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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): http://em-idealab.com/.

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Projects 2006 2019

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.


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. Apr 2018 In : Reading and Writing. 31, 4, p. 991–1015 25 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dissociative Disorders

Garlic and ginger are not like apples and oranges: effects of mass/count information on the production of noun phrases in English

Fieder, N., Nickels, L., Krajenbrink, T. & Biedermann, B. Mar 2018 In : Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. 71, 3, p. 717-748 32 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Quality of Life

Investigating auditory processing of syntactic gaps with L2 speakers using pupillometry

Fernandez, L., Höhle, B., Brock, J. & Nickels, L. Apr 2018 In : Second Language Research. 34, 2, p. 201-227 27 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Population Groups

Is the homophone advantage influenced by post-lexical effects?

Biedermann, B., Cholin, J., Jorschick, A., Croot, K., Hameau, S. & Nickels, L. Nov 2018 In : Cortex. 108, p. 283-286 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/opinion