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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. I completed my PhD in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London, examining infant neurocognitive development 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 a postdoctoral research associate working with Professior Claire Hughes.


  • infant brain development
  • early adversity
  • global health


Key publications: 

Katus L, McHarg G, Hughes C (under review). Early prosocial development: a systematic review of evidence to support the integration of neurocognitive and cross cultural methods. Developmental Review.

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.

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.

Research Associate

Contact Details

Room 613 Free School Lane
(+44) 01223 334869
Not available for consultancy