LLC Lab News

April 2021: The Third New Edition!

The third edition of Marc Brysbaert's and Kathy Rastle's book - Historical and Conceptual Issues in Psychology - is out!

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March 2021: A Radio Interview!

Dr Jakke Tamminen and Becky Crowley have written an article for The Conversation UK about how our sleep habits have changed during the COVID-19 lockdowns and what the effects of these changes might be for the brain and the body. The article has currently had 11,000 reads and it even got picked up by Sputnik Radio who interviewed Becky about the article. Click below to read the article and listen to the radio interview!  

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January 2021: Sad News!

Dr Chloe Newbury is leaving the LLC lab to begin a Senior Research Officer position with the Office for National Statistics! Good luck Chloe! Chloe will be hugely missed but we are lucky to still have her in the LLC lab on a part-time basis!

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November 2020: More Congratulations!!

Huge congratulations to Professor Kathy Rastle who, alongside Professor Kate Nation and Professor Anne Castles, has won the Economic and Social Research Council Outstanding International Impact Prize 2020 for their work on the Reading Wars! You can watch the video here and read more here. We can't wait to celebrate in the not too distant future!

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November 2020: Congratulations!

November has been a big month for the LLC Lab! More congratulations are in order as Professor Kathy Rastle has been nominated as the EPS President Elect! Congratulations from everyone in the LLC Lab!

November 2020: Lockdown Publications!

Despite a national lockdown, the LLC lab still managed to produce several publications over the past few months! Cevoli et al. published a paper on semantic diversity and visual word recognition [PDF], Tamminen et al. on sleep deprivation and linguistic generalisation [PDF], Ulicheva et al. on sensitivity to meaningful orthographic regularities [PDF], and Rastle et al. on direct instruction of reading an artificial script.

November 2020: Mass Literacy in Massachusetts.

Professor Kathy Rastle has advised the State of Massachusetts on a new evidence-based programme for promoting Mass Literacy. There is a huge amount of information and resources available on the project website. See here!

October 2020: ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize!

A huge congratulations to Professor Kathy Rastle who has been announced as a finalist for the prestigious ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize for her work on Ending the Reading Wars with Professors Kate Nation (University of Oxford) and Anne Castles (Macquarie University). The winners will be announced at a virtual ceremony on November 12th. You can read more here!

April 2020: Adapting to Virtual Lab Life

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the LLC have now been working from home for ~6 weeks. This change has not been easy; we have come across challenges that we have had to solve together including moving experiments online, unfinished testing, illness amongst loves ones, and exploring how we can work collaboratively whilst entirely virtually. There may be a long way to go, but, as a lab, we have come so far. We have weekly project meetings and whole-lab discussions on Zoom, we hold lab lunches and coffee breaks, we have ongoing chat channels in Slack, and we have invited our first virtual guest speaker. Although times are tough, the LLC lab is probably closer than ever, and we are looking forward to sharing lots of new papers soon!

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February 2020: End of Overnight Testing!

Since joining the lab, Becky and Chloe have been running two overnight studies - a sleep deprivation study and a memory reactivation study. These studies involved a total of 60+ sleepless nights in our sleep lab, so the end of testing called for a champagne celebration! Keep an eye out for some interesting papers en route!

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December 2019: Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Before we all head off for Christmas, LLC lab met up for a final festive lunch and some pottery painting. It has been a successful year in the lab and we are all very much looking forward to a well-deserved, relaxing break before an exciting 2020 begins in the lab! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year everyone!

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September 2019: Ana and Chloe in Tenerife

The European Society for Cognitive Psychology (ESCOP) held their annual conference in Tenerife this year, and Ana and Chloe flew out to represent the lab. Ana presented a poster on prior reading experience and individual differences in nonword reading, whilst Chloe explained some surprising findings from our recent sleep research in an oral presentation. Both received great feedback at these presentations and found Marc Brysbaert's symposium on "Language Learning as a Byproduct of Communication" to be really useful too.

