Personal profile


I came to academia after several years working as a Speech Therapist in various London hospitals. My research career started at Birkbeck College, University of London, where I obtained my PhD in 1992.

In 1996 I moved to Macquarie University, initially as a visiting Research Fellow on a Wellcome Trust Fellowship. In 1999 I took up an Australian Research Council QEII Fellowship followed by an NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship (2006) and ARC Future Fellowship (2013).

My research field can be broadly characterised as "the cognitive neuropsychology of language". In other words, I investigate language impairments (both developmental, and acquired as a result of brain damage) and use these to test the adequacy of cognitive models of language comprehension and production. In addition, the use of these models can inform our understanding of the language impairments and how best to remediate them. My research focuses on acquired language impairment (aphasia and progressive aphasia), but also with some work in the field of impaired literacy (dyslexia) in children and adults.

Much of my research has focused on word production and particularly assessment and treatment of impairments of word production (anomia), however, I also have an interest in experimental investigation of word production in speakers without language impairment. I have a commitment to research into the remediation of language disorders, and collaborate with speech pathologists in this endeavour. 

I am also Macquarie University's Director for the international PhD programme: International Doctorate for Experimental Approaches to Language and Brain (IDEALAB):

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Projects 2006 2017

COMPARE - Constraint Induced or Multimodal aphasia rehabilitation: An RCT of therapy for stroke related chronic aphasia

Nickels, L., Rose, M., Copland, D., Togher, L., Meinzer, M., Ong, B. & Godecke, E.

25/02/15 → …

Project: Research

Appointments and Schedules

Developing better treatments for language disorders (ARC)

Nickels, L., MQRES, M. & MQRES 3 (International), M. 3.

31/12/12 → …

Project: Research


Centre for Language Sciences (CLaS)

Thornton, R., Crain, S., Peters, P., Cupples, L., Johnston, T., Nickels, L., McMahon, C., Johnson, M., Armstrong, B., Cox, F., Harrison, R., Mannell, R., Napier, J., Newall, P., Rieschild, V., Slatyer, H., Tent, J., Lising, J., Mollering, M., Winchester-Seeto, T., Jensen, B., Palethorpe, S. & Tesan, G.

1/07/07 → …

Project: Research

Appointments and Schedules

Research Output 1990 2018

An investigation of grapheme parsing and grapheme-phoneme knowledge in two children with dyslexia

Larsen, L., Kohnen, S., McArthur, G. & Nickels, L. 23 Jan 2018 (Accepted/In press) In : Reading and Writing. p. 1-25 25 p.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Language in individuals with left hemisphere tumors: Is spontaneous speech analysis comparable to formal testing?

Rofes, A., Talacchi, A., Santini, B., Pinna, G., Nickels, L., Bastiaanse, R. & Miceli, G. 1 Feb 2018 In : Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology. p. 1-11 11 p.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Counting on number: effects of number information on grammatical processing of mass and count nouns

Fieder, N., Wang, H. C., Biedermann, B. & Nickels, L. 30 Jan 2017 In : Language, Cognition and Neuroscience. 32, 8, p. 1034-1047 14 p.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle


Developmental graphemic buffer dysgraphia in English: A single case study

Barisic, K., Kohnen, S. & Nickels, L. 14 Sep 2017 In : Cognitive Neuropsychology. 25 p.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Graphemic Buffer

Effect of socio-economic status on cognitive control in non-literate bilingual speakers

Nair, V. K. K., Biedermann, B. & Nickels, L. Nov 2017 In : Bilingualism. 20, 5, p. 999-1009 11 p.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

conflict resolution
social factors