In Spring 2019 we were delighted to welcome Dr Saloni Krishnan as a new Lecturer in the Department of Psychology. We sat down with Saloni for a chat about her research, her choice to join us at Royal Holloway, and her love for making cocktails!
What made you choose Psychology at Royal Holloway?
I first heard of Royal Holloway because some of my favourite language scientists have worked or currently work at Royal Holloway. I feel quite lucky to follow in their footsteps! I think Royal Holloway is going to be a great place to develop my research, because of the facilities and support available here. But it's not just resources, the ethos of the place I work is important to me, and Psychology at Royal Holloway feels progressive, diverse, and open. Last but definitely not least, I understand that we attract some fantastic students!
Can you tell us a little about the research you will carry out at RHUL?
I’m interested in investigating the brain basis of speaking and how this organisation emerges over development. I have clinical training as a speech and language therapist, and consequently questions relevant to developmental disorders (Developmental Language Disorder, dyslexia, and stuttering), are what I mainly focus on. For example, how does the brain organisation in those with developmental language disorder differ from those who speak typically? But I have also worked with musicians like beatboxers and guitarists, as they offer insight into a complex auditory-motor system that not everyone learns.
At the moment I am fascinated by why humans find language learning rewarding, and this is an aspect of my research I’ll be developing here. I think this is a really important basic science question, but it has important clinical implications (for example, can we motivate people differently to optimise their learning? Do different people respond better to different incentives?)
What do you think will be the best part about teaching our students?
I enjoy integrating students into to my lab, as one of the best parts of my job is working with motivated students and coming up with clever experiments to test novel ideas. So if you want to be part of my lab, as project students or research assistants, or for placements, please do get in touch!
What do you do outside of work?
I love making cocktails (which I can do well) and baking (this doesn’t always work out). Most weekends consist of going for a long walk to discover one of London’s various neighbourhoods, and/or trying new restaurants and cuisines - it’s great to live in a city that makes exploring very easy. And of course, I spend a lot of time with my family, especially my lovely daughter!