Dr Matt Davis

Matt Davis

University position

Senior MRC research scientist

Dr Matt Davis is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit

Home page

http://www.mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk/people/... (personal home page)

Research Theme

Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience


My work is interdisciplinary, combining diverse methodologies from Cognitive Neuroscience to investigate the neural mechanisms involved in spoken and written language comprehension. I work on a range of topics, including speech perception, lexical representation and processing, morphological and semantic aspects of language comprehension.

Research Focus







Clinical conditions


Hearing and balance deficits

Language disorders


Behavioural analysis

Computational modelling

Electroencephalography (EEG)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)


United Kingdom

Gareth Gaskell Web: http://www-users.york.ac.uk/~mgg5/

Kathy Rastle Web: http://www.pc.rhul.ac.uk/website...


Ingrid Johnsrude Web: http://psyc.queensu.ca/faculty...

Associated News Items



Sohoglu E, Peelle JE, Carlyon RP, Davis MH (2014), “Top-down influences of written text on perceived clarity of degraded speech.” J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 40(1):186-99 Details

Taylor JS, Rastle K, Davis MH (2014), “Interpreting response time effects in functional imaging studies.” Neuroimage Details

Taylor JS, Rastle K, Davis MH (2014), “Distinct Neural Specializations for Learning to Read Words and Name Objects.” J Cogn Neurosci Details


Adapa RM, Davis MH, Stamatakis EA, Absalom AR, Menon DK (2013), “Neural correlates of successful semantic processing during propofol sedation.” Hum Brain Mapp Details

Billig AJ, Davis MH, Deeks JM, Monstrey J, Carlyon RP (2013), “Lexical influences on auditory streaming.” Curr Biol 23(16):1585-9 Details

Chen Y, Davis MH, Pulvermüller F, Hauk O (2013), “Task modulation of brain responses in visual word recognition as studied using EEG/MEG and fMRI.” Front Hum Neurosci 7:376 Details

Kalm K, Davis MH, Norris D (2013), “Individual sequence representations in the medial temporal lobe.” J Cogn Neurosci 25(7):1111-21 Details

Peelle JE, Gross J, Davis MH (2013), “Phase-locked responses to speech in human auditory cortex are enhanced during comprehension.” Cereb Cortex 23(6):1378-87 Details

Taylor JS, Rastle K, Davis MH (2013), “Can cognitive models explain brain activation during word and pseudoword reading? A meta-analysis of 36 neuroimaging studies.” Psychol Bull 139(4):766-91 Details


Adank P, Davis MH, Hagoort P (2012), “Neural dissociation in processing noise and accent in spoken language comprehension.” Neuropsychologia 50(1):77-84 Details

Gagnepain P, Henson RN, Davis MH (2012), “Temporal predictive codes for spoken words in auditory cortex.” Curr Biol 22(7):615-21 Details

Kalm K, Davis MH, Norris D (2012), “Neural mechanisms underlying the grouping effect in short-term memory.” Hum Brain Mapp 33(7):1634-47 Details

Peelle JE, Davis MH (2012), “Neural Oscillations Carry Speech Rhythm through to Comprehension.” Front Psychol 3:320 Details

Rodd JM, Berriman R, Landau M, Lee T, Ho C, Gaskell MG, Davis MH (2012), “Learning new meanings for old words: effects of semantic relatedness.” Mem Cognit 40(7):1095-108 Details

Rodd JM, Johnsrude IS, Davis MH (2012), “Dissociating frontotemporal contributions to semantic ambiguity resolution in spoken sentences.” Cereb Cortex 22(8):1761-73 Details

Sohoglu E, Peelle JE, Carlyon RP, Davis MH (2012), “Predictive top-down integration of prior knowledge during speech perception.” J Neurosci 32(25):8443-53 Details

Szenkovits G, Peelle JE, Norris D, Davis MH (2012), “Individual differences in premotor and motor recruitment during speech perception.” Neuropsychologia 50(7):1380-92 Details

Tahmasebi AM, Davis MH, Wild CJ, Rodd JM, Hakyemez H, Abolmaesumi P, Johnsrude IS (2012), “Is the link between anatomical structure and function equally strong at all cognitive levels of processing?” Cereb Cortex 22(7):1593-603 Details

Tamminen J, Davis MH, Merkx M, Rastle K (2012), “The role of memory consolidation in generalisation of new linguistic information.” Cognition 125(1):107-12 Details

Wild CJ, Davis MH, Johnsrude IS (2012), “Human auditory cortex is sensitive to the perceived clarity of speech.” Neuroimage 60(2):1490-502 Details

