Conrad Perry

Dr Conrad Perry

Senior Lecturer

School of Psychology

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

My research focuses largely on written and spoken language processing. I use ideas from cognitive psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, and mathematics to examine both theoretical and practical questions, such as what causes dyslexia and the best way children with it can be helped. I also examine other aspects of higher-level cognition that are typically but not always related to language processing including semantics, emotion, theory of mind and altruism.

I have experience running behavioural and neuroscience experiments on both normal and disordered groups. I am also interested in examining data using more modern machine learning techniques.


Research Project 1

Title: Examining the effect of visuo-spatial attention when reading

Project description: There are arguments about the extent to which and how visuo-spatial attention is used when reading. A number of people have looked at simple correlations between this type of attention and reading performance, and find some relationship, but they have not directly tested possible mechanisms nor elucidated their properties. One possibility is that focused visuo-spatial attention is used to help parse the letters of words, and this can be investigated by manipulating this type of attention and examining the effect it has on reading particular types of words.

Projects available for: Honours
Location: Helen Mayo Building
Research project start: Semester 1
Special requirements: None


Research Project 2

Title: Examining the extent to which graphemes are used in reading

Project description: It is typically assumed that when people translate letters into sound (read aloud) they do so by first grouping the letters of words into meaningful groups – i.e., graphemes (e.g., thick would be broken into three groups rather than use only single letters. The experimental evidence for this is relatively weak, however. This may be because  the experimental paradigms used to examine this are not especially sensitive to this process, and thus alternative paradigms may offer more insight. Further experimentation and statistical analyses of large-databases would be worth pursuing in this respect.

Projects available for: Honours
Location: Helen Mayo Building
Research project start: Semester 1
Special requirements: None


Research Project 3

Title: Investigating the time-course of emotion processing with concrete and abstract words.

Project description: A number of results using electroencephalography show that affective responses elicited from concrete words are weaker and occur later than with abstract words. This is somewhat surprising given concrete words like maggot can clearly have strong negative connotations. One potential reason for this is that, unlike abstract words, affective concrete words tend to be associated with many features that do not have affective content, and the processing of these slows the processing of affective information. Alternatively, it may simply be the case that the affective features of abstract words tend to be a larger and more important part of their representations. Differentiating these possibilities is theoretically important for our understanding of how emotional semantics is processed.

Projects available for: Honours
Location: Helen Mayo Building
Research project start: Semester 1
Special requirements: None


Research Project 4

Title: Investigating the direction of word stress assignment in English

Project description: There is a large literature on the way stress is assigned to words in English. However, the extent to which this has been investigated as a psychological rather than linguistic phenomenon is less. Some recent data in German suggests that, unlike as often suggested, stress assignment appears to occur from left-to-right rather right-to-left. Investigating this in English and whether different types of words cause different types of behaviour in this respect would help our understanding of the underlying mechanisms people use. These results have implications for some types of aphasia and children with language learning difficulties who make stress errors when speaking.

Projects available for: Honours
Location: Helen Mayo Building
Research project start: Semester 1
Special requirements: Some background in linguistics would be very helpful


Research Project 5 

Title: Developing computational models of reading

Project description: There are currently two main computational models of reading that can predict how adults read aloud known and novel words. Only one of these models predicts outcomes of dyslexia. However, even that model has problems – it could be extended, the internal dynamics investigated better, and less psychologically plausible aspects of it entirely replaced. Further experiments could also be run to test between different aspects of the model and the predictions other models make.

Projects available for: HDR students
Location: Helen Mayo Building
Research project start:
Special requirements: Mu
st have an interest in programming and computation.


Research Project 6

Title: The meaning of changed meanings lingers

Project description: A number of databases looking at words associated with racial and gender stereotypes across the last decades have recently become available. This is interesting because it should allow the extent to which these stereotypes remain with people even when they have fallen out of common use to be examined. Such stereotypes could be compared with concepts that have changed meanings but are not strongly associated with stereotypes or affective information. The processing of these could be elucidated using electroencephalography. This would give insight into the way semantics can change over time.

Projects available for: Honors; HDR
Location: Helen Mayo Building
Research project start:
Special requirements: At present, I don’t have access to good samples in Adelaide and obviously this requires older participants.


