Dr Dean D'Souza

Lecturer in Psychology

Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

School:Psychology and Sport Science

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Brain & Cognition

Dean is interested in various aspects of brain and cognitive development in both typically developing infants/toddlers and those with neurodevelopmental disorders (autism, Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, Williams syndrome).

dean.dsouza@anglia.ac.uk
Find out more about Dean’s research via the ELAN lab

Background

Before joining ARU in 2017, Dean was studying atypical development at Birkbeck, University of London, and investigating the effects of bilingualism on brain and cognitive development at UCL.

For his PhD, which he completed under the supervision of Professor Annette Karmiloff-Smith and Professor Mark Johnson at Birkbeck’s Centre for Brain & Cognitive Development, Dean investigated early cognitive and neurophysiological processes that underlie language development in infants at high risk of developing autism and children with different neurodevelopmental disorders (Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, Williams syndrome).

Research interests

Dean is interested in typical and atypical neurocognitive development. He is particularly interested in understanding how early language and cognitive abilities emerge in typically and atypically developing populations, by studying the interplay of various factors (eg visual attention, multimodal integration, parent-child interaction) across domains, modalities, and levels of description, over developmental time.

Find out more about our Psychology PhD.

Areas of research supervision

  • Typical and atypical neurocognitive development

Teaching

Dean is Module Leader of Atypical Development and Theoretical Foundations in Psychology.

Qualifications

  • PhD Psychology (Birkbeck, University of London)
  • MSc Cognitive Neuroscience (Birkbeck-UCL, University of London)
  • BSc Psychology (Birkbeck, University of London)
  • MA Philosophy (The Open University)

Memberships, editorial boards

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

Research grants

  • 2018 The British Academy – Which attentional processes in infancy are most predictive of later developmental outcomes? Dean D'Souza, Michael Thomas, Emily Farran, Sarah Kuppen, & Hana D’Souza (£10,000.00)
  • 2018 The Waterloo Foundation – What early processes in infancy are most predictive of later developmental outcomes in children with Down, fragile X, and Williams syndrome? Dean D'Souza, Michael Thomas, Emily Farran, Sarah Kuppen, & Hana D’Souza (£10,000.00)
  • 2017 Better Data – Embodied language development: Using head-mounted cameras and LENA to understand word learning in atypically developing toddlers. Hana D'Souza & Dean D’Souza (£1,934.00)
  • 2017 Autour des Williams – What early processes in infancy have the greatest impact on later developmental outcomes in children with Williams syndrome? Dean D'Souza, Hana D’Souza, Emily Farran, & Michael Thomas (£13,062.33)
  • 2016 British Academy Small Grant – Raising bilingual children: the effects of exposure to a bilingual environment on cognitive development in infants. Dean D'Souza, Peter Bright, & Roberto Filippi (£9,900.00)
  • 2014 Williams Syndrome Foundation – Neurocognitive studies on Williams syndrome. Dean D’Souza (£3,000.00)
  • 2012 The Waterloo Foundation – Are early behavioural and neurophysiological markers syndrome-specific? A cross-syndrome comparison. Dean D'Souza, Hana D’Souza, Tim Smith, Gaia Scerif, & Annette Karmiloff-Smith (£32,200.00)
  • 2012 Autour des Williams –Alterations in domain-relevant mechanisms constrain language acquisition in Williams syndrome by Dean D'Souza, Hana D’Souza, & Annette Karmiloff-Smith (£4,000.00)

Consultancy

  • Families of the Williams Syndrome Foundation

Knowledge exchange

  • 2013 Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience Fellowship, Lake Tahoe, California, USA
  • 2012 The Visceral Mind, Bangor University, Wales
  • 2011 Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience Fellowship, University of California at Santa Barbara, California, USA
  • 2010 Cornell University Summer Institute Fellowship, Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, USA

Selected recent publications

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., Horvath, K., Plunkett, K., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (under review). Sleep constrains language development in atypically developing infants: A cross-syndrome infant study.

D’Souza, H., & D’Souza, D. (under review). The emerging phenotype in infants with Down syndrome: Adaptations to atypical constraints. In J. Edgin & J. Burack (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Down Syndrome and Development. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

D’Souza, D., Brady, D., Quiroz, I., & D’Souza, H. (in principle acceptance [registered report]). Is mere exposure enough? The effects of bilingual environments on infant cognitive development. Royal Society Open Science.

D’Souza, D., & D’Souza, H. (in press). Emergent and constrained: understanding brain and cognitive development. Journal of Neurolinguistics.

