Salma Gilani is a PhD candidate in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham. Her project focuses on the mechanisms of maintaining sentence production skills throughout the lifespan. Salma is funded by a Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant and co-supervised by Prof. Linda Wheeldon (University of Agder, Norway) and Evelien Heyselaar (Radboud University, Netherlands).
Susan Bradbury is a PhD student in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham. Susan is focussing on language processing in older adults with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s dementia, co-supervised by Dr Damian Cruse and myself. Susan is doing her PhD part-time, while working as a Clinical Research Practitioner within the NHS.
Charlie Reynolds is a PhD student in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham. Charlie is focussing on information processing, specifically learning and communication using Magnetoencephalography. She is particularly interested in how information processing changes throughout the lifespan. She is funded by the University of Birmingham Life and Environmental Sciences Scholarship and co-supervised by Dr Hyojin Park and myself.
Jack Feron is a PhD student working on the FAB project. He focuses on the benefits of exercise for physical functioning, cognitive functioning and relationships with changes in brain perfusion. I am co-supervising Jack with Dr. Sam Lucas from the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Birmingham. More information about the project can be found on our FAB study website.
Yanina Prystauka is a postdoctoral researcher. She is studying the benefits of exercise for cognitive ageing, brain function and brain stucture, through an exercise intervention, with a special focus on language processing. This exciting project is being conducted in collaboration with Dr. Sam Lucas from the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Birmingham. More information about the project can be found on our FAB project website. The project is part of a larger international project funded by the Research Council of Norway, and is executed in collaboration with the Department of Foreign Languages and Translation (Prof. Wheeldon, Prof. Wetterlin and Dr. Eunice Fernandes) and the Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences (Prof. Lohne Seiler and Prof. Berntsen) of the University of Agder (Norway).
Emma Sutton was a PhD candidate in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham. Her project focuses on health in the elderly. Emma investigated whether cognitive training can improve cognition and whether inflammatory markers can predict decline in physical, mental and cognitive health over time. I co-supervised Emma together with Dr. Jon Catling (School of Psychology) and Dr. Jet Veldhuijzen van Zanten (School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences). After obtaining her PhD degree (20240, Emma took up a position as Clinical Study Officer at the Bristol Trials Centre (University of Bristol).
Roksana Markiewicz was a PhD candidate in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham. Her project focused on examining the nature of the neurobiological processes involved in verbal and non-verbal cooperative success. Roksana used EEG hyper-scanning to map the information flow from one brain to another (i.e. brain-to-brain synchrony). Roksana was funded by a Hillary Green PhD studentship. After obtaining her PhD degree (2024), Roxy became a postdoctoral researcher in the Social Cognition in Human-Robot interaction research group at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia.
Dr. Foyzul Rahman was a postdoctoral researcher on the FAB project. He worked on examining the benefits of exercise for cognitive ageing, brain function and brain stucture, through an exercise intervention. This exciting multi-disciplinary project was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Sam Lucas from the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Birmingham. More information about the project can be found on our FAB project website. Dr. Rahman remains affiliated with the project but is now a Lecturer at Birmingham City University.
Rupali Limachya worked as a Research Assistant in my group, supporting different behavioral and EEG projects, with young and healthy older adults. Rupali's position was funded by UoB Bridge Seed funding and by UoB EDI Covid Support funding. Rupali is now a PhD student.
Nico Hayston Lecaros worked as a Research Assistant on the FAB project, funded by the Norwegian Research Council. Nico was responsible for cognitive testing of young and healthy older adults. More information about the project can be found on our FAB study website.
Felix Carter was an ESRC-funded postdoctoral researcher working on bilingualism and individual differences (2021-2022). The ESRC project was led by Andrea Krott, with Ali Mazaheri and myself as collaborators. Felex was working on examining how bilingual experiences (e.g. intensity and diversity of language use, language switching, relative proficiency) impact on brain function and structure. After his postdoc with us, Felix took up a postdoc position at the University of Bristol.
