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MBPsS, MRes, BA(Hons)

Peter graduated from the University of Strathclyde with a BA(Hons.) Psychology in 2011, and the following year completed an M.Res Research Methods in Psychology. Presently, Peter is completing a Psychology Ph.D under the supervision of Dr. Thusha Rajendran and Prof. Oliver Lemon, funded by the James-Watt Scholarship.

Current Research

Peter is currently investigating the body's role to children's cognition, so called embodied cognition. Specifically, Peter is taking a closer look at children's interaction with multimodal interfaces (e.g. Microsoft's Kinect) to determine whether embodied action with technology can facilitate, or enhance problem solving/executive functioning abilities.

Funding Awards

James-Watt PhD Studentship 2013-2016 (Approx. 60K)
BPS Developmental Section Annual Conference Bursary 2014: Student Bursary Award (£160)
EPS Grindley Grants for Conference Attendance 2014 (£500)

Demonstrating at Heriot-Watt University

  • Research Methods and Analysis 1
  • Research Methods and Analysis 5


  • McKenna, P. (2014, July). Planning to move or moving to plan? Children's embodied executive functioning and gestural interfaces. 29th Annual PsyPag Postgraduate Conference, Cardiff.
  • McKenna, P., & Rajendran, G. (2014, April). Methodical frog hopping. Edinburgh International Science Festival, Edinburgh.
  • McKenna, P. (2013, September). Are childhood executive functions embodied? Children and Technology Talk, Autism Research Centre, University of Cambridge.


  • McKenna, P., Lemon, O., Corley, M., Boa, D., & Rajendran, G. (in press). One step at a time: Multimodal interfaces and children's executive functioning. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the IEEE conference on development and learning and epigenetic robotics (IEEE ICDL-EPIROB 2014).
  • McKenna, P. Are executive functions embodied? A brief theoretical and empirical discussion. (2014). PsyPag Quarterly, 91, 34-39.



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