Laura Katus

Dr Laura Katus BSc, MSc, PhD, FHEA, CPsychol

Lecturer in Psychology

Dr. Laura Katus joined the School of Human Sciences as a Lecturer in Psychology in November 2022. She completed her PhD in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London, in which she examined infant neurodevelopment in the context of poverty-related risk in a cohort in rural Gambia, West Africa. Following her PhD she joined the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge as an ESRC postdoctoral fellow. She collaborates with several project groups including the Brain Imaging for Global Health project (BRIGHT) and the Evidence for Better Lives Study (EBLS).

Laura has previously taught on a range of topics within the areas of developmental psychology, neuropsychology, and research methods, and has supervised thesis students at undergraduate, Master's and PhD levels.

Posts held previously

  • 2019-2022 Research Associate, Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge

Responsibilities within the university

  • Module Leader for Advanced Developmental Psychology (PSYCH-1028).
  • Interim Co-Module Leader for Current Issues in Psychology (PSYCH-1044).
  • Admissions Tutor.


  • July 2020 International Society of Infant Studies Outstanding Dissertation Award - Honourable Mention.


  • Ad-hoc reviewer for journals within developmental psychology and neuroscience, including BMJ Open, Brain and Behaviour, Child Development, Cognitive Development, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental Psychobiology, Developmental Psychology, Developmental Science, Frontiers in Psychology and Neuroimage.

Research / Scholarly interests

Laura’s main research interest lies in understanding how the early environment shapes the developing brain. She is particularly interested in how early adversity, as is frequently experienced by children in low- and middle-income countries, affects their developmental outcomes.

Recent publications

Katus, L., Cragg, L. and Hughes, C., 2023. Executive functions in infancy, childhood and adolescence: Development, individual differences and real-life importance.

Katus, L., Blasi, A., McCann, S., Mason, L., Mbye, E., Touray, E., ... & BRIGHT Study Team. (2023). Longitudinal fNIRS and EEG metrics of habituation and novelty detection are correlated in 1–18-month-old infants. NeuroImage, 274, 120153.

Murray, A.L., Xiao, Z., Zhu, X., Speyer, L.G., Yang, Y., Brown, R.H., Katus, L., Eisner, M. and Ribeaud, D., 2023. Psychometric evaluation of an adapted version of the perceived stress scale for ecological momentary assessment research. Stress and Health.

Katus, L., Milosavljevic, B., Rozhko, M., McCann, S., Mason, L., Mbye, E., Touray, E., Moore, S.E., Elwell, C.E., Lloyd-Fox, S. and de Haan, M., 2022. Neural Marker of Habituation at 5 Months of Age Associated with Deferred Imitation Performance at 12 Months: A Longitudinal Study in the UK and The Gambia. Children, 9(7), p.988.

Katus, L., Foley, S., Murray, A.L., Luong-Thanh, B.Y., Taut, D., Baban, A., Madrid, B., Fernando, A.D., Sikander, S., Ward, C.L. and Osafo, J., 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), pp.633-640.

Collins-Jones, L.H., Cooper, R.J., Bulgarelli, C., Blasi, A., Katus, L., McCann, S., Mason, L., Mbye, E., Touray, E., Ceesay, M. and Moore, S.E., 2021. Longitudinal infant fNIRS channel-space analyses are robust to variability parameters at the group-level: An image reconstruction investigation. NeuroImage, 237, p.118068.

Katus, L., Mason, L., Milosavljevic, B., McCann, S., Rozhko, M., Moore, S.E., Elwell, C.E., Lloyd-Fox, S., de Haan, M., Drammeh, S. and Mbye, E., 2020. ERP markers are associated with neurodevelopmental outcomes in 1–5 month old infants in rural Africa and the UK. NeuroImage, 210, p.116591.

Katus, L., Hayes, N.J., Mason, L., Blasi, A., McCann, S., Darboe, M.K., de Haan, M., Moore, S.E., Lloyd-Fox, S. and Elwell, C.E., 2019. Implementing neuroimaging and eye tracking methods to assess neurocognitive development of young infants in low-and middle-income countries. Gates Open Research, 3.

Lloyd‐Fox, S., Blasi, A., McCann, S., Rozhko, M., Katus, L., Mason, L., Austin, T., Moore, S.E., Elwell, C.E. and Bright Project Team, 2019. Habituation and novelty detection fNIRS brain responses in 5‐and 8‐month‐old infants: The Gambia and UK. Developmental Science, 22(5), p.e12817.

Blasi, A., Lloyd-Fox, S., Katus, L. and Elwell, C.E., 2019. fNIRS for tracking brain development in the context of global health projects. Photonics, 6(3), p89.