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Dr Caroline Edmonds

Reader, School of Psychology

Health Promotion and Behaviour Research Group, Developmental Psychology Research Group, Psychology

    My research is concerned with the effect of nutrition on behaviour and the long term impact of interventions.  

    I completed my BSc Psychology at Goldsmiths College, before moving to UCL for my PhD. I then spent seven years as a research fellow at the MRC Childhood Nutrition Research Centre at the Institute of Child Health, UCL, a research institute affiliated to Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, before coming to UEL in 2007.

    I am Athena Swan Champion for the School of Psychology.

    I lead the Health Promotion and Behaviour Research Group.

    Chartered Psychologist
    Chartered Scientist
    Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society
    Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
    Member of the British Feeding and Drinking Group
    2008 – PG Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, Merit, University of East London
    2001 – PhD Psychology, University College London
    1995 – BSc Psychology, First Class Honours, Goldsmith’s College


    My research spans three main areas of interest, which are detailed below. I am happy to receive enquiries from students who are interested in completing a PhD on my main research interests.

    I am also interested in the cognitive processes by which we mentally transform our own perspective so that it aligns with the perspective of another.

    My personal webpage can be found here.

    A major theme is cognitive performance and mood in relation to the effects of hydration and drinking. This work is relevant both to groups “at risk” of dehydration, including children and older adults, and the normal population. Fundamental work has concentrated on the parameters of the effect of water supplementation on cognitive performance, including the particular cognitive processes affected and mechanistic explanations. This research has provided foundations for applied research, for example the association between fluid availability and students’ performance in exams. I have collaborated with researchers in the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, USA to examine the health and educational benefits of improving water and sanitation in schools in resource-poor settings in rural Mali.
    This research has considered the long term outcome of children who had brain injury (Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy - HIE) in the period surrounding birth, which was treated with brain cooling (therapeutic hypothermia). Brain cooling is a new, but increasingly widely adopted treatment, and our study is at the forefront of work in this area. This work is in collaboration with Dr Brigitte Vollmer at the University of Southampton, and is supported by external funding from the Sir Halley Stewart Trust.
    At UEL, I have carried out interdisciplinary work on the effects of nutrition on performance, such as cross-School collaborative projects with Richard Buscombe (HSBS) examining the effect of carbohydrate mouth rinsing on cognition. With project students I have begun to explore the effect of fasting during Ramadan on children’s cognition; an important issue for our local community in East London. Prior to coming to UEL, I worked as a Research Fellow at the MRC Childhood Nutrition Research Centre, Institute of Child Health, UCL. Our large scale, randomised controlled trials, with multidisciplinary outcomes, showed that early aluminium exposure affects bone density, that being born preterm is associated with brains that are structurally and functionally different to those born at term, and established the heritability of processing speed.


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    Publicly available research outputs are available to download from UEL's Research Open Access Repository (ROAR).


    Andersson, H., Sinclair, J., Knight, A., Buscombe, R., Edmonds, C.J., Bottoms, L. (2016). The effect of carbohydrate mouth rinse on a 30-minute arm cranking performance. Comparative Exercise Physiology, 12 (1), 41-47. ROAR

    Benton, D., Braun, H., Cobo, J.C., Edmonds, C., Elmadfa, I., El-Sharkawy, A., Feehally, J., Gellert, R., Holdsworth, J., Kapsokefalou, M., Kenney, W.L., Leiper, J.B., Macdonald, I.A., Maffeis, C., Maughan, R.J., Shirreffs, S.M., Toth-Heyn, P., Watson, P. (2015). Executive summary and conclusions from the European Hydration Institute expert conference on human hydration, health, and performance. Nutrition Reviews, 73 (S2), 148-150.

    Gardner, M.R., Brazier, M. Edmonds, C.J, Gronholm, P.C. (2013). Strategy modulates spatial perspective-taking: evidence for dissociable disembodied and embodied routes. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience; Perspective Taking: building a neurocognitive framework for integrating the “social” and the “spatial”. ROAR

    Ranpura, A., Isaacs, E., Edmonds, C.J., Rogers, M., Lanigan, J., Singhal, A., Clayden, J., Clark, C., Butterworth, B. (2013). Developmental trajectories of grey and white matter in dyscalculia. Trends in Neuroscience and Education, 2, 56-64.

    Edmonds, C.J., Crombie, R., Gardner, M.R. (2013). Subjective thirst moderates changes in speed of responding associated with water consumption. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience; Nutritional influences on human neurocognitive functioning,7:363. ROAR

    Pawson, C., Gardner, M.R., Doherty, S., Martin, L., Soares, R, Edmonds, C.J. (2013). Fluid availability is associated with enhanced examination performance in adults. Psychology Teaching Review, 19 (1), Spring 2013.

