Testimonials from former Gorilla Grant winners


Winning the Gorilla Grant during my PhD was a great boost for my CV and my confidence, but most importantly it gave me an opportunity to expand my research in new directions. The Gorilla team were incredibly helpful in helping me troubleshoot early iterations of my tasks, and were really flexible in allowing me to refine the scope of my project in response to early pilots. I'm now using a touchscreen game built on the Gorilla app in my work at Oxford BabyLab, testing the development of early Executive Functions in infants and toddlers.

Alexandra HendryUniversity of Oxford

In 2017, I was awarded a Gorilla.sc grant to put together an experiment looking at human understanding of chimpanzee and bonobo gestures. The team at Gorilla were very excited to have some primates on board (and only slightly disappointed that they weren't gorillas)!! Our experiment got a lot of media coverage, most notably Radio 4, which helped to pull in participants - we had over 15,000 in total! The team at Gorilla.sc are awesome and supportive, and with their help I was able to put together this exciting experiment that approaches the evolution of language in a really novel way. Thanks Gorilla!

Kirsty GrahamThe University of York

I was awarded a Gorilla Grant in 2017, during the course of my PhD at UCL. I used the grant to investigate the effects of spatial training on spatial and mathematics skills in primary school students. The grant enabled me to complete a much more extensive study than would have been possible using other software. Using the Gorilla platform, I was able to test and train several children simultaneously, in their schools, using the school IT facilities. As the Gorilla platform is accessible through any internet browser, there was no need to download any specific software onto the school computers, and I was not limited by having to bring my own testing devices to each school. The platform is quick to get to grips with, and in my experience the support team at Gorilla are extremely receptive to queries. They have even made amendments to the platform to suit my specific needs!

The findings of my spatial training study, which was enabled through this Gorilla Grant, have contributed to my PhD thesis, and are currently under review in a special issue of Developmental Science. I have presented them at both national and international conferences, where they have been very well received, e.g., Society for Research in Child Development, 2019.

I am now working as a lecturer in Cognitive Development at the University of Surrey and continue to use the Gorilla platform for behavioural testing.

Katie GilliganUniversity of Surrey

My research project investigates how children learn to read and process words. Using a paradigm that tests whether children know the word presented to them, we designed a simple but engaging game on Gorilla. As a recipient of the Gorilla Grant, we have been receiving wonderful technical support from the Cauldron team. They are always responsive to our questions and requests, with much care to details. So far, the game has received around 1500 responses from children across the UK and we hope to continue to increase the sample size. In the future, we hope to use the data to inform our understanding on what properties of words influence the outcome of word learning in children. The findings will have implications on how we can best provide structured language experience that optimizes children's learning.

Yaling HsiaoUniversity of Oxford

I was the recipient of a Gorilla grant award in 2017, enabling me to use the Gorilla platform to complete a randomised cross-over trial. My research assessed the effects of an anxiety induction on attention to food, and intentions to eat, within a student population. The award thus enabled me to glean insights into how anxiety may affect restrictive eating, which has important implications for models of disordered eating. Use of the Gorilla platform made completion of my study remarkably straightforward – handling everything from randomisation to data collection, and producing extremely accurate reaction time data that promoted finding reliability and validity. The ease at which my project could be completed meant that I was able to carry out the research alongside my doctoral projects. Not only did winning the award mean that I was more productive during my PhD, but it also allowed for the development of a wider range of skills – in particular those related to the design and data analysis of task-based studies. I really enjoyed completing my study, and my experiences resulting from the Gorilla award certainly contributed to my continued enthusiasm for scientific research. I will be moving to New York to pursue task-based eating disorders research in January, and would like to thank the Gorilla team for facilitating the development of relevant expertise in behavioural science!

Caitlin LloydUniversity of Bristol

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