Nicholas A Badcock

Nicholas A Badcock
University of Western Australia | UWA · School of Psychological Science

MPsych/PhD Applied Developmental Psychology

About

101
Publications
20,117
Reads
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1,505
Citations
Introduction
I am a developmental cognitive neuroscientist interested in how perceptual and attentional capacities underpin complex functioning such as how cognitive control relates to reading abilities. My research focuses on learning difficulties and exceptional development with the aim of contributing to scientific understanding as well as translation for education and intervention. Through understanding everyday behaviours like reading, I investigate the workings of the mind.
Additional affiliations
January 2020 - present
University of Western Australia
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
October 2011 - December 2019
Macquarie University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
April 2008 - April 2011
University of Oxford
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (101)
Article
Background Most people have strong left-brain lateralisation for language, with a minority showing right- or bilateral language representation. On some receptive language tasks, however, lateralisation appears to be reduced or absent. This contrasting pattern raises the question of whether and how language laterality may fractionate within individu...
Article
The cerebral lateralization of written language has received very limited research attention in comparison to the wealth of studies on the cerebral lateralization of oral language. The purpose of the present study was to further our understanding of written language lateralization, by elucidating the relative contribution of language and motor func...
Preprint
Online research platforms have enabled mass data collection enabling representative samples for cognitive behavioural studies. However, the benefits of online data collection have not been available for cognitive neuroscience fields such as electroencephalography (EEG). In this study, we introduce an approach for remote EEG data collection. We demo...
Article
Full-text available
Reduced eye contact early in life may play a role in the developmental pathways that culminate in a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. However, there are contradictory theories regarding the neural mechanisms involved. According to the amygdala theory of autism, reduced eye contact results from a hypoactive amygdala that fails to flag eyes as s...
Article
The behavioural outcomes associated with atypical cerebral lateralization during the early stages of cognitive development is an interesting research venture. However, there are few tasks for assessing lateralization in young children. The current study describes the Magic Hat task and the Teddy Bear Picnic task, which were designed to measure the...
Article
Minimally delayed (MD) saccades require inhibition of a prepotent response until a target is extinguished, and unlike the more extensively studied antisaccade task, do not require the additional cognitive component of vector inversion (i.e., 180° target spatial transposition). Here, participants completed separate blocks of MD and prepotent stimulu...
Article
Full-text available
Nonverbal memory tests have great potential value for detecting the impact of lateralized pathology and predicting the risk of memory loss following right temporal lobe resection (TLR) for temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) patients, but this potential has not been realized. Previous reviews suggest that stimulus type moderates the capacity of nonverbal...
Article
Debate continues as to whether an attentional bias towards threat displayed by sufferers of functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) is conscious and, thus, more amenable to change through psychological therapy. We compared the amplitudes of early (unconscious) and later (conscious) electroencephalographic (EEG) event-related potentials follow...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose We report the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis investigating the relationship between perceptual anchoring and dyslexia. Our goal was to assess the direction and degree of the effect between perceptual anchoring and reading ability in typical and atypical (i.e., dyslexic) readers. Method We performed a literature search of...
Article
There is good evidence for an association between poor reading and anxiety, but the mechanisms responsible for this association are currently unknown. In this study, we used structural equation modeling of four large longitudinal databases from the United Kingdom (n = 7,870), the United States (ns = 8,001 and 7,160), and Australia (n = 768) to expl...
Preprint
Debate continues as to whether an attentional bias towards threat displayed by sufferers of functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) is conscious and, thus, more amenable to change through psychological therapy. We compared the amplitudes of early (unconscious) and later (conscious) electroencephalographic (EEG) event-related potentials follow...
Article
Full-text available
Measuring cognition in single subjects presents unique challenges. On the other hand, individually sensitive measurements offer extraordinary opportunities, from informing theoretical models to enabling truly individualised clinical assessment. Here, we test the robustness of fast, periodic, and visual stimulation (FPVS), an emerging method propose...
Article
Full-text available
Background The use of consumer-grade electroencephalography (EEG) systems for research purposes has become more prevalent. In event-related potential (ERP) research, it is critical that these systems have precise and accurate timing. The aim of the current study was to investigate the timing reliability of event-marking solutions used with Emotiv c...
Article
Low-cost, portable electroencephalography (EEG) devices have become commercially available in the last 10 years. One such system, Emotiv's EPOC, has been modified to allow event-related potential (ERP) research. Although the EPOC has been shown to provide data comparable to research-grade equipment and has been used in real-world settings, how EPOC...