    Edmonds, C.J., Gardner, M.R., Crombie, R., Bailleux, H. & Dawkins, L. (2013). Water consumption and cognition: the role of expectancy. Appetite, 60, 148-153. ROAR

    Booth, P, Taylor, B., Edmonds, C.J. (2012). Water supplementation improves visual attention and fine motor skills in schoolchildren. Education and Health, 30 (3), 75-79.

    Gardner, M.R., Sorhus, I., Edmonds, C.J., & Potts, R. (2012). Sex differences in imagined spatial transformations of the human body. Acta Psychologica, 140, 1-6.

    Gronholm, P.C., Flynn, M., Edmonds, C.J. & Gardner, M.R. (2012). Empathic and non-empathic routes to visuospatial perspective taking. Consciousness and Cognition, 21, 494-500.

    Dawkins, L., Shahzad, F-Z, Ahmed, S.S., Edmonds, C.J. et al (2011). Effects of caffeine and expectancy on mood and behaviour. Appetite, 57, 597-600. ROAR

    Fewtrell, M., Edmonds, C.J., Isaacs, E., Bishop, N. Lucas, A. (2011). Aluminium exposure from parenteral nutrition in preterm infants and later health outcomes. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 70 (3), 299-304.

    Edmonds, C.J. (2010). Does having a drink of water help children think? A summary of some recent findings. School Health, 6 (5), 58-60.

    Edmonds, C.J., Isaacs, E.B, Cole, T.J., Rogers, M., Lanigan, J., Singhal, A., Gringras, P., Denton, J., & Lucas, A. (2010). The effect of intrauterine growth on verbal IQ scores in childhood: A study of monozygotic twins. Pediatrics, 126 (5), e1095-e1101. ROAR

    Edmonds, C.J. & Jeffes, B. (2009). Does having a drink help you think? 6–7 year old children show improvements in cognitive performance from baseline to test after having a drink of water. Appetite, 53, 469-472. ROAR

    Fewtrell, M.S., Bishop, N.J., Edmonds, C.J., Isaacs, E.B. & Lucas, A.L. (2009). Aluminium exposure from intravenous feeding solutions and later bone health: 15 year follow-up of a randomised trial in preterm infants. Pediatrics, 124, 1372-1379. ROAR

    Edmonds, C.J. & Burford, D. (2009). Should children drink more water? The effects of drinking water on cognition in children. Appetite, 52, 776-779. ROAR

    Edmonds, C.J., Isaacs, E.B., Visscher, P.M., Rogers, M., Lanigan, J., Singhal, A., Lucas, A., Butterworth, B., Gringras, P., Denton, J., & Deary, I.J. (2008). Inspection Time and cognitive abilities in twins aged 7 to 17 years: development, heritability and genetic covariance. Intelligence, 36, 210-225. ROAR

    Edmonds,C.J. & Pring, L. (2006). Generating inferences from written and spoken language: a comparison of children with visual impairment and children with sight. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 24, 337-351.ROAR

    Isaacs, E.B., Edmonds, C.J., Chong, W.K., Lucas, A., Morley, R., & Gadian, D.G. (2004) Brain morphometry and IQ measurements in preterm children. Brain, 127, 2595-2607.

    Isaacs, E.B., Edmonds, C.J., Chong, W.K., Lucas, A. & Gadian, D.G. (2003). Cortical anomalies associated with visuospatial processing deficits. Annals of Neurology, 53, 468-773.

    Isaacs, E.B., Edmonds, C.J., Lucas, A. & Gadian, D.G. (2001). Calculation difficulties in children of very low birthweight: a neural correlate. Brain, 124, 1701-1707.

    Book Chapters

    Edmonds, C.J. (2012). Water, hydration status, and cognitive performance. In, L. Riby, M. Smith & J. Foster, Nutrition and Mental Performance: A Lifespan Perspective. Palgrave Macmillan


    2015 £3,317 European Hydration Institute.
    Hydration Status, thirst and thinking – the role of water consumption on cognitive reflection.
    Co-PI with Dr Volker Thoma and Olivia Patsalos (UEL)

    2014 £43,766 Sir Halley Stewart Trust
    School readiness in children who underwent hypothermia treatment for neonatal hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy.
    Co-PI with Dr Brigitte Vollmer, University of Southampton, University Hospital, Southampton NHS Trust, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm

    2010 £15,000 Nestec Equipment grant

    2010 £65,000 Nestec PhD Studentship
    PhD title: The effects of water consumption on schoolchildren’s cognitive function and mood.

    1994 Nuffield Undergraduate Research Bursary


    I contribute to Developmental Psychology modules on the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. I supervise research students at all levels, including BSc, MSc, PhD and Professional Doctorates.

    I teach on the following modules - 

    PY5203 Developmental Psychology
    PY6301 Professional Studies in Psychology
    PY6309/10 Advanced Developmental Psychology
    PY7152 Developmental Psychology