Sam gained a First Class undergraduate degree in Experimental Psychology at Oxford University and did his PhD at the Centre for Brain Cognitive Development in London. After this, he was awarded a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, based at the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at Cambridge. After this he moved to the University of East London, supported by an ESRC Future Research Leaders Fellowship. Sam’s research examines how concentration, stress and learning capacities develop during childhood. He works with typically developing children as well as children growing up in diverse socio-economic status backgrounds in East London. He is also a collaborator on a range of projects in London, Europe, the United States and Canada with clinical populations (children with Attention Deficit Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders, preterm birth and Rett Syndrome). His research has been funded by the Medical Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, the National Institute of Health Research, the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, the Nuffield Foundation, and others. In addition, Sam is also very active in the public communication of science. He has been heavily involved in the development, and featured as an on-screen scientist, of the multi-award-winning Channel 4 series The Secret Life of 4-, 5- and 6-Year-Olds (2014-ongoing). This series has consistently reached audiences of up to 3 million viewers. He has fronted press campaigns both for charities (National Trust, Save The Children) and for commercial organisations (Tesco, Dulux, Ikea, Nickelodeon, the Cartoon Network). He has appeared as an expert commentator on all TV networks (BBC, ITV, Sky), radio (BBC Radio 4/5, Sky) and all major national newspapers (Sun, Mirror, Daily Mail, Times, Telegraph, Independent, BBC News).
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Wass, S., Perapoch Amadó, M., & Ives, J. (2022). Oscillatory entrainment to our early social or physical environment and the emergence of volitional control. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878929322000469#!
I. Marriott Haresign, E.A.M Phillips, M. Whitehorn, F. Lamagna, M. Eliano, L. Goupil, E.J.H. Jones, S.V. Wass (2022). Gaze onsets during naturalistic infant-caregiver interaction associate with ‘sender’ but not ‘receiver’ neural responses, and do not lead to changes in inter-brain synchrony. bioRxiv. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.05.27.493545v1
I.Marriott Haresign, E.A.M.Phillips, M.Whitehorn, L.Goupil, V.Noreika, V.Leong, S.V.Wass (2022). Measuring the temporal dynamics of inter-personal neural entrainment in continuous child-adult EEG hyperscanning data. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878929322000378
Phillips, E., Wass, S. (2021). Bidirectional Mechanisms rather than Alternatives: The Role of Sustained Attention in Interactive Contexts Can Only Be Understood through Joint Attention. Human Development. https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/515869
Wass, S. (2021). Allostasis and metastasis: the yin and yang of childhood self-regulation. PsyArXiv. https://psyarxiv.com/cth4m/