Dr Anna Woollams
My research interests focus on multiple aspects of normal and disordered language processing. I have primarily considered normal reading and the way in which this ability can be disrupted subsequent to brain damage, in particular by illnesses such as Semantic Dementia and Progressive NonFluent Aphasia.
The theoretical context of this work is provided by connectionist models of language processing. These models allow for consideration of the impact of systematic individual differences upon normal reading behaviour and also of the consequences that these may have for performance seen after brain damage.
I am currently validating and extending my previous work using neuroimaging techniques and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. In the future, I aim to apply the predictions of connectionist models to the processes involved in the very first stages of literacy acquisition, using behavioural and electrophysiological measures.
My academic life in Australia included completion of a doctorate in experimental psycholinguistics within the Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science in 2002, followed by a Psychology Lectureship at the University of Wollongong in 2003. I then moved to the UK in order to take up a postdoctoral research position within the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge in 2004. I moved to a Psychology Lectureship at the University of Manchester in 2007, where I currently conduct research within the Neuroscience and Aphasia Research Group (NARU).
Collaborators and affiliated staff
Current Doctoral Students:
Magaret Sandars Smith
Professor Karalyn Patterson
Professor Matt Lambon Ralph
Professor Steven Rapcsak
Dr Anna Theakston
Dr Joanna Moy
Dr Daniel Roberts
Dr Lotte Meteyard
Dr Paul Hoffman
Dr Holly Robson
Dr Rebecca Butler
Dr Lauren Cloutman
Hoffman, P., Lambon Ralph, M. A., & Woollams, A. M. (2015).Triangulation of the neurocomputational architecture underpinning reading aloud. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(28), E3719-E3728. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1502032112. Publication link: b75aed62-2c8d-42ec-8385-77a84090b2fc | PubMed:26124121
Butler, R., Lambon Ralph, M. A., & Woollams, A. M. (2014).Capturing multidimensionality in stroke aphasia: mapping principal behavioural components to neural structures.Brain : a journal of neurology, 137(Pt 12), 3248-3266. DOI:10.1093/brain/awu286. Publication link: 58251b1f-2b33-4526-80a3-44160bb05ab5 | PubMed:25348632
Roberts, D. J., Woollams, A. M., Kim, E., Beeson, P. M., Rapcsak, S. Z., & Lambon Ralph, M. A. (2013).Efficient visual object and word recognition relies on high spatial frequency coding in the left posterior fusiform gyrus: Evidence from a case-series of patients with ventral occipito-temporal cortex damage. Cerebral Cortex, 23(11), 2568-2580. DOI:10.1093/cercor/bhs224. Publication link: e8cab104-5530-497a-aecd-344d9de8ff14 | PubMed:22923086
Evans, G. A. L., Ralph, M. A. L., & Woollams, A. M. (2012).What's in a word? A parametric study of semantic influences on visual word recognition. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 19(2), 325-331. DOI:10.3758/s13423-011-0213-7. Publication link: a9d83749-6d8c-4677-940d-10ee961b76f9 | PubMed:22258820
Welbourne, S. R., Woollams, A. M., Crisp, J., & Ralph, M. A. L. (2011).The role of plasticity-related functional reorganization in the explanation of central dyslexias. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 28(2), 65-108. DOI:10.1080/02643294.2011.621937. Publication link: 54f95dd5-c947-4044-af82-6c58dd091aa4
Woollams, A. M., Silani, G., Okada, K., Patterson, K., & Price, C. J. (2011).Word or word-like? Dissociating orthographic typicality from lexicality in the left occipito-temporal cortex. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23(4), 992-1002. DOI:10.1162/jocn.2010.21502. Publication link: 6ef29d5b-ae28-45da-bf34-9f3d4005f17a | PubMed:20429854
Hauk, O., Patterson, K., Woollams, A., Cooper-Pye, E., Pulvermüller, F., & Rogers, T. T. (2007).How the camel lost its hump: The impact of object typicality on event-related potential signals in object decision. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 19(8), 1338-1353. DOI:10.1162/jocn.2007.19.8.1338. Publication link: d1e9a457-d352-40b5-98be-75068a58bac3
Lambon Ralph, M., Jefferies, E., Woollams, A. M., Patterson, K., Lambon, R. M. A., Jones, R., ... Rogers, T. T. (2006).'Pre-semantic' cognition in semantic dementia: Six deficits in search of an explanation.Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 18. . Publication link: 433e3e71-569e-4c8c-b88d-870a7649613a
Woollams, A. M., Hauk, O., Patterson, K., Watling, L., Pulvermuller, F., & Rogers, T. T. (2006).[Q:] When would you prefer a SOSSAGE to a SAUSAGE? [A:] At about 100msec. ERP correlates of orthographic typicality and lexicality in written word recognition.Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 18(5). . Publication link: 02222813-f0ac-427c-8061-1ca5f81ea751
Andrews, S., Woollams, A., & Bond, R. (2005).Spelling-sound typicality only affects words with digraphs: Further qualifications to the generality of the regularity effect on word naming. Journal of Memory and Language, 53(4), 567-593. DOI:10.1016/j.jml.2005.04.002. Publication link: c66caf9f-dbca-4972-bde6-612f79c96f2a