Skip to main content

Dr Samuel Forbes

Assistant Professor

AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Assistant Professor in the Department of PsychologyRH202 


About Me

I obtained my undergraduate degree in Japanese and Mandarin from the University of Tasmania in 2008, and my Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Nanjing Normal University in 2013. I completed my DPhil in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford in 2018, where I researched how infants learn colour words and what that means for their colour perception. From there I moved to the University of East Anglia as a postdoc, working on early visual working memory with Professor John Spencer. My research at Durham focuses on the interplay between early cognition and word learning in infants.

Research interests

  • Infant development
  • Early word learning
  • Developmental cognitive neuroscience

Research groups


Conference Paper

  • Forbes, Samuel H. & Plunkett, Kim (2017), Early Colour Word Learning in British Infants, The Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. London, UK.

Journal Article

  • Defenderfer, Jessica, Forbes, Samuel, Wijeakumar, Sobanawartiny, Hedrick, Mark, Plyler, Patrick & Buss, Aaron T. (2021). Frontotemporal activation differs between perception of simulated cochlear implant speech and speech in background noise: An image-based fNIRS study. NeuroImage 240: 118385.
  • Forbes, Samuel H., Wijeakumar, Sobanawartiny, Eggebrecht, Adam T., Magnotta, Vincent A. & Spencer, John P. (2021). Processing pipeline for image reconstructed fNIRS analysis using both MRI templates and individual anatomy. Neurophotonics 8(02): 025010.
  • Abdelwahab, Alshaimaa Gaber Salah, Forbes, Samuel, Cattani, Allegra, Goslin, Jeremy & Floccia, Caroline (2021). An Adaptation of the MacArthur-Bates CDI in 17 Arabic Dialects for Children Aged 8 to 30 Months. Language Learning and Development 17(4): 425.
  • Forbes, Samuel H. & Plunkett, Kim (2021). The development of contour processing abilities in the second year. Developmental Psychology 57(5): 639.
  • Forbes, Samuel H. (2020). PupillometryR: An R package for preparing and analysing pupillometry data. Journal of Open Source Software 5(50): 2285.
  • Delgado Reyes, Lourdes, Wijeakumar, Sobanawartiny, Magnotta, Vincent A., Forbes, Samuel H. & Spencer, John P. (2020). The functional brain networks that underlie visual working memory in the first two years of life. NeuroImage 219: 116971.
  • Forbes, Samuel H. & Plunkett, Kim (2019). The role of colour labels in mediating toddler visual attention. Cognition 186: 159-170.
  • Forbes, Samuel H. & Plunkett, Kim (2019). Infants show early comprehension of basic color words. Developmental Psychology 55(2): 240-249.
  • Forbes, Samuel H. & Plunkett, Kim (2020). Linguistic and Cultural Variation in Early Color Word Learning. Child Development 91(1): 28.
  • Liang, DanDan, Song, Yiqi & Forbes, Samuel H. (2015). 汉英儿童故事讲述任务中完成体使用的对比研究. 外语教学与研究 47(1).