Sven Mattys



  • State University of New York at Stony Brook, PhD in Psychology, 1997 
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles, BA in Psychology, 1993  


After graduating from the Université Libre de Bruxelles in 1993, I moved to the USA to carry out my PhD studies at the State University of New York at Stony Brook (1997). I remained in America as a postdoctoral researcher at the Johns Hopkins University (1997-1999) and then at the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles (1999-2000), before moving to the University of Bristol in 2001. I joined the University of York in 2012. 

Departmental roles

  • Director of Teaching and Learning
  • Development and Language strand leader



My background is in experimental psycholinguistics. I am particularly interested in the perceptual, cognitive, and physiological mechanisms underlying speech recognition. Although the populations I have investigated so far (normal-hearing adults, hearing-impaired adults, and infants) vary widely in their quantitative and qualitative exposure to the spoken language, a number of research questions apply to all of them: How are novel spoken words learned? What is the time-course of speech processing? How is speech segmentation carried out? How are words represented in the lexicon? How do we recognise speech in adverse conditions?



  • Dorina Strori (PhD)
  • Huarda Valdes-Laribi (PhD)

Dorina Strori, Sven Mattys, Huarda Valdes-Laribi, Shekeila Palmer


Selected publications

  • Mitterer, H. & Mattys, S.L. (2016). How does cognitive load influence speech perception: An encoding hypothesis. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics.
  • Palmer, S.L. & Mattys, S.L. (2016). Speech segmentation by statistical learning is supported by domain-general processes within working memory. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.
  • Mattys, S.L. & Palmer, S.D. (2015). Divided attention disrupts perceptual encoding during speech recognition. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 137, 1464-1472.
  • White, L., Mattys, S.L., Stefansdottir, L., & Jones, V. (2015). Beating the bounds: Localized timing cues to word segmentation. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 138, 1214-1220.
  • Mattys, S.L., Barden, K., & Samuel, A. G. (2014). Extrinsic cognitive load impairs low-level speech perception. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review,  21, 748-754.
  • Mattys, S.L. & Scharenborg, O. (2014). Phoneme categorization and discrimination in younger and older adults: A comparative analysis of perceptual, lexical, and attentional factors. Psychology and Aging,  29, 150-162.
  • Mattys, S.L., Seymour, F., Attwood, A.S., & Munafò, R.R. (2013). Effects of acute anxiety induction on speech perception: Are anxious listeners distracted listeners? Psychological Science, 24, 1606-1608.
  • White, L., Mattys, S.L., & Wiget, L. (2012). Segmentation cues in conversational speech: Robust semantics and fragile phonotactics. Frontiers, 3, 1-9.
  • Mattys, S.L., Davis, M.H., Bradlow, A.R., & Scott, S.K. (2012). Speech recognition in adverse conditions: A review. Language & Cognitive processes, 27, 953-978.
  • White, L., Mattys, S.L., & Wiget, L. (2012). Language categorization is based on sensitivity to durational cues, not rhythm class. Journal of Memory and Language, 66, 665-679.
  • Mattys, S.L. & Wiget, L. (2011). Effects of cognitive load on speech recognition. Journal of Memory and Language, 65 , 145-160.
  • Dilley, L.C., Mattys, S.L., & Vinke, L. (2010). Potent prosody: Comparing the effects of distal prosody, proximal prosody, and semantic context on word segmentation. Journal of Memory and Language, 63, 274-294.
  • Mattys, S.L., Carroll, L. M., Li, C. K. W., & Chan, S. L. Y. (2010). Effects of energetic and informational loads on speech segmentation by native and non-native speakers. Speech Communication, 52, 887-899.
  • Wiget, L., White, L., Schuppler. B., Grenon, I., Rauch, O., & Mattys, S.L. (2010). How stable are acoustic metrics of contrastive speech rhythm? Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 127, 1559-1569.
  • White, L., Melhorn, J.F, & Mattys, S.L. (2010). Segmentation by lexical subtraction in Hungarian L2 speakers of English. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 63, 544-554.



  • Speech perception over the lifespan (Year 3)
  • Language development (Year 1)


  • Topics in Psychological Research

External activities


  • Psychonomics Society
  • Experimental Psychology Society

Editorial duties

  • Consulting editor: Journal of Experimental Psychology: LMC, European Research Council, Frontiers in Language Sciences, Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, Applied Psycholinguistics.
  • Member of Grant Assessment Panel A, ESRC.


Contact details

Sven Mattys
Department of Psychology
Room PS/C105

Tel: 01904 323145