Dr Ross Vanderwert

Dr Ross Vanderwert

Lecturer

School of Psychology

Email:
vanderwertr@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2068 8826
Location:
Tower Building, 70 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT

Research summary

My primary research interests are in the role of early experiences (parent-infant relationships, environmental, and individual  differences) that promote healthy brain development and in identifying factors that may place an individual at risk for psychopathology. I am interested in infant, child, and adult development and I employ various behavioural and neuroimaging techniques, including eye-tracking, electroencephalogram (EEG),  and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS).

Undergraduate education

2003
B.A.: Psychology and  Mathematics
St. Olaf College,  Minnesota, USA

Postgraduate education

2012
Ph.D.: Developmental  Science
University of  Maryland, College Park, USA

Employment

2012-2015
Postdoctoral  Research Fellow
Labs of Cognitive  Neuroscience
Boston Children’s  Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts, USA

2008-2012
Special Volunteer
National Institute  of Child Health and Human Development
National  Institutes of Health, Maryland, USA

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2010

2009

Modules taught

Current

Neurodevelopmental Disorders 2: Cognition & emotion (MSc in Children's Psychological Disorders)

Research Methods in Developmental Psychology (Final year)

Developmental Psychology Practical (Second year)

Former

Developmental Psychopathology (Final year)

Research topics and related papers

My current research focuses on the influence of pacifiers (dummies) on infants' ability to regulate emotions, process emotions in others, and understanding parents' decisions to allow their infant to use pacifiers. Pacifiers are controversial among practitioners who have identified a number of potential negative health effects on the infant. However, very little research has examined the psychological effects of pacifier use on either the baby or the family as a whole. We know that parenting a young infant can be a stressful period and pacifiers may help reduce some of that distress. We are currently in the process of collecting and analysing data from three studies surrounding issues related to pacifier use in infants.

My other research interests include understanding how adverse childhood experiences impact neural development and function, how emerging social biases in infancy contribute to risk or resilience to mental health in adolescence, and how motor development can impact how we understand our social environment (including our families and peers).

Funding

"Implications of pacifier use for the development of emotional competence."  British Academy/Leverhulm Small Research Grant

Ph.D. Students

Kai Thomas

Kelsey Frewin

Charlotte Findlay

Postgraduate research interests

If you are interested in applying for a PhD, or for further information  regarding my postgraduate research, please contact me directly (contact details available on the 'Overview' page), or submit a formal application here.

Current students

Kai Thomas 

  • Topic: Understanding risk factors for disordered eating

Past projects

Previous students

coming soon

Media activities

coming soon