Article
Children with dyslexia are at elevated risk of internalizing (emotional) and externalizing (behavioural) problems. Clever Kids is a nine-week socioemotional well-being programme developed specifically for upper primary school children with dyslexia. In a small randomized-controlled trial, we tested the feasibility, efficacy, and acceptability of th...
Preprint
Full-text available
Measuring cognition in single subjects presents unique challenges. Yet individually sensitive measurements offer extraordinary opportunities, from informing theoretical models to enabling truly individualised clinical assessment. Here, we test the robustness of fast, periodic, visual stimulation (FPVS), an emerging method proposed to elicit detecta...
Preprint
We report the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis investigating the relationship between perceptual anchoring and dyslexia. Our goal was to assess the direction and degree of effect between perceptual anchoring and reading ability in typical and atypical (dyslexic) readers. We performed a literature search of experiments explicitly ass...
Article
Full-text available
Mark Boyes, Suze Leitão, Mary Claessen, Nicholas, Badcock and Mandy Nayton are members of a highly collaborative team of researchers spanning Curtin University, University of Western Australia, Macquarie University, and the Dyslexia-SPELD Foundation, Perth. In this article they provide an update on some of their research into child mental health is...
Preprint
Full-text available
Low-cost, portable electroencephalographic (EEG) headsets have become commercially available in the last 10 years. One such system, Emotiv’s EPOC, has been modified to allow event-related potential (ERP) research. Because of these innovations, EEG research may become more widely available in non-traditional settings. Although the EPOC has previousl...
Article
Full-text available
Background Previous work has validated consumer-grade electroencephalography (EEG) systems for use in research. Systems in this class are cost-effective and easy to set up and can facilitate neuroscience outside of the laboratory. The aim of the current study was to determine if a new consumer-grade system, the Emotiv EPOC Saline Flex, was capable...
Preprint
Full-text available
The cerebral lateralization of written language has received very limited research attention in comparison to the wealth of studies on the cerebral lateralization of oral language. The purpose of the present study was thus to further our understanding of written language lateralization, by elucidating on the relative contribution of language and mo...
Preprint
Full-text available
BACKGROUND Commercially-made low-cost electroencephalography (EEG) devices have become increasingly available over the last decade. One of these devices, Emotiv EPOC, is currently used in a wide variety of settings, including brain-computer interface (BCI) and cognitive neuroscience research. PURPOSE The aim of this study was to chart peer-reviewed...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose We aimed to develop a noninvasive neural test of language comprehension to use with nonspeaking children for whom standard behavioral testing is unreliable (e.g., minimally verbal autism). Our aims were threefold. First, we sought to establish the sensitivity of two auditory paradigms to elicit neural responses in individual neurotypical ch...
Article
Full-text available
In conditions such as minimally-verbal autism, standard assessments of language comprehension are often unreliable. Given the known heterogeneity within the autistic population, it is crucial to design tests of semantic comprehension that are sensitive in individuals. Recent efforts to develop neural signals of language comprehension have focused o...
Article
Full-text available
Despite growing interest in the mental life of individuals who cannot communicate verbally, objective and non-invasive tests of covert cognition are still sparse. In this study, we assessed the ability of neurotypical children to understand and follow task instructions by measuring neural responses through functional transcranial Doppler ultrasound...
Preprint
Full-text available
Children with dyslexia are at elevated risk of internalizing (emotional) and externalizing (behavioral) problems. Clever Kids is a nine-week socioemotional wellbeing program developed specifically for upper primary school children with dyslexia. We tested the feasibility, efficacy, and acceptability of the Clever Kids program. Forty children with d...
Article
Full-text available
Background The aims of this systematic review and meta-analyses were to determine if there is a statistically reliable association between poor reading and poor self-concept, and if such an association is moderated by domain of self-concept, type of reading impairment, or contextual factors including age, gender, reading instruction, and school env...
Article
There is a growing body of work describing the psychosocial impact of reading difficulties. Educators play a key role in teaching children to read; therefore, it is important to consider how they view the impact of reading difficulties on young people. Given this, the aim of this research was to explore the lived experiences of educators who work w...
Article
Objective: Recent evidence has linked cerebrovascular abnormalities with Parkinson's Disease (PD), which may provide a new neurophysiological understanding of cognitive impairment in PD. The current study aimed to compare cerebrovascular functioning, during a cognitive task and at rest, in those with and without PD. Methods: Idiopathic PD patien...
Preprint
Despite growing interest in the mental life of individuals who cannot communicate verbally, objective and non-invasive tests of covert cognition are still sparse. In this study, we assessed the ability of neurotypical children to understand and follow task instructions by measuring neural responses through functional transcranial Doppler ultrasound...
