Research in cognitive development focuses largely on typical and atypical patterns of language, literacy, and memory development in children. This work is funded by the Wellcome Trust, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), The Royal Society, Nuffield Foundation, UK Big Lottery Fund, Royal Society, Enhancing Literacy Development in European Language (ELDEL) and the Wolfson Foundation.
The Centre for Reading and Language uses a range of methodologies including experimentation, longitudinal studies, intervention studies, cross-linguistic studies and behavioural genetics, to examine typical development and the underpinnings of developmental disorders in children, particularly those related to language and literacy. The Centre's researchers also work in collaboration with a range of external organisations and professionals, these include speech and language therapists, teachers and teaching assistants, council employees and researchers based in Newcastle, Warwick, Leeds and Sheffield Universities.
Lab meetings of the Centre for Reading and Language are held weekly during term-time and give students and staff the opportunity to hear about their colleagues'/peers' research. The Centre also runs a private assessment clinic for families of children with reading and language difficulties.
The Centre for Working Memory and Learning carries out developmental research on working memory in children, and its role in typical and disordered learning. It incorporates translational research within the field of education. Current projects focus on the cognitive and behavioural characteristics of children with developmental disorders of attention (ADHD) and working memory, and on the impact of training and classroom support programmes on the associated learning difficulties. Working Memory lab meetings are held regularly during term.
Further associated work includes the development of auditory processing in children (Summerfield), connectionist simulations of knowledge acquisition (Quinlan), and infant reactions to expectancy violation (Zentner).
Pat Johnston's research team is currently conducting a project examining children's time perception. The project has a particular emphasis on the understanding of the elapse of time and duration of events in children with autism/autism spectrum condition and how these may be associated with aspects of social and motor cognition.
This is a series of projects evaluating the impact of the CogMed Working Memory Training Program, developed in Sweden, in different populations: children with ADHD, children with low working memory, typically developing children in the classroom, and undergraduate students. This research is being carried out by Professor Susan Gathercole (University of Cambridge), Dr Joni Holmes (Northumbria University), Darren Dunning (University of York), Professor Maurice Place (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Hartlepool and Northumbria University), Kerry Hilton (Durham University) and Professor Julian Elliot (Durham University).
This project focuses on the role played by executive functions – such as working memory, attention, inhibitory control and planning – in children’s reading difficulties. This work is being led by Shinmin Wang as part of her PhD, supervised by Professor Susan Gathercole and Dr Emma Hayiou-Thomas.
An experimental analysis of the subcomponents of working memory involved in following instructions. This work is being led by Tianxiao Yang as part of her PhD, supervised by Professors Susan Gathercole and Alan Baddeley, and in collaboration with Dr Richard Allen (University of Leeds).
An investigation of the cognitive profiles and study skills of young adult students in tertiary educations, who have been diagnosed with specific learning difficulties. This work is being led by Kartini Abd Ghani as part of her PhD, supervised by Professor Susan Gathercole and Dr Tom Hartley.
Seeks to understand the different developmental pathways in literacy and numeracy that can take place in children within the same family. The participants are the older siblings of children taking part in the Wellcome Language and Reading Project. The ELDEL study is part of a European network examining early language and literacy development in different European languages, including Czech and Slovak. The work in York is being carried out by Kristina Moll, Ariana Loff, Maggie Snowling and Charles Hulme.
A longitudinal study examining the genetic and environmental bases of speech and language impairments, as well as their relationship to literacy skills, using behavioural genetic methodology. This work is being led by Emma Hayiou-Thomas, in collaboration with the Twins Early Development Study.
This project is working with young children at preschool and school-entry age, to assess whether a structured oral language intervention at this age can help ameliorate later literacy problems in children with speech and language difficulties. This work is being carried out by Kristina Moll, Claudine Bowyer-Crane (Sheffield Hallam), Silke Fricke (Sheffield), Ally Haley, Charles Hulme and Maggie Snowling.
The CRL developed a new test of reading comprehension for children aged 4-16, called the YARC: York Assessment of Reading Comprehension. The Primary Edition was published by GL Assessments in March 2009; the Secondary Edition was published in 2010. The project was led by Dr Sue Stothard, in collaboration with Paula Clarke, Claudine Crane, Charles Hulme and Maggie Snowling.
This project examines the characteristics of poor readers in Kannada, a southern Indian language. Kannada uses an alphasyllabary rather than an alphabet, and one of the aims of the project is to compare the factors that lead to poor reading in Kannada to those that underlie poor reading in alphabetic languages. The project is a collaboration between Sonali Nag and Maggie Snowling.
A reading and language program designed to improve the literacy skills of children with Down Syndrome. This project is being carried out by Fiona Duff, with Rose Birkinshaw, Charles Hulme and Maggie Snowling, and in collaboration with Down Syndrome Education International.
This 5-year study examines the overlap between dyslexia and specific language impairment. By comparing children with early speech and language problems, those at family-risk of dyslexia, and a control group, it aims to clarify the factors that underlie ongoing difficulties in language and literacy. This project is being carried out by Hannah Nash, Debbie Gooch, Lorna Hamilton, Ruth Leavett, Katy Grainger, Maggie Snowling, Charles Hulme and Emma Hayiou-Thomas.
This project focuses on the role of oral language skills, including vocabulary knowledge and word learning ability, in the development of literacy in children with Down Syndrome. The work is led by Silvana Mengoni, as part of her PhD research, supervised by Charles Hulme.
A project focusing on the impact of the varying intake policies of schools on the phonic and early literacy development of Reception and Y1 pupils, particularly those younger in the school year, and on how writing and spelling development follows teaching. This work is led by Alison Bailey as part of her PhD research, supervised by Maggie Snowling, and is being carried out in collaboration with the City of York Local Authority.
This study focuses on the role of the home literacy environment in the development of literacy skills in young children at family risk of dyslexia. This work is led by Lorna Hamilton, as part of her PhD research, supervised by Maggie Snowling and Emma Hayiou-Thomas.
A study investigating the longitudinal predictors of arithmetic development in young children. This work is led by Sarah Watson, as part of her PhD research, supervised by Silke Göbel.