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Dr Rachael Elward

Dr Rachael Elward

Senior Lecturer

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  • Telephone:
    020 7815 5429
  • School/Division:
    Applied Sciences / Psychology

Dr Rachael Elward specialises in the cognitive neuroscience of learning and memory. That is, how the brain is able to store all the information that we acquire over our lifetime (e.g. our knowledge of language, our understanding of the world) and our personal experiences (e.g. unique memories from the events of our life). Some of this information is learned very readily (i.e. when children learn language in infancy), and some memories can be easily recalled even after decades have passed, while other information is difficult to learn, or is forgotten quickly unless it’s written down. Dr Elward is interested in how the memory system develops over childhood, and how it functions in adulthood, and why and how memory abilities decline in older age. Such questions are important for education, for supporting people that have memory disorders, and for supporting older adults who are suffering from age-related memory impairments.

In order to investigate the human memory system, Dr Elward has used a range of neuroscience techniques including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), eye-tracking, and cognitive science. The combination of these methods enable us to investigate which areas of the brain are involved in memory-related processing, the time-course of these processes during memory tasks, and the ways in which these processes differ across development.

Prior to her appointment, Dr Elward worked with children with memory impairments at Great Ormond Street Hospital and the UCL Institute for Child Health. Previously she worked with a team interested in cognitive aging at the Centre for Vital Longevity at the University of Texas at Dallas. She studied for her PhD at Cardiff University Brain Imaging and Research Centre. She is a member of the Society for Neuroscience.

BSc Psychology

  • Exploring Psychological Approaches
  • Exploring Real World Psychology
  • Lifespan Development
  • Psychology of Feelings
  • Psychology of Learning and Memory

MSc Psychology

  • Emotion and Human Behaviour
  • Perception, Attention, and Memory
View my publications at
  • Chartered Psychologist, British Psychological Society
  • Member, Society for Neuroscience