Angela J. Fawcett

Angela J. Fawcett
Swansea University | SWAN · Department of Psychology

About

122
Publications
53,851
Reads
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7,002
Citations
Citations since 2016
20 Research Items
2389 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220100200300
20162017201820192020202120220100200300
20162017201820192020202120220100200300
20162017201820192020202120220100200300
Additional affiliations
January 2011 - present
Swansea University
Position
  • Professor Emeritus
January 2007 - December 2011
Swansea University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
January 2007 - September 2018
The University of Sheffield
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (122)
Article
Full-text available
Background It is important to improve verbal Working Memory (WM) in reading disability, as it is a key factor in learning. There are commercial verbal WM training programs, which have some short-term effects only on the verbal WM capacity, not reading. However, because of some weaknesses in current verbal WM training programs, researchers suggested...
Article
Full-text available
A fundamental issue for research in mathematics disability (MD) and reading disability (RD) is: If these disabilities are clearly distinct, why is there so high a level of comorbidity, together with the converse; if these disabilities are so similar, why are there clear differences in underlying causes and aetiology? In order to address this puzzle...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: It is important to improve verbal Working Memory (WM) in reading disability, as it is a key factor in learning. There are commercial verbal WM training programs, which have some short-term effects only on the verbal WM capacity, not reading. However, because of some weaknesses in current verbal WM training programs, researchers suggeste...
Article
We aimed to investigate the relationship between reading difficulties in native language (NL: Polish) and English as a foreign language in dyslexia in English and Polish students, respectively, and to develop a model of relations between NL phonological awareness, rapid automatized naming, verbal short‐term memory, and reading in English. Thirteen...
Article
The concept of early screening and response to intervention has been recognised as key to success in literacy. In this article, an implementation model, which combined a published screening test with a free open access short‐term intervention, was piloted and evaluated over several years. Significant improvements in risk levels for literacy difficu...
Article
Full-text available
Research into the relationship between dyslexia and substance abuse has led to inconsistent findings. Some research papers suggest that dyslexics are at increased risk of substance abuse (and related) problems, whilst some research would suggest the contrary. We suggest that these different observations can be accounted for by socioeconomic backgro...
Article
Full-text available
It is now evident that explanations of many developmental disorders need to include a network perspective. In earlier work, we proposed that developmental dyslexia (DD) is well-characterized in terms of impaired procedural learning within the language networks, with the cerebellum being the key structure involved. Here, we deepen the analysis to in...
Article
Full-text available
Background The aim of our study was to compare free writing skills in English as a native language and a foreign language (in English and Polish students respectively). English and Polish have dissimilar orthographies in terms of grapheme-phoneme correspondence rules that is why we were curious to examine whether native and foreign speakers of Engl...
Chapter
In this chapter we address the underlying causes of dyslexia, the developmental learning disability, rather than reading disability. In our breakthrough research over 25 years ago we demonstrated that the process of skill automatization of skill was a problem for dyslexic children not only in reading-related skills but also in a range of other skil...
Article
Introducción: En esta revisión exponemos, en líneas generales, el razonamiento y la evidencia que respalda nuestra hipótesis que los problemas sufridos por los disléxicos pueden atribuirse a un deficit cerebelar.Método: Primero, ofrecemos una perspectiva general de la evidencia reciente que propone un papel importante del cerebelo en las habilidade...
Article
Full-text available
Background: A number of cognitive deficits are associated with dyslexia. However, only a limited amount of research has been performed exploring a putative link between dyslexia and substance use. As substance use is thought to involve a cognitive component, it is possible that the pattern of substance use would be different for dyslexic participa...
Article
There is uncertainty as to whether the deficits in developmental dyslexia extend beyond the language domain. In the present study, the time course of procedural learning of a motor sequence skill was followed over a 24 hour period. 13 dyslexic adults and 12 control adults matched for age and intelligence were asked to repeat a sequence of finger mo...
Article
Full-text available
Nos dias 18 a 20 de agosto, a Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais sediou o II Fórum de Mundial de Dislexia (IIWDF), cujo tema foi Políticas Públicas: abrindo caminhos para a identificação precoce e para as melhores práticas de alfabetização. Este importante evento mundial – presidido pela Profa. Ângela Maria Vieira Pinheiro e apoiado pela Unesco q...
