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Welcome to Dr Nikolitsa Stathopoulou

9 September 2013

We would like to welcome Dr Nikolitsa Stathopoulou, who has joined the School as a Marie-Curie Research Fellow. Nikolitsa will be working alongside Professor Chris Jarrold on a new EU-funded, Marie Curie research project titled “The Interaction between Language and Memory in Neurodevelopmental Conditions: Evidence from Cross-Linguistic Comparisons”.

We would like to welcome Dr Nikolitsa Stathopoulou, who has joined the School as a Marie-Curie Research Fellow. Nikolitsa will be working alongside Professor Chris Jarrold on a new EU-funded, Marie Curie research project titled “The Interaction between Language and Memory in Neurodevelopmental Conditions: Evidence from Cross-Linguistic Comparisons”.

In this 2 year research project they will be investigating the links between working memory and language understanding and production among individuals with Neurodevelopmental conditions, such as Down Syndrome (DS), Williams syndrome (WS) and Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Their performance will be compared with that of typically developing children.

The main aim of this study is to challenge existing views by adopting a novel approach that will be realised by asking the following core research questions, such as:

  1. Do the language difficulties in DS, WS and SLI show similarities or differences in the comprehension as opposed to the production of language?
  2. Are the language difficulties in WS and other conditions a result of a weakness in memory or conceptual knowledge?
  3. Is the nature of these difficulties comparable in languages with different grammars? The final research question will be answered by adding a cross-linguistic perspective to this study, namely, data from Greek-speaking children with neurodevelopmental disorders as well as typically developing children. In this way, they overcome certain confounds that may exist in one language alone. This cross-linguistic comparison will indicate whether the difficulties in language observed in these conditions are the same or different across languages and will point out the fundamental difficulties that are universal to a given condition.

Hopefully, at the end of the project, Nikolitsa and colleagues will be able to suggest syndrome-specific intervention strategies that will help children with neurodevelopmental conditions as well as their families and teachers.

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