Research Project 7

Title: Examining effects of listening to atypically stereotyped voices

Project description: People change both the sound of their voice and the particular words they use (linguistic style) depending on the context of the situation. For example, it is well documented that that some females use a more masculine voice than normal to convey a sense of authority. I have investigated this using electroencephalography and found that people listening to such speech are affected relatively early and in a sustained way to such speech changes. However, it is not clear whether this effect is specific to females speaking in a masculine style, or whether it is a more general response to speech styles that are more generally incongruent with people’s expectations, even when the underlying reason for the different voice is quite different (e.g., males speaking in a feminine voice, which isn’t used to convey authority). This could be examined by using different types of speech incongruency.

Projects available for: Honours
Location: Helen Mayo Building
Research project start: Semester 1
Special requirements: Nil


  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2020 Martin, D., Perry, C., MacIntyre, M., Varcoe, L., Pedell, S., & Kaufman, J. (2020). Investigating the nature of children's altruism using a social humanoid robot. Computers in Human Behavior, 104.
    DOI Scopus1
    2020 Martin, D., MacIntyre, M., Perry, C., Clift, G., Pedell, S., & Kaufman, J. (2020). Young Children’s Indiscriminate Helping Behavior Toward a Humanoid Robot. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 239.
    2019 Perry, C., Zorzi, M., & Ziegler, J. (2019). Understanding Dyslexia Through Personalized Large-Scale Computational Models. Psychological Science, 30(3), 386-395.
    DOI Scopus4 Europe PMC1
    2019 Perry, C., Willison, A., Walker, M., Nankivell, M., Lawrence, L., & Thomas, A. (2019). Working memory load affects early affective responses to concrete and abstract words differently: Evidence from ERPs. Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience, 19(2), 377-391.
    2019 Martin, D., Perry, C., & Kaufman, J. (2019). Effects of a mirror on young children’s transgression in a gift-delay task. British Journal of Developmental Psychology.
    2018 Allen, M., Perry, C., & Kaufman, J. (2018). Toddlers prefer to help familiar people. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 174, 90-102.
    DOI Scopus5
    2018 Perry, C. (2018). Reading Orthographically Strange Nonwords: Modelling Backup Strategies in Reading. Scientific Studies of Reading, 22(3), 264-272.
    2018 Perry, C. (2018). Testing predictions about the processing of word stress in reading using event-related potentials. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 33(4), 424-442.
    DOI Scopus1
    2016 Martin, D., Perry, C., & Kaufman, J. (2016). An eye on animacy and intention. Frontiers in Psychology, 7(JUN).
    2016 Parkes, L., Perry, C., & Goodin, P. (2016). Examining the N400m in affectively negative sentences: A magnetoencephalography study. Psychophysiology, 53(5), 689-704.
    DOI Scopus7 Europe PMC1
    2016 Ulicheva, A., Coltheart, M., Saunders, S., & Perry, C. (2016). Phonotactic constraints: Implications for models of oral reading in russian. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition, 42(4), 636-656.
    DOI Scopus6 Europe PMC2
    2015 Wickens, S., & Perry, C. (2015). What do you mean by that?! An electrophysiological study of emotional and attitudinal prosody. PLoS ONE, 10(7), e0132947.
    DOI Scopus6 Europe PMC2
    2014 Perry, C., Ziegler, J., & Zorzi, M. (2014). CDP++.Italian: Modelling sublexical and supralexical inconsistency in a shallow orthography. PLoS ONE, 9(4), e94291.
    DOI Scopus14 Europe PMC9
    2014 Perry, C., Ziegler, J., & Zorzi, M. (2014). When silent letters say more than a thousand words: An implementation and evaluation of CDP++ in french. Journal of Memory and Language, 72(1), 98-115.
    DOI Scopus15
    2014 Ziegler, J., Perry, C., & Zorzi, M. (2014). Modelling reading development through phonological decoding and self-teaching: Implications for dyslexia. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 369(1634), 20120397.
    DOI Scopus74 Europe PMC16