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August 2019: Society for Neurobiology of Language in Helsinki

This month, Clare went off to Helsinki for the eleventh annual meeting of the Society for Neurobiology of Language. Clare presented her research into the neural representations of skilled reading and gained valuable feedback which broadened her awareness of how other neuroimaging methods, such as EEG and MEG, could be applied to her research. Additionally, there were really interesting keynote lectures from speakers including Professor Nikolas Kriegeskorte and Professor Dorothy Bishop.

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July 2019: Sunny Bournemouth

Clare & Becky visited sunny Bournemouth this month for the EPS Summer Meeting, where both took part in the poster presentations. Becky presented recent work on the effects of sleep deprivation on language acquisition and generalisation, whilst Clare presented work on sentence congruency and letter identification. Clare even won the President's Commendation for Student Posters - well done Clare! See Clare's poster here.

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June 2019: Spending the summer at Facebook

An exciting summer ahead for Adam who has just begun a 12-week User Experience Research Internship at Facebook, where he is working on projects focusing on augmented reality and virtual reality. Adam was even flown out to Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto for an orientation and design camp where he learned more about the company and how to adapt his current research skills to the technology industry, specifically product design.

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May 2019: An inspiring Royal Society meeting

Jakke Tamminen, Chloe Newbury, and Rebecca Crowley attended the Royal Society's scientific meeting "Memory reactivation: Replaying events past, present, and future". This was an inspiring meeting which revealed new insights into how memory reactivation/replay is assessed and the ways in which it may contribute to learning and memory. At this meeting, the lab presented our recent work on the effects of pre-encoding and post-encoding sleep deprivation on language acquisition and linguistic generalisation. You can see the poster here.

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March 2019: UNESCO, Paris

This month, Kathy was invited to speak on "How research in psychology can help us to end the Reading Wars" at UNESCO in Paris. The meeting was organised by the Scientific Council of National Education on behalf of the French Ministry of Education, and it was a great opportunity to discuss research that can help to develop more scientifically-informed policies in education. You can watch the talk here.

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February 2019: Sleep & memory in Berlin

Chloe Newbury and Jakke Tamminen attended a workshop on "Sleep for Memory - Current Challenges and Future Directions" at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. Jakke and Chloe presented some of the data from our current sleep and language generalisation project, and they discussed new directions in sleep research with other early career sleep researchers from around the world. The trip was a great success and it inspired several ideas for our current projects!

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January 2019: A trip to Houston, Texas

At the end of January, Clare Lally completed a two week research visit to Rice University in Houston, Texas to work on her representational similarity data with Dr. Simon Fischer-Baum. The project investigates readers' neural representations of morphologically complex words within the ventral stream. During her visit, Clare gave a talk to the lab, shadowed on-going research with alexic patients, and learned further techniques for MRI analyses.

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January 2019: EPS London Meeting, 2019

2019 began in the best way with several members of LLC attending the EPS London Meeting 2019. A highlight was the keynote by Professor Matt Lambon-Ralph (current director of MRI CBU) who discussed semantic processing in the brain, and even demonstrated how literature from the 1940s (and earlier) is still really relevant today!

December 2018: Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

As this term, and this year, draw to an end, LLC Lab had a final lab lunch sporting some (festive?) moustaches. This year has been another successful one in the lab with many new faces passing through our doors, so it was time to reflect on all the hard work and enjoy each other's company before a well-deserved, relaxing, and happy break. The LLC Lab wish you all a very Merry Christmas and we will see you in the New Year for a successful 2019!

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October 2018: Congratulations!

Congratulations to Professor Kathy Rastle who has been elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and Academia Europea. These Fellowships contribute towards recognising Professor Kathy Rastle as a leader in her field of language and literacy, and commending her service to science. Congratulations from everyone in LLC Lab! You can read more here.

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October 2018: A visit to Parliament

Chloe Newbury and Rebecca Crowley attended the UK Parliament POST meeting on sleep and health where they met with leading experts, policy makers, and industry representatives to hear about the effects of poor sleep and shift work on health and performance. 

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September 2018: New paper!

