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

    Araujo J, Flanagan S, Castro-Caldas A, Goswami U (2018), “The temporal modulation structure of illiterate versus literate adult speech” PLoS ONE 13(10)

    Flanagan, S, Zorila, TC, Stylianou, Y, and Moore, BCJ, (2018), “Speech Processing to Improve the Perception of Speech in Background Noise for Children with Auditory Processing Disorder and Typically Developing Peers” Trends in Hearing

    Flanagan, S., Goswami, U. (2018), “ The role of phase synchronisation between low frequency amplitude modulations in child phonology and morphology speech tasks” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 143, 1366

    Carlyon RP, Flanagan S, and Deeks JM (2017), “A Re-examination of the Effect of Masker Phase Curvature on Non-simultaneous Masking” JARO doi.org/10.1007/s10162-017-0637-5

    Zorila, TC, Stylianou, Y, Flanagan, S, and Moore, BCJ (2017), “Evaluation of near-end speech enhancement under equal-loudness constraint for listeners with normal-hearing and mild-to-moderate hearing loss” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 141, 189

    Zorila, TC, Flanagan, S, Moore, BCJ and Stylianou, Y (2016), “Effectiveness of near-end speech enhancement under equal-loudness and equal-level constraints” Proceedings of INTERSPEECH 2016 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2016-594.

    Zorila, TC, Stylianou, Y, Flanagan, S, and Moore, BCJ (2016), “Effectiveness of a loudness model for time-varying sounds in equating the loudness of sentences subjected to different forms of signal processing” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 140, 402

    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