Preprint
Full-text available
In conditions such as minimally-verbal autism, standard assessments of language comprehension are often unreliable. Given the known heterogeneity within the autistic population, it is crucial to design tests of semantic comprehension that are sensitive in individuals. Recent efforts to develop neural signals of language comprehension have focused o...
Preprint
Full-text available
Explore past research examining the relationship between perceptual anchoring and reading ability
Article
Objective Adopting a socio‐ecological perspective, we used data extracted from clinical casefiles to investigate factors associated with externalising and internalising problems in a large, representative sample of children with a diagnosis of dyslexia. Method This study is a secondary analysis of data collected by the Dyslexia‐SPELD Foundation in...
Preprint
Full-text available
Purpose We aimed to develop a non-invasive neural test of language comprehension to use with non-speaking children for whom standard behavioural testing is unreliable (e.g., minimally-verbal autism). Our aims were three-fold. First, we sought to establish the sensitivity of two auditory paradigms to elicit neural responses in individual neurotypica...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The reading skills of 16% of children fall below the mean range for their age, and 5% of children have significant and severe reading problems. Phonics training is one of the most common reading treatments used with poor readers, particularly children. Objectives: To measure the effect of phonics training and explore the impact of va...
Article
Both music and language rely on the processing of spectral (pitch, timbre) and temporal (rhythm) information to create structure and meaning from incoming auditory streams. Previous behavioural results have shown that interrupting a melodic stream with unexpected changes in timbre leads to reduced syntactic processing. Such findings suggest that sy...
Article
Recent studies link meditation expertise with enhanced low-level attention, measured through auditory event-related potentials (ERPs). In this study, we tested the reliability and validity of a recent finding that the N1 ERP in first-time meditators is smaller during meditation than non-meditation - an effect not present in long-term meditators. In...
Article
Full-text available
It is well-established that poor readers exhibit deficits in paired associate learning (PAL), and there is increasing evidence for a phonological locus of these deficits. However, it remains unclear whether poor performance stems from difficulties specific to the phonological output system or difficulties that affect both phonological input and out...
Article
Full-text available
The cerebral lateralization of language has attracted great research interest. Nevertheless, the bulk of the work focuses on language production and comprehension; research on cerebral lateralization during writing is limited. The present study assessed cerebral lateralization in 60 participants (mean age = 26.65 years, SD = 6.05, range = 20-44), 3...
Article
Full-text available
This is a protocol for a Cochrane Review (Intervention). The objectives are as follows: To assess the effectiveness of EEG neurofeedback as treatment for inhibition and updating problems in children facing neurodevelopmental challenges.
Article
Letter recognition and digit recognition are critical skills for literate adults, yet few studies have considered the development of these skills in children. We conducted a nine-alternative forced-choice (9AFC) partial report task with strings of letters and digits, with typographical symbols (e.g., $, @) as a control, to investigate the developme...
Article
The assessment of active language lateralization in infants and toddlers is challenging. It requires an imaging tool that is unintimidating, quick to setup, and robust to movement, in addition to an engaging and cognitively simple language processing task. Functional Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound (fTCD) offers a suitable technique and here we rep...
Article
Active research-driven approaches that successfully incorporate new technology are known to catalyze student learning. Yet achieving these objectives in neuroscience education is especially challenging due to the prohibitive costs and technical demands of research-grade equipment. Here we describe a method that circumvents these factors by leveragi...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Children with reading difficulties are at elevated risk for externalising (e.g., conduct disorder) and internalising (e.g., anxiety and depression) mental health problems. Reading ability is also negatively associated with self-esteem, a consistent predictor of child and adolescent mental health more broadly. This study examined whether...
Article
This review describes language research conducted using the neurophysiological imaging technique, functional Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound (fTCD). FTCD estimates the blood flow velocity in the cerebral arteries from which, neural activity is inferred. The review provides a brief history and introduction to fTCD, including data acquisition, task d...
Article
People with dyslexia are vastly under-represented in universities (Katusic et al., 2001, Richardson & Wydell, 2003; Stampoltzis & Polychronopoulou, 2008). This situation is of concern for modern societies that value social justice. This study was designed to explore learning experiences of university students with dyslexia and factors that could co...
Article
We can easily understand the visual environment despite our eyes moving to take in new information three to four times per second. This rapid information flow may initially be registered in iconic memory, a brief high-capacity store containing literal visual representations. Evidence for higher-level semantic representations in iconic memory has no...
Article
The findings of a study by Cahn and Polich (2009) suggests that there is an effect of a meditative state on three event-related potential (ERP) brain markers of “low-level” auditory attention (i.e., acoustic representations in sensory memory) in expert meditators: the N1, the P2, and the P3a. The current study built on these findings by examining t...