Article
Full-text available
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a progressive genetic condition that affects both muscle and brain. Children with DMD are at risk of psycho‐social difficulties such as poor academic achievement and behavioural and socio‐emotional problems. This article by Janet Hoskin and Angela Fawcett, both from the University of Swansea, describes how 34 pa...
Article
Full-text available
In less than three decades, the concept "cerebellar neurocognition" has evolved from a mere afterthought to an entirely new and multifaceted area of neuroscientific research. A close interplay between three main strands of contemporary neuroscience induced a substantial modification of the traditional view of the cerebellum as a mere coordinator of...
Article
Full-text available
This article presents an international perspective of the proposed changes to the DSM-5 for learning disabilities (LD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders (ADHD) across ten countries: Australia, Germany, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We provide perspectives of the present situation...
Article
This paper describes the rationale behind the Dyslexia Early Screening Test for identifying children at risk for dyslexia before they fail to learn to read. The DEST comprises 11 simple subtests – speed, phonological skill, motor skill, cerebellar function and knowledge – which together provide an overall ‘at risk’ judgement, together with an abili...
Article
Aims. To develop and evaluate an intervention strategy for children at risk of reading failure in their first year at school.Samples. Classes in four UK infant schools with different demographic characteristics were screened to identify children most at risk of reading failure (62 in total, mean initial age 6.0 years). Control children, matched ove...
Article
Balance difficulties are an enduring feature of dyslexia research, however results have been inconsistent. We propose that between-study heterogeneity may be attributable to variability in balance tasks, balance measurement, participant age, and inclusion of comorbid disorders such as ADHD. This study attempted to clarify these issues, employing qu...
Article
Three major 'neural systems', specialized for different types of information processing, are the sensory, declarative, and procedural systems. It has been proposed (Trends Neurosci., 30(4), 135-141) that dyslexia may be attributable to impaired function in the procedural system together with intact declarative function. We provide a brief overview...
Article
There is confusion over classification in the developmental disorders. Not only is there marked heterogeneity within any given disorder but there is also substantial overlap ('comorbidity') between the characteristic symptoms of several disorders. Confusion is particularly marked for dyslexia (defined in terms of poor reading) and dysgraphia (defin...
Article
Full-text available
The Strengths and Weaknesses Academic Profile (SWAP) was constructed in Israel in response to the local need of career counselors for a valid, reliable, comprehensive, parsimonious, and computerized screening device for identifying those likely to be at risk of learning disabilities (LD). The method chosen was self-report. A set of cognitive items...
Article
Developmental dyslexia is associated with problems in a range of linguistic and non-linguistic skills. Some of those problems have been attributed to dysfunction of the cerebellum and its associated neural systems. Two studies of cerebellar structure were undertaken by our group. In Study 1, white and grey matter volumes in the cerebellum were inve...
Chapter
This chapter provides a brief overview of the major theories of the underlying causes of developmental dyslexia. First, it presents three cognitive level explanations: the phonological deficit hypothesis, the double-deficit hypothesis, and the automatization deficit hypothesis. It then discusses three brain-level explanatory frameworks, which inclu...
Chapter
This chapter investigates the neural systems level—a level intermediate between brain and cognition. It also discusses the specific procedural learning difficulties (SPLD) framework, which interprets dyslexia as a specific deficit in the procedural learning system as opposed to the declarative memory system.
Article
Abstract The SelfSpell programs provide a multi-media environment for dyslexic children which uses synthesised speech to augment the written text. In earlier research we established that by encouraging users to enter a rule to help them remember how to spell each word, SelfSpell was very effective in improving spelling ability. The evaluation study...