Wild CJ, Yusuf A, Wilson DE, Peelle JE, Davis MH, Johnsrude IS (2012), “Effortful listening: the processing of degraded speech depends critically on attention.” J Neurosci 32(40):14010-21 Details


Bekinschtein TA, Davis MH, Rodd JM, Owen AM (2011), “Why clowns taste funny: the relationship between humor and semantic ambiguity.” J Neurosci 31(26):9665-71 Details

Davis MH, Ford MA, Kherif F, Johnsrude IS (2011), “Does semantic context benefit speech understanding through "top-down" processes? Evidence from time-resolved sparse fMRI.” J Cogn Neurosci 23(12):3914-32 Details

Heinrich A, Carlyon RP, Davis MH, Johnsrude IS (2011), “The continuity illusion does not depend on attentional state: FMRI evidence from illusory vowels.” J Cogn Neurosci 23(10):2675-89 Details

Hervais-Adelman AG, Davis MH, Johnsrude IS, Taylor KJ, Carlyon RP (2011), “Generalization of perceptual learning of vocoded speech.” J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 37(1):283-95 Details

Merkx M, Rastle K, Davis MH (2011), “The acquisition of morphological knowledge investigated through artificial language learning.” Q J Exp Psychol (Hove) 64(6):1200-20 Details

Orfanidou E, Davis MH, Ford MA, Marslen-Wilson WD (2011), “Perceptual and response components in repetition priming of spoken words and pseudowords.” Q J Exp Psychol (Hove) 64(1):96-121 Details


Davis MH, Rastle K (2010), “Form and meaning in early morphological processing: Comment on Feldman, O'Connor, and Moscoso del Prado Martin (2009).” Psychon Bull Rev 17(5):749-55 Details

Peelle JE, Eason RJ, Schmitter S, Schwarzbauer C, Davis MH (2010), “Evaluating an acoustically quiet EPI sequence for use in fMRI studies of speech and auditory processing.” Neuroimage 52(4):1410-9 Details

Peelle JE, Johnsrude IS, Davis MH (2010), “Hierarchical processing for speech in human auditory cortex and beyond.” Front Hum Neurosci 4:51 Details

Rodd JM, Johnsrude IS, Davis MH (2010), “The role of domain-general frontal systems in language comprehension: evidence from dual-task interference and semantic ambiguity.” Brain Lang 115(3):182-8 Details

Yuen I, Davis MH, Brysbaert M, Rastle K (2010), “Activation of articulatory information in speech perception.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 107(2):592-7 Details


Coleman MR, Davis MH, Rodd JM, Robson T, Ali A, Owen AM, Pickard JD (2009), “Towards the routine use of brain imaging to aid the clinical diagnosis of disorders of consciousness.” Brain 132(Pt 9):2541-52 Details

Davis MH, Di Betta AM, Macdonald MJ, Gaskell MG (2009), “Learning and consolidation of novel spoken words.” J Cogn Neurosci 21(4):803-20 Details

Davis MH, Gaskell MG (2009), “A complementary systems account of word learning: neural and behavioural evidence.” Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 364(1536):3773-800 Details

Hauk O, Pulvermüller F, Ford M, Marslen-Wilson WD, Davis MH (2009), “Can I have a quick word? Early electrophysiological manifestations of psycholinguistic processes revealed by event-related regression analysis of the EEG.” Biol Psychol 80(1):64-74 Details


Hauk O, Davis MH, Kherif F, Pulvermüller F (2008), “Imagery or meaning? Evidence for a semantic origin of category-specific brain activity in metabolic imaging.” Eur J Neurosci 27(7):1856-66 Details

Hauk O, Davis MH, Pulvermüller F (2008), “Modulation of brain activity by multiple lexical and word form variables in visual word recognition: A parametric fMRI study.” Neuroimage 42(3):1185-95 Details

Heinrich A, Carlyon RP, Davis MH, Johnsrude IS (2008), “Illusory vowels resulting from perceptual continuity: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study.” J Cogn Neurosci 20(10):1737-52 Details

Hervais-Adelman A, Davis MH, Johnsrude IS, Carlyon RP (2008), “Perceptual learning of noise vocoded words: effects of feedback and lexicality.” J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 34(2):460-74 Details


Calder AJ, Beaver JD, Davis MH, van Ditzhuijzen J, Keane J, Lawrence AD (2007), “Disgust sensitivity predicts the insula and pallidal response to pictures of disgusting foods.” Eur J Neurosci 25(11):3422-8 Details