Filippi, R., D’Souza, D., & Bright, P. (2018). A developmental approach to bilingual research: The effects of multi-language experience from early infancy to old age. International Journal of Bilingualism. Prepublished January 1, 2018, DOI: 10.1177/1367006917749061

D’Souza, D., & Filippi, R. (2017). Progressive modularization: reframing our understanding of typical and atypical language development. First Language, 37(5), 518-529.

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2017). Precursors to language development in typically and atypically developing infants and toddlers: the importance of embracing complexity. Journal of Child Language, 44(3), 591-627.

Soukup-Ascençao, T., D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2016). Parent-child interaction as a dynamic contributor to learning and cognitive development in typical and atypical development. Infancia y Aprendizaje, 39(4), 694-726.

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., Johnson, M. H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2016). Audio-visual speech perception in infants and toddlers with Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, and Williams syndrome. Infant Behavior and Development, 44, 249-262.

D’Souza, D., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2016). Why a developmental perspective is critical for understanding human cognition. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 39, e122.

D’Souza, D., & D’Souza, H. (2016). Bilingual language control mechanisms in anterior cingulate cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex: A developmental perspective. The Journal of Neuroscience, 36(20), 5434-5436.

D’Souza, D., Booth, R., Connolly, M., Happé, F., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2016). Rethinking the concepts of ‘local or global processors’: Evidence from Williams syndrome, Down syndrome, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Developmental Science, 19(3), 452-468.

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., Johnson, M. H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2015). Concurrent relations between face scanning and language: A cross-syndrome infant study. PLOS ONE, 10(10), e0139319.

D’Souza, D., Cole, V., Farran, E. K., Brown, J. H., Humphreys, K., Howard, J., Rodic, M., Dekker, T. M., D’Souza, H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2015). Face processing in Williams syndrome is already atypical in infancy. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 760.
[Selected for inclusion (pp. 60-68) in: Meinhardt-Injac, B., & Hildebrandt, A. (Eds.). (2017). Face perception across the life-span. Lausanne: Frontiers Media.]

Arzi, A., Banerjee, S., Cox, J. C., D’Souza, D., et al. (2014). The significance of cognitive neuroscience: Findings, applications, and challenges. In M. S. Gazzaniga & G. R. Mangun (Eds.), The Cognitive Neurosciences (5th Ed.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Karmiloff-Smith, A., D’Souza, D., Dekker, T. M., Van Herwegen, J., Xu, F., Rodic, M., & Ansari, D. (2012). Genetic and environmental vulnerabilities in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109, 17261-17265.

Karmiloff-Smith, A., Broadbent, H., Farran, E. K., Longhi, E., D’Souza, D., Metcalfe, K., Tassabehji, M., Wu, R., Senju, A., Happé, F., Turnpenny, P., & Sansbury, F. (2012). Social cognition in Williams syndrome: Genotype/phenotype insights from partial deletion patients. Frontiers in Psychology, 3, 168.

D’Souza, D., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2011). When modularization fails to occur: A developmental perspective. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 28, 276-287.

Manuscripts in Preparation

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., Johnson, M. H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (in prep). Visual orienting constrains language development: A cross-syndrome infant/toddler study.

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., Johnson, M. H., Gliga, T., Guiraud, J., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (in prep). Cognitive and neurophysiological predictors of language development in infants with Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, and Williams syndrome.

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., Johnson, M. H., Gliga, T., Guiraud, J., & Karmiloff-Smith (in prep). Neural habituation as a predictor of language development: Insights from a cross-syndrome design.

Recent presentations and conferences

Invited talks

D’Souza, D., and D’Souza, H. (2018, May). Cognitive and motor development in infants and toddlers with Williams syndrome. The Williams Syndrome Foundation, U.K.

D’Souza, D. (2017, May). Neurocognitive constraints on language development in typically and atypically developing infants. Department of Psychology, Swansea University, Swansea, UK.

D’Souza, D. (2017, May). Precursors to language development in typically and atypically developing infants. Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck, University of London, London, UK.

Conference Talks

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., Horvath, K. & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2017, September). Sleep constrains language development in atypically developing infants: A cross-syndrome study. BPS Developmental Psychology Section Annual Conference, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK.

D’Souza, D. (2017, June). Raising bilingual children: the effects of bilingual environments on infant cognitive development. The Bi-/Multilingualism and the Declining Brain Workshop, University of Reading, Reading, UK.

D’Souza, D., D’Souza, H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2017, March). Constraints on language development in toddlers with fragile X syndrome. The Fragile X Syndrome Research Workshop, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Invited Outreach Talks

D’Souza, D. (2018, July). Advice for early career researchers: Research funding. British Psychological Society (BPS) Research Funding Workshop, Cambridge, UK.

Media experience

Dean wrote a blog (and commentaries) for The Guardian and contributes to The Conversation.