September 2018 was an exciting month with the LLC lab visiting Go Ape in order to celebrate Dr Ana Ulicheva's first paper in the lab being accepted for publication in Cognition. In this paper, Dr Ana Ulicheva and Professor Kathy Rastle show that morphological information is encoded in English spelling, and that skilled readers' knowledge and exploitation of this information depends on its strength in the writing system.

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January 2018: Visit from Professor Kichun Nam, Korea University

It was a new year treat to welcome Professor Kichun Nam from Korea University, along with his students, to share an afternoon of research findings.  Thanks to long-time collaborator Professor Chang Lee for setting up this meeting.

October 2017: Dr Ana Ulicheva awarded a Marie Curie Individual fellowship

 

Congratulations to Dr Ana Ulicheva who has been awarded a Marie Curie Individual fellowship for two years on the project entitled Constructing a theory of phonotactic processing during speaking starting in October 2018.

July 2017: Prof Kathy Rastle EPS mid-career prize lecture

 

Professor Kathy Rastle gave the EPS mid-career prize lecture at the EPS meeting in Reading on July 13, 2017.  Her lecture was titled “Writing systems, reading, and language” and was accompanied by a special symposium titled “Convergent approaches to reading acquisition” organised by Matt Davis.  The symposium featured presentations by Matt Davis, Jo Taylor, Kate Nation, Ram Frost, Michal Ben-Shachar, Padraic Monaghan and Anna Woollams.  The photo is from the presentation of Kate Nation.

June 2017: Dr Ana Ulicheva and Prof Kathy Raslte presented thier work 

 

Dr Ana Ulicheva and Professor Kathy Rastle presented work at the International Morphological Processing (MoProc) conference in Trieste, and then at the Interdisciplinary Advances in Statistical Learning conference in Bilbao. Also in attendance at the first meeting were lab alumni Maria Ktori, Betty Mousikou and Davide Crepaldi.  It was a week of great science, great food, and great scenery. The photo is the site of the MoProc conference dinner.

April 2017: Dr Jo Taylor and Prof Kathy Rastle training study

 

Dr Jo Taylor and Prof Kathy Rastle have published their training study comparing phonics-based and meaning-based methods of reading instruction in Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. The link to the open access paper is http://psycnet.apa.org/record/2017-17326-001. The work was also reported in the Times Education Supplement  (https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-news/phonics-leads-easier-more-accurate-reading-new-research-finds), Nursery World (http://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/nursery-world/news/1160984/study-re-ignites-debate-about-use-of-phonics), Schools Week (http://schoolsweek.co.uk/phonics-boosts-reading-accuracy-study-finds/), SEN Magazine (https://senmagazine.co.uk/home/articles/senarticles-2/in-support-of-phonics) and other outlets.

November 2016: A busy month for the LLC lab

November 2016 has been a busy month for the lab.  Ana Ulicheva started her ESRC Future Research Leader award with a two week visit to Stony Brook University, USA to work with collaborator Prof Mark Aronoff.  Then she, Jo, Maria, Clare, Betty, and Kathy headed to Boston to present the work of the lab at the Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society. The poster presented by Maria is available here and the poster presented by Jo is available here.

October 2016: Dr Jakke Tamminen begins lectureship

Congratulations to lab member Dr Jakke Tamminen who started his new job as a Lecturer in Psychology at Royal Holloway

October 2016: Prof Kathy Rastle on BBC Radio 4

Prof Kathy Rastle appeared on the BBC Radio 4 programme "Word of Mouth" with Michael Rosen to discuss Reading: The science and the pleasure. Tune in here

October 2016: Prof Kathy Rastle and Dr Jessie Ricketts speaking in Parliament

Prof Kathy Rastle and Dr Jessie Ricketts (RHUL) spoke at a Parliamentary Seminar on Measuring Literacy at Westminster. Find out more here

October 2016: New arrivals

LLC lab members welcome Dr Anastasia Ulicheva and Adam Jowett to the lab. Read more about their work here.

September 2016: New paper

A new paper from Betty Mousikou, Rebecca Lucas and Kathy Rastle has been accepted by the Journal of Memory & Language. Download the paper here.

