Dr Elpis Pavlidou



I am a cognitive neuroscientist in the making who studied Psychology in Greece, went to Scotland to continue studying, decided to move to the USA to chase my academic ‘American Dream’ and I am now based in England. In 2010, I received my PhD from The University of Edinburgh.

During that time, I published my studies in international journals (phew!) and presented my work in conferences around the world (successfully, I’d like to think). In 2012, Europe finally decided to fund my work for 3 years via the Marie Curie International Fellowships scheme (long story).

I am currently a Lecturer in Psychology in Education but I am also affiliated with Haskins Laboratories (Yale University) and the University of Edinburgh (the first cut is the deepest). Please note that all my summer breaks are spent basking in the Greek Sun.

Departmental roles

I am Lecturer in Psychology in Education (PiE) and the Undergraduate Admissions Tutor



My previous and current research is focusing on reading (typical and atypical) and implicit/statistical learning. Implicit learning is a learning mechanism that allows us to acquire the structural regularities of our environment in a largely non-conscious manner. I study this type of learning in typical and atypical young populations with the goal of understanding how this process is used, and the brain circuits that support it.


My Marie Curie fellowship formed the basis for an evidence-based intervention (in the form of a child-friendly touchscreen computer game) that capitalises on implicit learning of complicated patterns (for more information: http://honey-bee.wix.com/ilearn-project). The intervention is currently under way in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh (supervisor: Dr Jo Williams; students: Alison Wilson-Kay and Susan Lanvin). The intervention is targeting children with reading difficulties based on my behavioral (Pavlidou et al., 2009; 2010; 2014) and neuroimaging (Pavlidou et al., in preparation) work suggesting that reading problems may partly stem from a difficulty in picking up implicitly the regularities present in text.‚Äč This is the first trial of touchscreen technology that uses language-free stimuli aiming to enhance implicit learning directly and reading outcomes indirectly in children. Results are likely to impact on the use of implicit learning tasks to support learning and reading for children with developmental dyslexia and/or reading problems.

Research group(s)

Available PhD research projects

I accept PhD students interested in the following research areas and related fields:

  • Neurobiology of reading across languages
  • Neurocognitive bases of Developmental Dyslexia
  • Development and individual differences of implicit/statistical learning
  • Diagnostic procedures in Developmental Dyslexia


Contact details

Department of Education
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44 (0)1904 324395