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Personal profile

Research Interests

I am interested in the relationship between pre-school cognitive skills and instruction on early reading progress, and in particular, the relative importance of general auditory skills and specific speech skills in beginning and intermediate stages of reading. My main approach is to conduct longitudinal studies with large, heterogeneous samples of beginning readers in order to build models of the relationship between underlying skills and reading. I am fortunate to have received generous support for these projects. Previous work was supported by the ESRC and British Academy, in collaboration with Julia Carroll and Jonathan Solity. Current projects include:

The Aston Literacy Project, a four year ESRC funded project, with Research Fellow Anna Cunningham, PhD student Kate Swoboda and Co-Investigators Caroline Witton, Joel Talcott, Kim Rochelle and Adrian Burgess. See the ALP website for more details.

The Reading Comprehension Project, with Research Assistant Salma Kadiri and Co-Investigator Selma Babayigit. Our aim is to examine which skills (e.g., vocabulary, grammar and memory) are most important for reading comprehension in children from diverse home language backgrounds. See the Reading Comprehension website for more details.


I am also interested in how children learn to categorise objects and how adults store and access this knowledge. This research is supported by an ESRC studentship to Julia Badger and a research grant from Twycross Zoo Education Department.

Contact Details

Email: L.R.Shapiro@aston.ac.uk
telephone: +44 (0) 121 204 4052
fax: +44 (0) 121 204 4090


  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Reading Development

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Research Output

Auditory frequency discrimination in developmental dyslexia: a meta-analysis

Witton, C., Swoboda, K., Shapiro, L. R. & Talcott, J. B., 1 Feb 2020, In : Dyslexia. 26, 1, p. 36-51 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • Open Access
  • We're going to the zoo: Interactive educational activities with animals boost category-based induction in children

    Badger, J. R. & Shapiro, L. R., 1 Jan 2019, In : Cognitive Development. 49, p. 1-10 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • From Subtypes to Taxons: Identifying Distinctive Profiles of Reading Development in Children

    Burgess, A. P., Witton, C., Shapiro, L. & Talcott, J. B., 28 Jul 2018, Reading and Dyslexia. Springer, p. 207-227 Chapter 11. (Reading and Dyslexia; vol. 16).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • Activities

    • 1 Participation in conference

    Eighteenth Annual Meeting Society for the Scientific Study of Reading

    Laura Shapiro (Participant)

    13 Jul 201116 Jul 2011

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference