Dr Anastasia Giannakopoulou

Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Anastasia Giannakopoulou

I am interested in brain plasticity and its relation to language learning and development in typical and atypical populations.

My background in both psychology and psycholinguistics has sparked my research work in speech perception and auditory perceptual training using specialised computer software programmes and smartphone applications. I use behavioural as well as electroencephalography (EEG) techniques to investigate online brain response to auditory and visual stimuli with experimental designs looking into native and non-native language speakers.

I also work on age-related factors with implications on language learning (for example, child learners versus adult learners), how it is possible to 'train' the brain taking advantage of its neuroplastic abilities. This strand of work also has implications and can benefit not only healthy but also language impaired populations.

I have a growing interest in the area of ageing psychology, both healthy and pathological (e.g. MCI, Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and other age-related deficits). I teach cognitive and developmental psychology, covering areas of typical and atypical development.

Other References

Qualifications

  • PhD in Psychology - Brunel University London
  • PGCert in Teaching and Learning in HE - Brunel University London (HEA Accredited)
  • MPhil in English and Applied Linguistics - Cambridge University
  • BA (Hons) English Language Studies - University of Central Lancashire

Teaching Role

  • Teaching UG/PG students
  • Unit Co-ordinator
  • Supervising UG/PG student research projects
  • Personal Academic Tutor
  • Neuropsychology Lab leader (EEG & Eye-Tracking)
  • Student Research Assistant Scheme coordinator
  • Junior Research Institute, Co-director

Research Interests

  • Neural plasticity
  • Typical and atypical cognitive development
  • Language acquisition
  • Speech perception
  • Brain plasticity in first and second language learning
  • High variability perceptual training (HVPT)
  • Design, development and evaluation of language learning computer training tools and smartphone applications
  • Psychology of Ageing (healthy and pathological ageing)
  • EEG /neuroimaging techniques

Recent Research Projects

  • ‘Reading’ Smartphone App Evaluation project
  • European Regional Development Fund & Innovation Bridge Consultancy Project
  • 'Language learning and variability' project (funded by the British Academy)
  • 'ListenUp!' with the MRC CBU (Cambridge) and the Science Museum (London)
  • Language learning smartphone application development project aimed at Japanese learners of English in collaboration with Sharp Laboratories
  • Speech perception testing and training (HVPT)

Service to the Academic/Professional Community

  • British Psychological Society (BPS) – Chartered membership (CPsychol, DoN)
  • Fellow with the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) 
  • British Association of Cognitive Neuroscience (BACN)
  • The Acoustical Society of America (ASA)
  • International Speech Communication Association (ISCA)
  • British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL)
  • Greek Applied Linguistics Association (GALA)
  • Linguistic Society, Cambridge University (CamLing)
  • St. Catharine's College member and representative, Cambridge University

Recent Conference Presentations

  • Wonnacott, E., Giannakopoulou, A, Brown, H., Clayards, M.(2017). High or Low? Comparing high-and low-variability phonetic training in adult and child second language learners. Speech Perception and Production Across the Lifespan 26-27 April 2017, UCL.
  • Giannakopoulou, A., Uther, M., Ylinen, S. (2017). Phonetic and orthographic cues are weighted in speech sound perception by second language speakers: Evidence from Greek speakers of English. Learning and Plasticity (LaP) meeting, 2 – 5 April 2017, Äkäslompolo, Finland.
  • Giannakopoulou, A., Uther, M., Ylinen, S. (2015). Can orthographic cues affect speech perception? Evidence from Greek speakers of English shows that both orthographic and phonetic cues are weighted in speech sound perception by second language speakers. International Symposium on Monolingual and Bilingual Speech (ISMBS), Chania.
  • Giannakopoulou, A., Uther, M., Ylinen, S. (2015). Orthographic cues affecting speech perception: Evidence from Greek speakers of English shows both orthographic and phonetic cues are weighted in speech sound perception by second language speakers. SSSR, 22nd Annual Meeting, Hawaii.
  • Giannakopoulou, A., Brown, H., Clayards, M., Wonnacot, E. (2014). High or Low? The implications of using high vs. low-variability phonetic training to improve speech sound perception for adult and child second language learners. The 39th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development. Boston, USA.
  • Giannakopoulou, A., Brown, H., Clayards, M., Wonnacot, E. (2014). High or Low? The implications of using high versus low-variability phonetic training to improve speech sound perception for adult and child second language learners. Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing (20th AMLaP). The University of Edinburg, Scotland.
  • Davis, M.H, Evans, S., McCarthy, K., Giannakopoulou, A., Evans, L., Taylor, J.S.H. (2014). Lifespan learning of speech perception in native and non-native listeners. EPS Kent Meeting 15-17 April 2014, University of Kent.
  • Davis, M.H, Evans, S., McCarthy, K., Giannakopoulou, A., Evans, L., Taylor, J.S.H. (2014). Lifespan learning of speech perception in first and second language listeners. LSCD 2014: Workshop on Late Stages in Speech and Communication Development, University College London.
  • Giannakopoulou, A., Uther, M., Ylinen, S. (2013). Phonetic and orthographic cues are weighted in speech sound perception by second language speakers of English: Evidence from Greek speakers of English, 166th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America. San Francisco, USA.
  • Giannakopoulou, A., Uther, M., Ylinen S. (2010). Phonetic cue-weighting in the acquisition of a second language (L2): evidence from Greek speakers of English. Proceedings of the Sixth International Symposium on the Acquisition of Second Language Speech. New Sounds 2010. Poznan.
  • Giannakopoulou, A., Uther, M., Wydell, T., Ylinen, S. (2009). Examining the Phonetic cue-weighting in L2 acquisition of English by Greek speakers. British Association of Cognitive Neuroscience Annual Conference Proceedings, UCL, Institute of Child Health.
  • Giannakopoulou, A., Uther, M., Ylinen, S. (2009). Phonetic cue-weighting in L2 acquisition: Evidence from Greek speakers of English. Neurobilingualism: Bilingual functioning from infancy to adulthood Conference Proceedings. Bangor University, Wales, U.K.
  • Giannakopoulou, A., Uther, M., Ylinen, S. (2009). Cue-weighting in L2 acquisition. Cross-language Speech Perception Workshop Proceedings, 157th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America. Portland, USA.
  • Giannakopoulou, A., Uther, M., Wydell, T., Ylinen, S., Williams, J. (2008). Perception and production of native versus non-native sound categories. Neuropsychology and Neuroscience Proceedings, University of Reading, UK.

Recent Publications

  • Davis, M. H., Evans, S., McCarthy, K., Evans, L., Giannakopoulou, A., & Taylor, J. S. H. (2019, January 29). Lexical learning shapes the development of speech perception until late adolescence. Preprint available at: doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/ktsey
  • Giannakopoulou, A., Brown, H., Clayards, M., Wonnacot, E. (2017). High or Low? Comparing High- and Low-Variability Phonetic Training in Adult and Child Second Language Learners. PeerJ 5:e3209, doi.org/10.7717/peerj.3209
  • Giannakopoulou, A., Uther, M., Ylinen, S. (2016). Phonetic and orthographic cues are weighted in speech sound perception by second language speakers: Evidence from Greek speakers of English. POMA, Acoustical Society of America, 20 (060011). ISSN 1939-800X.
  • Giannakopoulou, A., Uther, M., Ylinen, S. (2013). Phonetic and orthographic cues are weighted in speech sound perception by second language speakers: Evidence from Greek speakers of English. JASA. 134 (4031). dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4830717
  • Giannakopoulou, A., Uther, M., Ylinen, S. (2013). Enhanced plasticity in spoken language acquisition for child learners: evidence from phonetic training studies in child and adult learners of English. Research and practice in working with children who are bilingual or have English as an additional language and who have language and communication needs. Special Issue of: Child Language Teaching and Therapy. SAGE Publications.
  • Uther, M., Giannakopoulou. A., Iverson, P. (2012). Hyperarticulation of vowels enhances phonetic change responses in both native and non-native speakers of English: evidence from an auditory event-related potential study. Brain Research. Elsevier. DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2012.06.041
  • Giannakopoulou, A., Uther, M., Ylinen, S. (2011). Phonetic cue-weighting in the acquisition of a second language (L2): evidence from Greek speakers of English. In: Achievements and perspectives in SLA of speech: New Sounds 2010. Volume 1. (Eds.) Magdalena Wrembel, Malgorzata Kul and Katarzyna Dziubalska-Kolaczyk. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Verlag. Pp. 91-102. ISBN-13: 978-3631607237
  • Uther, M., Giannakopoulou, A., Iverson, P. (2011). Does hyperarticulation facilitate phonemic categorization in non‐native speakers of English?. Acoust. Soc. Am. Volume 129, Issue 4, pp. 2422-2422.
  • Giannakopoulou, A., Uther, M., Ylinen S. (2011). Phonetic cue-weighting in the acquisition of a second language (L2): evidence from Greek speakers of English. In: Wrembel, M., Kul, M., Dziubalska-Kołaczyk, K. (Eds). Achievements and Perspectives in SLA of Speech.Vol. 1. Peter Lang.
  • Giannakopoulou, A., Uther, M., Ylinen, S. (2009). Phonetic cue-weighting in the acquisition of a second language: Evidence from Greek speakers of English. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. Volume 125, Issue 4, pp. 2764-2764. dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4784684

Contact Details

School of Psychology
University of Bedfordshire
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Luton
Bedfordshire
LU1 3JU
E: anastasia.giannakopoulou@beds.ac.uk

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