Coleman MR, Rodd JM, Davis MH, Johnsrude IS, Menon DK, Pickard JD, Owen AM (2007), “Do vegetative patients retain aspects of language comprehension? Evidence from fMRI.” Brain 130(Pt 10):2494-507 Details

Davis MH, Coleman MR, Absalom AR, Rodd JM, Johnsrude IS, Matta BF, Owen AM, Menon DK (2007), “Dissociating speech perception and comprehension at reduced levels of awareness.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 104(41):16032-7 Details

Davis MH, Johnsrude IS (2007), “Hearing speech sounds: top-down influences on the interface between audition and speech perception.” Hear Res 229(1-2):132-47 Details

Owen AM, Coleman MR, Boly M, Davis MH, Laureys S, Pickard JD (2007), “Using functional magnetic resonance imaging to detect covert awareness in the vegetative state.” Arch Neurol 64(8):1098-102 Details

Van Casteren M, Davis MH (2007), “Match: a program to assist in matching the conditions of factorial experiments.” Behav Res Methods 39(4):973-8 Details


Beaver JD, Lawrence AD, van Ditzhuijzen J, Davis MH, Woods A, Calder AJ (2006), “Individual differences in reward drive predict neural responses to images of food.” J Neurosci 26(19):5160-6 Details

Gomot M, Bernard FA, Davis MH, Belmonte MK, Ashwin C, Bullmore ET, Baron-Cohen S (2006), “Change detection in children with autism: an auditory event-related fMRI study.” Neuroimage 29(2):475-84 Details

Hauk O, Davis MH, Ford M, Pulvermüller F, Marslen-Wilson WD (2006), “The time course of visual word recognition as revealed by linear regression analysis of ERP data.” Neuroimage 30(4):1383-400 Details

Orfanidou E, Marslen-Wilson WD, Davis MH (2006), “Neural response suppression predicts repetition priming of spoken words and pseudowords.” J Cogn Neurosci 18(8):1237-52 Details

Owen AM, Coleman MR, Boly M, Davis MH, Laureys S, Pickard JD (2006), “Detecting awareness in the vegetative state.” Science 313(5792):1402 Details

Schwarzbauer C, Davis MH, Rodd JM, Johnsrude I (2006), “Interleaved silent steady state (ISSS) imaging: a new sparse imaging method applied to auditory fMRI.” Neuroimage 29(3):774-82 Details

Suckling J, Davis MH, Ooi C, Wink AM, Fadili J, Salvador R, Welchew D, Sendur L, Maxim V, Bullmore ET (2006), “Permutation testing of orthogonal factorial effects in a language-processing experiment using fMRI.” Hum Brain Mapp 27(5):425-33 Details

van Casteren M, Davis MH (2006), “Mix, a program for pseudorandomization.” Behav Res Methods 38(4):584-9 Details


Davis MH, Johnsrude IS, Hervais-Adelman A, Taylor K, McGettigan C (2005), “Lexical information drives perceptual learning of distorted speech: evidence from the comprehension of noise-vocoded sentences.” J Exp Psychol Gen 134(2):222-41 Details

Davis MH, Johnsrude IS, Hervais-Adelman A, Taylor K, McGettigan CM (2005), “Lexical information drives perceptual learning of distorted speech: Evidence from the comprehension of noise-vocoded sentences” Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 134(2):222-241

Owen AM, Coleman MR, Menon DK, Berry EL, Johnsrude IS, Rodd JM, Davis MH, Pickard JD (2005), “Using a hierarchical approach to investigate residual auditory cognition in persistent vegetative state.” Prog Brain Res 150:457-71 Details

Owen AM, Coleman MR, Menon DK, Johnsrude IS, Rodd JM, Davis MH, Taylor K, Pickard JD (2005), “Residual auditory function in persistent vegetative state: a combined PET and fMRI study.” Neuropsychol Rehabil 15(3-4):290-306 Details


Davis MH (2004), “Units of representation in visual word recognition.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 101(41):14687-8 Details

Davis MH, Meunier F, Marslen-Wilson WD (2004), “Neural responses to morphological, syntactic, and semantic properties of single words: an fMRI study.” Brain Lang 89(3):439-49 Details


Davis MH, Johnsrude IS (2003), “Hierarchical Processing in Spoken Language Comprehension” Journal of Neuroscience 23(8):3423-3431


Devlin JT, Russell RP, Davis MH, Price CJ, Wilson J, Moss HE, Matthews PM, Tyler LK (2000), “Susceptibility-induced loss of signal: comparing PET and fMRI on a semantic task.” Neuroimage 11(6 Pt 1):589-600 Details