Accessibility statement

Emma Hayiou-Thomas
Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor)



  • 2005 – present – Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor, University of York
  • 2003-2005 – Postdoctoral Research Fellow, SGDP Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, KCL
  • 1998-2002 – D.Phil. in Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford
  • 1995-1998 – BA in Psychology & Physiology, University of Oxford


  • Institute of Psychiatry, SGDP Centre: Post-doctoral research fellow (2003-2005)
  • University of York, Lecturer in Psychology (2005-)

Departmental roles

University roles



My research focuses on typical and atypical language and literacy development in children, including dyslexia and Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). I use behavioural genetics, family-risk designs, and experimental methods to investigate the risk factors and underlying mechanisms contributing to these disorders, and to individual variation in language development more generally.

Research group(s)

Amanda Hickey (PhD student)

Catia Oliveira (PhD student)

Joseph Vogliqi (PhD student)

Developmental Research Group


  • Waterloo Foundation (2013-14): “The co-occurrence of language, literacy and psychosocial difficulties in adolescence: genetic and environmental contributions.” (Principal Investigator).

  • Wellcome Trust (2007-14): “Developmental relationships between dyslexia and specific language impairment”. (Co-Investigator & Local PI, 2012-14. Principal Investigator: M.J. Snowling, Co-Investigator: C. Hulme).

  • Medical Research Council (2010-2015): “Origins of learning difficulties and behaviour problems: from behavioural genetics to behavioural genomics”. (Collaborator. Principal Investigator: Robert Plomin).


Available PhD research projects

I would be particularly interested to hear from postgraduates interested in atypical language and/or literacy development. Recent projects focus on domain-general learning and memory mechanisms in language development.


Selected publications

  • Hayiou-Thomas, M. E., Smith-Woolley, E., & Dale, P. S. (2020). Breadth versus depth: Cumulative risk model and continuous measure prediction of poor language and reading outcomes at 12. Developmental Science, e12998.
  • Dale, P. S., von Stumm, S., Selzam, S., & Hayiou-Thomas, M. E. (2020). Does the Inclusion of a Genome-Wide Polygenic Score Improve Early Risk Prediction for Later Language and Literacy Delay? Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research: JSLHR, 1–12.
  • Larkin, F., Hayiou-Thomas, M. E., Arshad, Z., Leonard, M., Williams, F. J., Katseniou, N., Malouta, R. N., Marshall, C. R. P., Diamantopoulou, M., Tang, E., Mani, S., & Meins, E. (2020). Mind-Mindedness and Stress in Parents of Children with Developmental Disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
  • Hickey, A., Hayiou-Thomas, E., & Mirkovic, J. (2019). Grammatical Generalisation in Statistical Learning: Is it implicit and invariant across development? CogSci, 1908–1914.
  • Snowling, M. J., Hayiou‐Thomas, M. E., Nash, H. M., & Hulme, C. (2019). Dyslexia and Developmental Language Disorder: comorbid disorders with distinct effects on reading comprehension. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines31, 1027.
  • Snowling, M. J., Nash, H. M., Gooch, D. C., Hayiou-Thomas, M. E., Hulme, C., & Wellcome Language and Reading Project Team. (2019). Developmental outcomes for children at high risk of dyslexia and children with developmental language disorder. Child Development90(5), 548–564.
  • Dale, P. S., Rice, M. L., Rimfeld, K., & Hayiou-Thomas, M. E. (2018). Grammar Clinical Marker Yields Substantial Heritability for Language Impairments in 16-Year-Old Twins. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research: JSLHR61(1), 66–78.
  • Hayiou-Thomas, M. E., Carroll, J. M., Leavett, R., Hulme, C., & Snowling, M. J. (2017). When does speech sound disorder matter for literacy? The role of disordered speech errors, co-occurring language impairment and family risk of dyslexia. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines58(2), 197–205.
  • Tosto, M. G., Hayiou-Thomas, M. E., Harlaar, N., Prom-Wormley, E., Dale, P. S., & Plomin, R. (2017). The genetic architecture of oral language, reading fluency, and reading comprehension: A twin study from 7 to 16 years. Developmental Psychology53(6), 1115–1129.
  • Scerri, T. S., Macpherson, E., Martinelli, A., Wa, W. C., Monaco, A. P., Stein, J., Zheng, M., Suk-Han Ho, C., McBride, C., Snowling, M., Hulme, C., Hayiou-Thomas, M. E., Waye, M. M. Y., Talcott, J. B., & Paracchini, S. (2017). The DCDC2 deletion is not a risk factor for dyslexia. Translational Psychiatry7(7), e1182.
  • Pettigrew, K. A., Frinton, E., Nudel, R., Chan, M. T. M., Thompson, P., Hayiou-Thomas, M. E., Talcott, J. B., Stein, J., Monaco, A. P., Hulme, C., Snowling, M. J., Newbury, D. F., & Paracchini, S. (2016). Further evidence for a parent-of-origin effect at the NOP9 locus on language-related phenotypes. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders8(1), 24.
  • Pettigrew, K. A., Reeves, E., Leavett, R., Hayiou-Thomas, M. E., Sharma, A., Simpson, N. H., Martinelli, A., Thompson, P., Hulme, C., Snowling, M. J., Newbury, D. F., & Paracchini, S. (2015). Copy Number Variation Screen Identifies a Rare DeNovo Deletion at Chromosome 15q13.1-13.3 in a Child with Language Impairment. 
  • Hayiou-Thomas, M. E., Dale, P. S., & Plomin, R. (2014). Language impairment from 4 to 12 years: prediction and etiology. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research: JSLHR57(3), 850–864.
  • Hayiou-Thomas, M. E., Dale, P. S., & Plomin, R. (2012). The etiology of variation in language skills changes with development: a longitudinal twin study of language from 2 to 12 years. Developmental Science15(2), 233–249.
  • Whalley, H. C., O’Connell, G., Sussmann, J. E., Peel, A., Stanfield, A. C., Hayiou-Thomas, M. E., Johnstone, E. C., Lawrie, S. M., McIntosh, A. M., & Hall, J. (2011). Genetic variation in CNTNAP2 alters brain function during linguistic processing in healthy  individuals.  American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part B, Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 156B(8), 941–948.

Full publications list

See Google Scholar or the York Research Database.



  • Biological Basis of Developmental Disorders (3rd year advanced option)
  • Project and literature survey supervision


  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders (module organizer; MSc DDCP, MSci Developmental Disorders pathway)
  • Educational Neuroscience
  • MSc DDCP project supervision
  • PhD supervision

External activities


Editorial duties

  • Royal Society for Open Science, Associate Editor

Contact details

Dr Emma Hayiou-Thomas
Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor)
Department of Psychology
Room PS/C102

Tel: 01904 324360