Chapter
What has the Cerebellum Done for Us?The Cerebellar Deficit HypothesisChanges Since 2001: Evidence from Other Research GroupsCriticisms of the Cerebellar Deficit HypothesisContributions of the Cerebellar Deficit HypothesisThe Way ForwardReferences
Chapter
OverviewIntroductionA Digression to Cognitive Analyses of ReadingModels of Learning to ReadGoswami and Bryant's Causal ModelSkilled ReadingThe Varied forms of LearningDangers Afflicting Approaches to ReadingTowards a Science of Reading InstructionPhonics and DyslexiaThe Path ForwardAcknowledgmentReferences
Chapter
ResearchPolicy and PracticeConclusion References
Book
This book highlights the most recent developments in the area of research, policy and practice. All the authors are well known in the field of dyslexia and they will offer significant contributions at the forthcoming BDA conference ' Dyslexia: the dividends from research to policy and practice' to be held at Warwick University in March 2004. In add...
Article
Full-text available
Dyslexia research has made dramatic progress since the mid-1980s. Once discounted as a “middle-class myth,” dyslexia is now the subject of a complex—and confusing—body of theoretical and empirical research. This book provides a uniquely broad and coherent analysis of dyslexia theory. Unlike most dyslexia research, which addresses the question “what...
Book
The SAGE Handbook of Dyslexia is a comprehensive overview of a complex field. It is a rich, critical assessment of past and present theory and current research, which also looks to the future. The editors have brought together key figures from the international academic world - both researchers and practitioners - to examine the relationships betwe...
Article
The explosion in neuroscientific knowledge has profound implications for education, and we advocate the establishment of the new discipline of 'pedagogical neuroscience' designed to combine psychological, medical, and educational perspectives. We propose that specific learning disabilities provide the crucible in which the discipline may be forged,...
Article
During the past 30 years, research into developmental disorders has fragmented, emphasizing differences rather than commonalities. We propose that reunification might be achieved by using a "neural-systems" approach. Deficits in dyslexia are attributed to an intact declarative learning system combined with an impaired procedural learning system--a...
Article
To investigate whether attentional difficulties are a "core" feature of developmental Dyslexia. Behavioural indices and event related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from 10 dyslexic participants (ages 15.5-17.4) and 10 control participants (ages 14.4-18.3) in the Continuous Performance Task (CPT), an established test of attentional performance. Pa...
Article
Prism adaptation, in which the participant adapts to prismatic glasses that deflect vision laterally, is a specific test of cerebellar function. Fourteen dyslexic children (mean age 13.5 years); 14 children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD): 6 of whom had comorbid dyslexia; and 12 control children matched for age and IQ underwent prism...
Article
Full-text available
Two studies are reported in which a group of adolescent dyslexic children and a group of normal children matched for age and IQ undertook long-term training on a keyboard spatial task and a choice reaction task respectively. It was concluded that, following extended training, the dyslexic children had normal 'strength' of automatisation (as assesse...
Article
Balance ability in dyslexia is an issue of considerable theoretical and applied significance, but the literature currently lacks consensus. This study applied objective measures to established balance tasks. 17 dyslexic adults and 20 controls matched for age and IQ undertook the heel-to-toe balance test for 1 minute. Further “dual task” tests were...
Article
Developmental dyslexia may affect as much as 15% of the population, but the aetiology of the disorder is still being debated. The cerebellar theory of dyslexia proposes that cerebellar dysfunction could lead to the myriad of symptoms seen in dyslexic individuals, both in literacy and non-literacy domains. The cerebellum is crucial to the fluent per...
Article
Full-text available
Children with developmental dyslexia struggle to learn to read and spell despite adequate intelligence and educational opportunity. Several lines of research are attempting to establish the neurobiological basis of dyslexia, and low-level sensory and motor deficits have been found in dyslexic populations; furthermore, behavioural and imaging data p...
Article
Theoretical frameworks for dyslexia must explain how the well-established phonological deficits and the literacy deficits arise. Our longstanding research programme has led to a distinctive 'twin level' framework that proposes, first, that the core deficits are well described in terms of poor skill automaticity. Second, these 'cognitive level' symp...
Article
There is a dearth of information about the everyday performance difficulties of adult dyslexic people. This study investigates the empirical support for anecdotal reports of increased vulnerability to distraction in dyslexia, using the self-report Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (CFQ). Two groups of university students, a dyslexic group and a non-...
