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Centre for Family Research



My main research interest lies in understanding how the early environment shapes the developing brain. I am particularly interested in how early adversity, as is frequently experienced by children in low- and middle-income countries, affects their developmental outcomes. As part of this work, I am dedicated to expand our limited knowledge on what child development looks like in non-WEIRD (western, educated, industrialised, rich, democratic) settings across the world. My PhD in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London examined infant nerodevelopment in context of poverty-related risk in a cohort in rural Gambia, West Africa. Upon completion of my PhD in 2019, I joined the Centre for Family Research as an ESRC postdoctoral fellow to work with Professor Claire Hughes. As I continue my postdoctoral research at CFR, I am collaborating with several projects including the Evidence for Better Lives Study (EBLS, and the Brain Imaging for Global Health project (BRIGHT, and the Hong Kong arm of the Ready or Not project (


  • infant brain development
  • early adversity
  • global health


Key publications: 
Katus L, Foley S, Murray AL, Luong-Thanh BY, Taut D, Baban A, Madrid B, Fernando AD, Sikander S, Ward CL, Osafo J, Marlow M, Du Doit S, Walker S, Van Vo T, Fearon P, Vadebenito S, Eisner M & Hughes C (2022). Perceived Stress During the Prenatal Period: Assessing Measurement Invariance of the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) Across Cultures and Birth Parity. Archives of Women's Mental Health, 25(3), 633-640.
Collins-Jones LH, Cooper RJ, Bulgarelli C, Blasi A, Katus L, McCann S, Mason L, Mbye E, Touray E, Ceesay M, Moore SE, Lloyd-Fox S, Elwell CE & BRIGHT Study Team. (2021). Longitudinal infant fNIRS channel-space analyses are robust to variability parameters at the group-level: An image reconstruction investigation. NeuroImage, 237, 118068.

Katus L, Mason L, Milosavljevic B, McCann S, Rozhko M, Moore SE, Elwell CE, Lloyd- Fox S, de Haan M (2020). ERP markers predict neurodevelopmental outcomes in young infants in rural Africa and the UK. NeuroImage, 210, 116591.

Katus L, Hayes NJ, Mason L, Blasi A, McCann S, Darboe MK, de Haan M, Moore SE, Lloyd-Fox S, Elwell CE (2019). Implementing neuroimaging and eye tracking methods to assess neurocognitive development of young infants in low-and middle-income countries. Gates Open Research, 3.

Blasi A, Lloyd-Fox S, Katus L, & Elwell CE (2019). fNIRS for Tracking Brain Development in the Context of Global Health Projects. Photonics, 6(3), 89. doi: 10.3390/photonics6030089

Lloyd-Fox S, Blasi A, McCann S, Rozhko M, Katus L, Mason L, Austin T, Moore SE, Elwell CE (2019). Habituation and novelty detection fNIRS brain responses in 5 and 8 month old infants: The Gambia and UK. Developmental Science, e12817.


Other publications: 

Mercure E, Kischkel L (2018). Social perception in infancy: The Oxford Handbook of Voice Perception: An Integrative Perspective on the Development of Voice and Face Perception, 235. Oxford University Press.

Downes M, Berg C, Kirkham F J, Kischkel L, McMurray I, de Haan M (2018). Task utility and norms for the Preschool Executive Task Assessment (PETA). Child Neuropsychology, 24(6), 784-798.

Visiting Researcher
lk466 [at]

Contact Details

Room 613 Free School Lane
Not available for consultancy