Article
Full-text available
A growing literature indicates that children with reading difficulties are at elevated risk for mental health problems; however, little attention has been given to why this might be the case. Associations between reading difficulties and mental health differ substantially across studies, raising the possibility that these relationships may be ameli...
Preprint
Full-text available
A recent meta-analysis emphasises that meditation can improve attention in healthy adults (Sedlmeier et al., 2012). The findings of a study by Cahn and Polich (2009) suggests that there is an effect of a meditative state on three event-related potential (ERP) brain markers of low-level auditory attention in expert meditators: the N1, the P2, and th...
Preprint
Full-text available
A recent meta-analysis emphasises that meditation can improve attention in healthy adults (Sedlmeier et al., 2012). The findings of a study by Cahn and Polich (2009) suggests that there is an effect of a meditative state on three event-related potential (ERP) brain markers of low-level auditory attention in expert meditators: the N1, the P2, and th...
Article
Full-text available
Masked transposed-letter (TL) priming effects have been used to index letter position processing over the course of reading development. Whereas some studies have reported an increase in TL priming over development, others have reported a decrease. These findings have led to the development of 2 somewhat contradictory accounts of letter position de...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals with poor reading ability are at greater risk of educational and occupational difficulties. In addition to this, these individuals are also at greater risk of poor health outcomes, particularly mental health. At least some of this association may be underpinned by poor self-concept; however, the evidence for this relationship is mixed....
Article
Full-text available
Individuals with poor reading ability are at greater risk of educational and occupational difficulties. In addition to this, these individuals are also at greater risk of poor health outcomes, particularly mental health. At least some of this association may be underpinned by poor self-concept; however, the evidence for this relationship is mixed....
Article
Full-text available
The assessment of active language lateralisation in infants and toddlers is challenging. It requires an imaging tool that is unintimidating, quick to setup, and robust to movement, in addition to an engaging and cognitively simple procedure that elicits language processing. Functional Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound (fTCD) offers a suitable techniq...
Article
Full-text available
The assessment of active language lateralisation in infants and toddlers is challenging. It requires an imaging tool that is unintimidating, quick to setup, and robust to movement, in addition to an engaging and cognitively simple procedure that elicits language processing. Functional Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound (fTCD) offers a suitable techniq...
Article
Full-text available
The assessment of active language lateralisation in infants and toddlers is challenging. It requires an imaging tool that is unintimidating, quick to setup, and robust to movement, in addition to an engaging and cognitively simple procedure that elicits language processing. Functional Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound (fTCD) offers a suitable techniq...
Article
This research investigated the relationship between the attentional blink (AB) and reading in typical adults. The AB is a deficit in the processing of the second of two rapidly presented targets when it occurs in close temporal proximity to the first target. Specifically, this experiment examined whether the AB was related to both phonological and...
Article
The brain is dependent on the cerebrovascular system, particularly microvasculature, for a consistent blood supply; however, age-related changes in this system affect neuronal and therefore cognitive function. Structural vascular markers and vascular disease appear to preferentially affect fluid cognitive abilities, sparing crystallized abilities....
Article
Full-text available
The N170 is a "face-sensitive" event-related potential (ERP) that occurs at around 170ms over occipito-temporal brain regions. The N170's potential to provide insight into the neural processing of faces in certain populations (e.g., children and adults with cognitive impairments) is limited by its measurement in scientific laboratories that can app...
Article
Full-text available
Background. Previous work has demonstrated that a commercial gaming electroencephalography (EEG) system, Emotiv EPOC, can be adjusted to provide valid auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) in adults that are comparable to ERPs recorded by a research-grade EEG system, Neuroscan. The aim of the current study was to determine if the same was true f...
Article
Full-text available
A recent study showed that adaptation to causal events (collisions) in adults caused subsequent events to be less likely perceived as causal. In this study, we examined if a similar negative adaptation effect for perceptual causality occurs in children, both typically developing and with autism. Previous studies have reported diminished adaptation...
Article
Full-text available
Background. Here we report on a meta-analysis of the between-group main effect (Group Difference) noted in the attentional blink (AB) research focused on specific reading impairment, commonly referred to as developmental dyslexia. The AB effect relates to a limitation in the allocation of attention over time and is examined in a dual-target rapid s...
Article
The brain is dependent on the cerebrovascular system, particularly microvasculature, for a consistent blood supply; however age-related changes in this system affect neuronal and therefore cognitive function. Structural vascular markers and vascular disease appear to preferentially affect fluid cognitive abilities, sparing crystallised abilities. W...