August 2016: LLC on the comedy stage

Kathy Rastle talks about the lab's work at Science Showoff at the Society for the Neurobiology of Language meeting, London, August 2016

May 2016: LLC on TV

LLC members Rastle and Tamminen recently conducted a sleep experiment on panel comedy show “Duck Quacks Don’t Echo” hosted by Lee Mack on Sky 1. The experiment tested whether the sense of smell shuts down during sleep. Being a comedy show, this experiment observed none of the usual principles of good experimental design! You can watch the video here.

May 2016: Conference news

LLC members Rastle, Ktori, and Mousikou at the International Meeting of the Psychonomic Society  2016 in Granada, Spain. Excellent conference and great hospitality!

September 2015: Conference news

LLC lab members Kathy Rastle, Betty Mousikou, Jo Taylor, and Maria Ktori presented their latest work at the ESCOP 2015 meeting on Cyprus. As the photo shows, a wonderful time was had by all!

April 2015: LLC research in the media

A new paper published in Cognitive Psychology leads to a news article in The Daily Telegraph and an article in The Conversation.

September 2014: New paper

Erin Hawkins publishes the first paper from her PhD work. Well done Erin! Download the paper here.

Summer 2014: Conference news

LLC lab members will once again travel the world in the summer. Jakke Tamminen will attend the International Workshop on Learning and Memory Consolidation in San Sebastian (July 10-11), and Betty Mousikou and Jasmin Sadat will be at the International Workshop on Language Production in Geneva (July 16-18). Jo Taylor can be found at the Forum for Research in Literacy and Language in Wokingham (May 15-16) and at the UK Orthography Group meeting in Manchester (July 8).

April 2014: Jo Taylor!

LLC lab members welcome Dr Jo Taylor in the lab. Read more about Jo's work here.

February 2014: Sleep laboratory is ready!

Our two-bedroom sleep lab is now ready. The first study will start in March.

November 2013: Sleep laboratory under construction

LLC Lab will soon benefit from a state-of-the-art sleep laboratory. The purpose of this lab will be to study the relationship between sleep and language learning. The sleep lab will have two research bedrooms, operating Embla polysomnography systems which allow sleep data collection in the lab or in participants' homes. The construction work is currently in progress and we expect it to finish very soon. This is what some of the rooms in the lab looked like a few weeks ago. Come back later to see what it looks like when completed!

Autumn 2013: Conference news

Two members of the LLC Lab are presenting their work at the meeting of the Psychonomic Society in Toronto: Kathy Rastle is giving a talk and Jakke Tamminen is presenting a poster.​

Publication news

LLC lab members have published two new papers this summer:

 

Can cognitive models explain brain activation during word and pseudoword reading? A meta-analysis of 36 neuroimaging studies. / Taylor, J. S. H.; Rastle, Kathleen; Davis, Matthew H. In: Psychological Bulletin, 139, p. 766-791.

 

The role of sleep spindles and slow-wave activity in integrating new information in semantic memory. / Tamminen, J., Lambon Ralph, M. & Lewis, P. In : The Journal of Neuroscience, 33, p. 15376-15381

Summer 2013: Conference news

There will be several opportunities to meet LLC Lab members at conferences this summer. The whole lab is attending the EPS July meeting in Bangor. Betty Mousikou is giving a talk, and Sam McCormick, Jakke Tamminen, and Erin Hawkins are presenting posters.​

Two members of the LLC Lab are presenting their work at ESCoP in Budapest this year (August 29 - September 1): Betty Mousikou  is giving a talk and Erin Hawkins is presenting a poster.​

Sad news!

Dr Sam McCormick is leaving the LLC Lab to take up a lectureship at Roehampton. We wish Sam good luck in her new job!

Happy news!

The LLC Lab welcomes two new postdocs: Dr Jasmin Sadat joins us in September 2013 to work on a Leverhulme Trust funded grant, and Dr Jo Taylor joins us in early 2014 to work on an ESRC funded grant. Read more about what Jasmin and Jo will be sinking their teeth into in the Research section.