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Jennifer Keating

Dr Jennifer Keating

Research Associate

School of Psychology

Centre for Human Developmental Science (CUCHDS), 70 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT


My main research interest lies in understanding and identifying factors, such as sleep and family factors, that may impact healthy brain and behaviour development in children. I am also interested in sensory processing difficulties and their impact on child development. My PhD was focused on the early development of children with a family history of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

I use a variety of research methods including behavioural assessments, caregiver-reports, electroencephalography (EEG), and functional near-infared spectroscopy (fNIRS).







Current projects:

Coordination, Movement, and the Brain Study (CoMB): The CoMB study is investigating the neural correlates of Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Specifically, I am using electroencephalography (EEG) to examine mirror neuron system activity in children with DCD.

The benefits of doll play: I am working on a number of studies investigating the impact of doll play across a wide number of areas including empathy, social skills, and language. This project involves using functional near-infared spectroscopy, behavioural assessments, caregiver reports, and observational measures.

The role of cognitive flexibility in children's repetitive behaviour:  This study examines the role of subtypes of cognitive flexibility (set shifting and representational flexbility) on children's repetitive behaviours.


Keating J, Bramham J, McNicholas F, Carr A, Hasshim N, Downes M. (2020). An Exploration of Sleep and Family Factors in Young Children at Familial Risk for ADHD. Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 22:1-15.

Keating, J., Bramham, J., & Downes, M. (2021). Sensory modulation and negative affect in children at familial risk of ADHD. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 112, 103904.

Keating, J., Gaffney, R., Bramham, J., & Downes, M. (2021). Sensory modulation difficulties and assessment in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: A systematic review. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 1-35.


Undergraduate education

2017: BA Psychology, University College Dublin (First Class Honours)

Postgraduate education

2020: PhD Psychology, University College Dublin


2021-present: Research Associate, School of Psychology, Cardiff University

2020-2021: Research Associate, School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University

Honours and awards

  • Shortlisted for Psychological Society of Ireland Division of Neuropsychology Early
    Career Award – November 2019
  • SPARC Public Engagement Funding, UCD – November 2019
  • Seed Funding – Dissemination and Outputs, UCD – April 2019
  • Graduate Research and Innovation Fund, UCD – March 2019
  • Graduate Research and Innovation Fund, UCD – October 2018
  • Travel Award, Guarantors of Brain – May 2018
  • Postgraduate Scholarship in Arts, UCD – March 2018