Sight loss research in focus as national campaign launches

A Fight for Sight campaign is to launch this weekend, to raise awareness of eye health and the need for vital eye research. Former House of Commons Speaker the Rt Hon Baroness Boothroyd will kick off the campaign with an interview on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday (5 August). Sight loss affects more than two million people in the UK, a figure that is set to double by 2050. Despite this, eye disease is a desperately under-funded area of research in the UK. Professor Anna Horwood, in the Department of Psychology and Clinical Language Studies, explains how Reading research aims to tackle these issues.

Sight loss is an under-funded area of health research

Research into sight loss is a neglected area of research funding, but imagine what it is like to lose your sight? What would you be able to do? Read? Drive? Watch TV?

We are all familiar with research into diseases like cancer and dementia, but funding for sight loss is a fraction of that set aside for those conditions. With an ageing population, more and more people are having their lives affected by not being able to see. What might be an active old age can be devastated by not being able to do things most people take for granted.

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Pint of Science: Living with Your Body in Health and Disorder

Living with Your Body in Health and Disorder

Listen to your body when it whispers, and you won’t have to hear it scream. These talks will explore how food and nutrients can help lower blood pressure while integrated pain assessment and spinal services can help cope with pain. Turn up to learn a few tips to help you tune in with your body!

Dr Alister McNeish is covering why “fish oils” are reported to be so good for your cardiovascular health and looking at how they can improve your – and society’s – health, while Dr Deepak Ravindran, consultant in anaesthesia, pain and musculoskeletal medicine at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, is conducting a talk titled: “What if Lady Gaga Needed Surgery in Reading? Improving the Lives of our Fibromyalgia Patients”

To see the full details of the event or to book tickets, click here.

Pint of Science: Food and Health

What the Fork? A Story of Food and Health

Whether you’re hungry or not, these talks will definitely be food for thought. You’ll be given an insight into how food can affect your health, myths will be debunked, and you’ll discover that the phrase “You are what you eat” is more literal than you think…

Dr. Gunter Kuhnle will cover the difficulties of sifting myth from fact when it comes to food fads, and Dr Vimal Karani will take a look at diet, genes and obesity – and the importance of nutrigenetic studies and their role in personalised nutrition.

To see the full details of the event or to book tickets, click here.

Annual Cole Lecture: The Egg and Sperm Race

We are delighted to welcome gyuest speaker Professor Matthew Cobb, Professor of Zoology at University of Manchester to deliver this year’s Cole Lecture

Where do we come from? For thousands of years we really had no clue. In the mid-seventeenth century, human eggs and sperm were discovered but their role wasn’t understood for another 180 years. Professor Matthew Cobb will describe how these amazing discoveries were made, and how rivalry spilled over into enmity.

Academia/Industry Careers Event

Academia/industry Careers event

6th September 2017

Programme includes:

  • Research careers panel: find out what it’s really like from researchers in different roles in Industry, Academia and government research
  • Alternative careers panel: what else is out there? Hear about science communications, policy, clinical trials management and more
  • Becoming a group leader: what’s it like in different environments?
  • Keynote from Simon Lovestone: hear about his career journey, and how best to work with people from every sphere to push dementia research forward
  • Posters & Networking: Discover local research from academia and industry


Francesca Nicholls

Mark Dallas

Workshop: Language impairment in bilingual children

This free event organised by the Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM) will bring together researchers and practitioners from France, the UK, and the USA who work with bilingual children with language impairment. The workshop will address the challenge of identifying language impairment in bilingual children. It will illustrate assessment material for bilingual children, explore the use of parent and teacher interviews, standardized tests, and narrative language sampling to support clinical decision making regarding diagnosis and intervention processes. Attendees will interpret standardized test data and use assessment protocols for making decisions based on language sampling that can be employed in everyday practice with bilingual children.

Maximum number of attendees: 40

Workshop: Bi-/Multilingualism and the Declining Brain

This free event will look into contemporary suggestions about the neuroprotective effects of bi-/multilingualism against brain decline in healthy and patient populations. It will bring together early career and established researchers in the fields of second language acquisition and cognitive/clinical neuroscience, and will comprise a state-of-the-art snapshot in the field, as well as discuss potential future directions for research.

Linking Formal Instruction with Second Language Processing

Linking Formal Instruction with Second Language Processing:

A Meta-analysis of Processing Instruction Research (1993-2016)


Michael J. Leeser, Florida State University (USA)

Almost 25 years ago, VanPatten and Cadierno (1993) argued that most language instruction was product oriented and did not take into account the underlying processes involved in second language acquisition. Since the publication of that seminal paper, nearly 80 published studies have appeared investigating the effects of processing instruction (PI), which is a type of instructional intervention that seeks to alter or to improve second language learners’ non-optimal input processing strategies so that learners are more likely to make correct form-meaning connections during comprehension. In this presentation, I will provide an overview of PI, discuss the ways in which PI differs from other types of form-focused instruction, and present the findings of a research synthesis and meta-analysis of the almost 80 quantitative PI studies that have been conducted between 1993 and 2016. In addition to evaluating the overall effectiveness of PI, the meta-analysis considers the ways in which processing problems associated with morpho-syntactic structures (and other variables) may mediate the effectiveness of PI. Finally, I explore avenues of future research for relating formal instruction to processing issues in second language acquisition.

CeLM Seminar Series

‘Fine-grained patterns of language use contribute to variance in bilingual language processing.’

Joanna John, University of Reading


‘Effect of socio-economic status on cognitive control in non-literate bilingual speakers.’

Dr Vishnu Kaleeckal Krishnankutty Nair, Flinders University, Australia

4.15 – 5.30pm