Dr Barbara Piotrowska

I completed my BA(Hons) in Psychology and Sociology and my PhD in Psychology at Edinburgh Napier University. My PhD project was focused on the investigation of the early indicators of developmental dyslexia, particularly in pre-reading children, in order indicate risk and provide those at risk with early interventions. I looked at a range of cognitive, language, phonological and motor tasks and their predictive potential. I also investigated the visual aspects of dyslexia by looking at low- and high-level visual processes using psychophysics (I visualised my interest in this area – pun intended – with the picture on the right).

In April 2018 I started my lectureship at Napier, previously working here as a Teaching Associate. I teach on modules that are related to my research interests, such as Educational Psychology and Lifespan Development. I am passionate about teaching research methods and currently contribute to the third-year module on quantitative and qualitative methods. Recently, I’ve been exploring the field of Occupational Psychology and I’m currently doing an MSc in the University of Leicester in this area. I am a module leader for the Organisational Psychology module, delivered both in the UK and Hong Kong.

I continue my research in developmental dyslexia around the ways in which we can reliably and quickly identify children at risk. Most recently, I’ve been looking into the role of primary school teachers and exploring the accuracy of their dyslexia risk judgements drawing on the area of decision making. The combination of decision making and language interests led to the recent publication on rationality and bilingualism. In future, I hope to explore how the adults with dyslexia and more broadly the so-called neurodiverse individuals operate in their work environment.

My selected publications:

Curley, L., Carruthers, L., & Piotrowska, B. (in press). Bilingualism: The foreign language effect does not extend to rational decision making. Journal of Articles in Support of the Null Hypothesis

Piotrowska, B., Willis, A. (2019). Beyond the global motion deficit hypothesis of developmental dyslexia: A cross-sectional study of visual, cognitive, and socio-economic factors influencing reading ability in children. Vision Research, 159, pp. 48-60, doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2019.03.007

Piotrowska, B., Murray, J., Willis, A., Kerridge, J. (2017). Investigation of visual aspects of developmental dyslexia in children. Journal of Vision 17(10): 640; doi: 10.1167/17.10.640.

Piotrowska, B., Willis, A., MacLean, Murray, J., Kerridge, J. (2015). Visual-spatial-motor integration in a cross-section of primary-aged children: implications for assessing risk of dyslexia. F1000Research, 4:692 (poster) doi: 10.7490/f1000research.1110435.1

Piotrowska, B., Willis, A. and Kerridge, J. (2015). Performance on a novel visual-spatial-motor task may predict reading difficulties in children. The Psychology of Education review, 39:2, pp. 42-47.

Piotrowska, B., Willis, A. (2014). Visual-spatial-motor performance may predict reading difficulties in children and adults. Preliminary findings from a longitudinal study on young, pre-reading children. Dyslexia Review, 25: 3, pp. 15-19.

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