200th Anniversary Birkbeck Effect: Mark Johnson – founder of CBCD and BabyLab

Mark Johnson is a pioneering professor of developmental cognitive neuroscience and co-founder of the Birkbeck Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development (CBCD). He has had a wide-ranging impact on the understanding of early brain and behavioral development in infancy and childhood.

Through over 360 papers and 10 books, Mark has explored how specialized functions in the brain emerge and expanded the knowledge of the development of many aspects of basic cognition.

Mark came to Birkbeck in 1997 and founded the Babylab as the first research lab in the CBCD. The CBCD rapidly grew to become a world-leading multi-approach, multi-lab, internationally admired centre for methodological and theoretical innovation in developmental cognitive neuroscience research.

Mark has also trained and mentored generations of developmental researchers whilst at Birkbeck, winning the Association of Psychological Sciences Mentor award in 2019.


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