Article
Full-text available
There is long-standing evidence for verbal working memory impairments in both children and adults with dyslexia. By contrast, spatial memory appears largely to be unimpaired. In an attempt to distinguish between phonological and central executive accounts of the impairments in working memory, a set of phonological and spatial working memory tasks w...
Article
Both attentional difficulties and rapid processing deficits have recently been linked with dyslexia. We report two studies comparing the performance of dyslexic and control teenagers on attentional tasks. The two studies were based on two different conceptions of attention. Study 1 employed a design that allowed three key components of attention –...
Article
There is increasing concern for the skills of the workforce in the UK and elsewhere, but despite this concern until recently there has been little information available which objectively measures basic skills in adults. In this paper, evidence derived from the prose scale of the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS, 1996) is outlined, with emp...
Article
Over the last few decades, a growing amount of research has suggested that dyslexics have particular difficulties with skills involving accurate or rapid timing, including musical timing skills. It has been hypothesised that music training may be able to remediate such timing difficulties, and have a positive effect on fundamental perceptual skills...
Article
Recent studies (Fawcett et al, 1999; Nicolson et al, 1999) have demonstrated that 6 and 8 year old children found to be at risk of reading failure can be provided with very cost-effective support using traditional teaching methods. Nonetheless, a significant minority of children failed to make sufficient progress. The present studies undertook a re...
Article
There is widespread concern over literacy standards in UK schools and growing evidence that problems become increasingly intractable as children grow older. Computer-based reading instruction may provide a ‘fresh start’ that helps a child to rediscover the path to literacy. Recent controlled studies demonstrated that infant and junior school childr...
Article
In addition to their well-established problems in phonological processing, children with dyslexia show reduced speed of articulation. Two groups of children with dyslexia, mean ages 13 and 16 years, participated together with two groups of normally achieving children matched for age and IQ, with 33 participants in total. Participants were asked to...
Article
Recent behavioural evidence has indicated that cerebellar impairment may be strongly associated with dyslexia. Previous neuroanatomical research has shown the presence of anomalies within the cerebral cortex of brains of dyslexic people. This paper reports equivalent analyses on the cerebella of the same brain specimens. Cross sectional areas and c...
Article
There is increasing evidence that cerebellar deficit may be a causal factor in dyslexia. The cerebellum is considered to be the major structure involved in classical conditioning of the eyeblink response. In a direct test of cerebellar function in learning, 13 dyslexic participants (mean age 19.5 years) and 13 control participants matched for age a...
Chapter
The identification of a range of causal hypotheses for reading difficulties in dyslexia has been a major achievement of dyslexia research over the last decade. Causal hypotheses should be capable of explaining the difficulties, via the “cognitive” level of explanation in terms of primitive sub-skills, to dysfunction of some neurological structure....
Article
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Article
Full-text available
Surprisingly, the problems faced by many dyslexic children are by no means confined to reading and spelling. There appears to be a general impairment in the ability to perform skills automatically, an ability thought to be dependent upon the cerebellum. Specific behavioural and neuroimaging tests reviewed here indicate that dyslexia is indeed assoc...
Article
The aim of this study was to evaluate an intervention strategy for children at risk of reading failure in their third year at school. Classes in five UK junior schools were screened to identify children most at risk of reading failure (36 in total, mean initial age 7.6 years). Comparison children, matched overall for age and reading performance, we...
Article
The aim of this study was to evaluate an intervention strategy for children at risk of reading failure in their third year at school. Classes in five UK junior schools were screened to identify children most at risk of reading failure (36 in total, mean initial age 7.6 years). Comparison children, matched overall for age and reading performance, we...
Article
A comprehensive test battery, including phonological, speed, motor and cerebellar tasks, was administered to the entire cohort of two schools for children with learning disabilities. Testing was undertaken blind without accessing the psychometric data on the children. Children were then allocated to a discrepancy group on the basis of their IQ, wit...
Article
There is now extensive evidence that the learning processes of dyslexic children show some abnormalities, generally consistent with failure to completely automatise skills. Two studies are reported in which a group of adolescent dyslexic children and a group of normal children matched for age and IQ undertook long-term training on a keyboard spatia...