Vincent DeLuca was an ESRC-funded postdoctoral researcher working on bilingualism and individual differences (2018-2020). The ESRC project was led by Andrea Krott, with Ali Mazaheri and myself as collaborators. Vincent worked on elucidating how bilingual experiences (e.g. intensity and diversity of language use, language switching, relative proficiency) impact on brain function and structure. In this theoretical paper we propose a new model to unify bilingual experience trajectories and offer testable predictions for how these characteristics will modulate cognition, brain fucntion and brain structure in bilinguals (see also here for a great background arcticle in The Conversation). For results of our emperical work - stay tuned, they are coming soon! Vince now holds a faculty position at the Arctic University of Norway.
Charlotte Poulisse completed her PhD in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham in 2020. She demonstrated that syntactic comprehension is affected by healthy ageing (paper) and investigated the compensatory neural mechanisms for syntactic comprehension in the ageing brain (paper). Charlotte is currently working as an Assistant Clinical Psychologist for the NHS.
Sophie Hardy completed her PhD in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham in 2020. She was funded by an ESRC DTC studentship. Her research focused on changes in language production with age. She was specifically interested in the effect of age on syntactic choices and sentence planning. For more information on Sophie's research, publications and outreach activities, visit: sophiehardy.co.uk. Following her PhD, Sophie worked as a postdoc at the University of Warwick in the lab of Dr. Katherine Messenger (funded by The Leverhulme Trust).
Anna Belavina Kuerten completed her PhD dissertation in 2017 on "Investigating syntactic priming during sentence comprehension in developmental dyslexia: Evidence for behavioral and neuronal effects" at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC). I co-supervised her PhD project with Prof. Mailce Mota. Anna’s project focused on syntactic processing in children and young adults with dyslexia.
Kristian Suen completed his PhD in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham (2019). I co-supervised his project with Prof. Linda Wheeldon. Kristian's project focused on the acquisition of Chinese characters. Unlike alphabetic languages, the learning of Chinese Characters requires the integration of the form (orthography), the meaning (semantics) and the pronunciation (phonology) of the character as a whole. Kirstian investigated the early stages of Chinese character learning.
I supervised Evelien Heyselaar's PhD project (2013-2016) while at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands. During her PhD, Evelien investigated how syntactic processing is modulated by attention and by social characteristics, using Virtual Reality, EEG and behavioral experiments. She also researched the memory system underlying syntactic processing in a study on patients with Korsakov's syndrome (paper). In 2016, Evelien worked as a post-doc in my lab at the University of Birmingham, on a project investigating how implicit memory, sentence- and word-level language processing change throughout the lifespan (described here). For publications, see here and here and here. Currently, Evelien holds an Assistant Professor position at the Behavioural Science Institute of the Radboud University Nijmegen. Evelien Heyselaar, Linda Wheeldon and myself currently hold a Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant to investigate the mechanisms of maintaining language throughout the lifespan.
I supervised Lotte Schoot's PhD project while at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands (2013-2016). In her PhD-project, Lotte created naturalistic language experiments with a speaker as well as a listener in the same experiment. Lotte's overall aim was to study the effect of being in a social, communicative situation on processing language. Theories have proposed that speakers do not randomly pick out syntactic structures, but that they adapt their choice towards what they think the listener expects, i.e. syntactic alignment. In this paper, Lotte answered the question whether syntactic alignment influences how speakers are perceived by their conversation partner. In a different study, Lotte found that the neural correlates of core linguistic processes (e.g. syntactic processing) were not influenced by being in a communicative context (more information). In this review paper, Lotte argues for a two-brain approach to studying verbal interaction (more information). After finishing her PhD in 2016, Lotte worked as a postdoc at Tufts University with Prof. Gina Kuperberg. In 2018, Lotte took up a position as researcher with the Central Bureau of Statistics in The Hague.