Dr Sheila Flanagan


The possibility that shared neural mechanisms for processing language and music exist is an area of increasing interest. Anecdotal evidence that musical exposure or training leads to improvements in literacy and working memory is now gaining support by scientific research. My research is based on the theory that shared neural mechanisms maybe more visible when investigating impairment in one or both of these systems. It has become widely accepted that the core difficulty in developmental dyslexia across languages is a deficit in the auditory processing of the pattern of speech sounds, so called phonological awareness. Children with dyslexia have difficulties with sub-word phonology, e.g. deciding whether words rhyme with each other. These phonological difficulties may be due to subtle auditory sensory impairments, even though children with developmental dyslexia usually perform normally on hearing screens using an audiometer and appear fluent in their spoken language processing.

Research Focus


Auditory Perception


Timbre Perception

Auditory Processing

Clinical conditions


Hearing and balance deficits


Behavioural analysis


No collaborators listed

Associated News Items

    Key publications

    SA Flanagan, BCJ Moore, MA Stone (2005), “Discrimination of group delay in click-like signals presented via headphones and loudspeakers” J. Audio Eng. Soc. 53: 593-611

    Harris N, Flanagan S. (1998), “Stereophonic localisation in rooms, comparing the distributed mode loudspeaker (DML) with conventional two-way cone based loudspeakers” Proceedings of the Institute of Acoustics Vol: 20, Part 5, 113-130