Article
Literacy underpins education. There is now very widespread concern over standards of literacy for children from multi-cultural backgrounds, who are learning English as a second or subsequent language, and who may have special educational needs. Research evidence suggests that the earlier children's difficulties can be identified, the more effective...
Article
Children with dyslexia suffer from unexpected problems in reading, writing and spelling.  The dominant causal hypothesis has been that the deficits arise from some impairment in phonological processing ability.  Initial studies revealed that children with dyslexia suffered severe deficits in skills including not only phonological skill but also pic...
Article
In addition to their impairments in literacy-related skills, dyslexic children show characteristic difficulties in phonological skill, motor skill, and balance. There is behavioural and biochemical evidence that these difficulties may be attributable to mild cerebellar dysfunction. We wanted to find out whether there was abnormal brain activation w...
Article
Full-text available
In a previous study (A. J. Fawcett, R. I. Nicolson, & P. Dean, 1996), the authors had found strong behavioral evidence for cerebellar deficit in a panel of children with dyslexia. In the present study, the generality of those results was assessed. A battery of clinical tests for cerebellar dysfunction was administered, together with selected cognit...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction The main applied theme of this chapter is an exposition of the `SelfSpell' computer-based environment for children learning to spell. In long-term research on the causes of dyslexia we had built up a panel of dyslexic children, and we developed SelfSpell mainly as a `thankyou' to them for their unstinting support of our experimental pr...
Article
In this article, we describe two United Kingdom (UK) screening tests for dyslexia: the Dyslexia Early Screening Test (DEST) and the Cognitive Profiling System (CoPS 1), both normed and designed to be administered by teachers to children four years and older. We first outline the political context in the UK, which for the first time, makes the use o...
Article
Many aspects of vision have been investigated in developmental dyslexia. Some research suggests deficits in vergence control (e.g. Buzzelli, 1991, Optom. Vision Sci. 68, 842-846), although ability to control vergence across saccades has not yet been investigated. We have explored this question indirectly using Enright's (1996 Vision Res. 36, 307-31...
Article
Many aspects of vision have been investigated in developmental dyslexia. Some research suggests deficits in vergence control (e.g. Buzzelli, 1991,Optom. Vision Sci.68, 842–846), although ability to control vergence across saccades has not yet been investigated. We have explored this question indirectly using Enright's (1996Vision Res.36, 307–312.)...
Article
Full-text available
It is now thought that the cerebellum is involved in the acquisition of “language dexterity” in addition to its established role in motor skill acquisition and execution. Mild cerebellar impairment, therefore, provides a possible explanation of a range of problems shown by children with dyslexia. The authors have established suggestive evidence in...
Article
Full-text available
Three groups of children with dyslexia, mean age 8, 13 and 17 years, and three groups of normally achieving children matched for age and IQ with the dyslexic groups undertook three tests of motor skill. For peg placing and articulation rate, the children with dyslexia were significantly slower than their chronological age controls, and equivalent t...
Article
Full-text available
Ten adults with dyslexia (4 female and 6 male; mean age 26.8 years, range 19-43) and 11 controls (5 female and 6 male; mean age 20.5, range 18-29) were tested on their ability to differentiate between real and false traffic signs. The stimuli were computerpresented color pictures, and were chosen so as to minimize the applicability of verbal or wri...
Article
This article reports an extended `case series' of studies comparing performance of three age groups of dyslexic and matched control children on primitive skills. The dyslexic children showed deficits in most of the skills, with fundamental deficits (worse performance than reading age controls) on phonological skill, naming speed, bead threading, an...
Article
Full-text available
Seven groups of children, comprising three groups of children with dyslexia with mean ages 8, 13, and 17 years; three groups of normally achieving children matched for age and IQ with the dyslexic groups; and a group of 10 year old children with mild learning difficulties (slow learners) matched for reading age with the youngest dyslexic group, und...
Article
ve severe problems learning to read and spell. Dyslexia research has seen more than its share of passion and controversy --- not surprisingly, given its close links with that very emotive topic, reading failure; its high incidence in Western populations (around 5% is a typical estimate, Badian, 1984; Jorm et al, 1986); and high financial stakes, gi...

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Project
The description of the difficulties of Polish students with dyslexia in learning English as L2