Cognitive Science of Reading Lab
Our research looks at the way people perceive information about the written word and retrieve information about the words that they see. Our methods involve focused laboratory experiments, statistical analyses of large databases, and computational modelling.

James S. Adelman

Associate Professor
University of Warwick
Language and Learning Group
James S. Adelman CV [PDF]

Publications — Papers

Publications — Books

Research Students

David Harvey started his PhD at Warwick in 2014. Before that he studied for a Master's (Psychological Research) at Birmingham and a Bachelor's (Experimental Psychology) at Oxford.
Iliyana Trifonova started her PhD at Warwick in 2014, and completed in 2018. She has Master's degrees in both Cognitive Science (New Bulgarian University) and Human Resource Management (Sofia University) and Bachelor's degrees in Psychology and English (Veliko Turnovo University).

Opportunities – PhD

Opportunities – MSc

Opportunities – Undergrads


easyNet is our project to develop a software tool for computational modelling, addressing several obstacles facing both expert and novice modellers in gaining the maximum benefit out of modelling. This project was currently supported by a Leverhulme Trust Project Grant.

Individual differences

We have investigated how individual differences are important for testing and constraining computational models of word recognition. This has involved both examining the differences among several individuals (Adelman et al., 2014) and trying to model them; and examining people individually to clearly identify discrepancies from models (Adelman et al., 2013). This project was supported by the ESRC.

Contextual diversity

Word frequency — the simple count of how often a word has occurred — has been the most ubiquitous lexical variable for some time. We have shown that its effects on reading times can be explained (better) by contextual diversity — the number of distinct documents in which a word has occurred — which is consistent with spacing effects in memory and learning (Adelman et al., 2006). We have also examined the nonlinear relationship between this contextual diversity and lexical decision in terms of different mathematical models (Adelman & Brown, 2008). This project was supported by the ESRC.

Absolute identification

We have investigated how some simple perceptual decisions (absolute identification: learning numerical labels for simple stimuli) are affected by the time available for physical perception and total time for thinking, in part by varying the number of presentations of the stimulus (Guest et al., 2010). This project was supported by the ESRC. More recent work has examined the claim that judging the change from the preceding stimulus is a more basic underlying skill for this task.