4. Erjavec, M., Lovett, V., Horne, P., Lovett, V. Do infants show generalized imitation of gestures? II: The effects of skills training and multiple exemplar matching training Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 91 3 355 376
  5. Horne, P., Erjavec, M., Lovett, V., Lovett, V. The effects of modelling, local stimulus enhancement, and affordance demonstration on the production of object-directed actions in 6-month-old infants British Journal of Developmental Psychology 27 2 269 281

Teaching

  • PSA112 Social & Developmental Psychology

    This module introduces students to the major theories and empirical issue in social and developmental psychology. The social psychology component of the module covers core topics such as: attitudes; attributions; conformity and obedience; person perception; interpersonal attraction; stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. The developmental psychology component addresses issues such as: infancy and early social development, and theories of cognitive development in infancy and childhood.

  • PSY112 Social and Developmental Psychology

    This module introduces students to the major theories and empirical issues in social and developmental psychology. The social psychology component of the module covers core topics such as: attitudes; attributions; conformity and obedience; person perception; interpersonal attraction; stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. The developmental psychology component addresses issues such as: infancy and early social development, and theories of cognitive development in infancy and childhood.

  • PSY212 Development Across the Lifespan

    The first half of the module will explore age related changes in cognitive and moral development from early infancy to late adolescence. It will also consider the other major changes that occur in adolescence including social, biological, and neurological changes and how this might impact on normative development in this sensitive period. The second half will deal with health ageing in comparison to age-related disorders such as mild cognitive impairment and dementia. These issues will be considered in terms of brain anatomy and function as well as the effect on the individual and society. Current methods in ageing and developmental research will also be discussed.

  • PSY302 Development Across the Lifespan

    The first half of the module will explore age related changes in cognitive and moral development from early infancy to late adolescence. It will also consider the other major changes that occur in adolescence including social, biological, and neurological changes and how this might impact on normative development in this sensitive period. The second half will deal with health ageing in comparison to age-related disorders such as mild cognitive impairment and dementia. These issues will be considered in terms of brain anatomy and function as well as the effect on the individual and society. Current methods in ageing and developmental research will also be discussed.

  • PSY319 Final Year Independent Research Project

    Students conduct an independent research project under the supervision of a member of staff. The research topic is decided in conjunction with supervisors and Research topics. Students must obtain ethical approval, design, conduct, analyse and write up a piece of research in order to achieve Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Society (BPS).

  • PSY325 Independent Research Project - Joint Honours

    Students conduct an independent research project under the supervision of a member of staff. Students must obtain ethical approval, design, conduct, analyse and write up a piece of research in order to achieve Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Society.

Supervision

  • What can psychophysiological factors tell us about the likelihood of future cognitive decline (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Andrea Tales
    Other supervisor: Dr Stephen Johnston
  • Parent-athlete relationships in youth sport: An examination of responsive parental support. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Camilla Knight
  • Investigating the Determinants of Imitation in Infants and Young Children (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Christoph Weidemann
  • Understanding Elite youth Atheletes' Knowledge and Perceptions of Sport Psychology (awarded 2018)

    Student name:
    MSc
    Other supervisor: Dr Camilla Knight
  • 'The relationship between human performance on random interval and random ratio schedules of reinforcement, performance awareness and rule governed behaviour' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Phil Reed

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Head of Year One Undergraduate Psychology - College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University

    2014 - Present