    2013 Wong Kwok Shing, R., Perry, C., MacWhinney, B., & Oi-ling, I. (2013). Relationships between receptive vocabulary in English and Cantonese proficiency among five-year-old Hong Kong Kindergarten children. Early Child Development and Care, 183(10), 1407-1419.
    DOI Scopus4
    2013 Perry, C., Ziegler, J., & Zorzi, M. (2013). A computational and empirical investigation of graphemes in reading. Cognitive Science, 37(5), 800-828.
    DOI Scopus24
    2013 Perry, C. (2013). Graphemic parsing and the basic orthographic syllable structure. Language and Cognitive Processes, 28(3), 355-376.
    DOI Scopus5
    2010 Perry, C., Ziegler, J., & Zorzi, M. (2010). Beyond single syllables: Large-scale modeling of reading aloud with the Connectionist Dual Process (CDP++) model. Cognitive Psychology, 61(2), 106-151.
    DOI Scopus191 Europe PMC97
    2010 Perry, C., Ziegler, J., Braun, M., & Zorzi, M. (2010). Rules versus statistics in reading aloud: New evidence on an old debate. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 22(5), 798-812.
    DOI Scopus16
    2009 Perry, C., Wong, R., & Matthews, S. (2009). Syllable timing and pausing: Evidence from cantonese. Language and Speech, 52(1), 29-53.
    DOI Scopus1 Europe PMC1
    2009 Ziegler, J., Perry, C., & Zorzi, M. (2009). Additive and Interactive Effects of Stimulus Degradation: No Challenge for CDP+. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition, 35(1), 306-311.
    DOI Scopus13 Europe PMC3
    2008 Ziegler, J., Castel, C., Pech-Georgel, C., George, F., Alario, F., & Perry, C. (2008). Developmental dyslexia and the dual route model of reading: Simulating individual differences and subtypes. Cognition, 107(1), 151-178.
    DOI Scopus131 Europe PMC74
    2007 Perry, C., Ziegler, J., & Zorzi, M. (2007). Nested incremental modeling in the development of computational theories: The CDP+ model of reading aloud.. Psychological Review, 114(2), 273-315.
    DOI Scopus399 Europe PMC215
    2006 Perry, C., Kan, M., Matthews, S., & Wong, R. (2006). Syntactic ambiguity resolution and the prosodic foot: Cross-language differences. Applied Psycholinguistics, 27(3), 301-333.
    2005 Perry, C., & Zhuang, J. (2005). Prosody and lemma selection. Memory and Cognition, 33(5), 862-870.
    DOI Scopus2 Europe PMC1
    2004 Peng, D., Ding, G., Perry, C., Xu, D., Jin, Z., Luo, Q., . . . Deng, Y. (2004). fMRI evidence for the automatic phonological activation of briefly presented words. Cognitive Brain Research, 20(2), 156-164.
    DOI Scopus35 Europe PMC21
    2004 Hutzler, F., Ziegler, J., Perry, C., Wimmer, H., & Zorzi, M. (2004). Do current connectionist learning models account for reading development in different languages?. Cognition, 91(3), 273-296.
    DOI Scopus56 Europe PMC21
    2004 Perry, C., & Ziegler, J. (2004). Beyond the two-strategy model of skilled spelling: Effects of consistency, grain size, and orthographic redundancy. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Section A: Human Experimental Psychology, 57(2), 325-356.
    DOI Scopus22 Europe PMC6
    2003 Ziegler, J., Perry, C., & Coltheart, M. (2003). Speed of lexical and nonlexical processing in French: The case of the regularity effect. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 10(4), 947-953.
    DOI Scopus47 Europe PMC19
    2003 Luo, Q., Perry, C., Peng, D., Jin, Z., Xu, D., Ding, G., & Xu, S. (2003). The neural substrate of analogical reasoning: An fMRI study. Cognitive Brain Research, 17(3), 527-534.
    DOI Scopus80 Europe PMC45
    2003 Peng, D., Xu, D., Jin, Z., Luo, Q., Ding, G., Perry, C., . . . Liu, Y. (2003). Neural basis of the non-attentional processing of briefly presented words. Human Brain Mapping, 18(3), 215-221.
    DOI Scopus35 Europe PMC27
    2003 Ziegler, J., Perry, C., Ma-Wyatt, A., Ladner, D., & Schulte-Korne, G. (2003). Developmental dyslexia in different languages: Language-specific or universal?. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 86(3), 169-193.
    DOI Scopus244 Europe PMC111
    2003 Perry, C. (2003). A phoneme-grapheme feedback consistency effect. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 10(2), 392-397.
    DOI Scopus20 Europe PMC6
    2003 Perry, C. (2003). Priming the rules of spelling. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Section A: Human Experimental Psychology, 56 A(3), 515-530.
    DOI Scopus10 Europe PMC3
    2003 Ding, G., Perry, C., Peng, D., Ma, L., Li, D., Xu, S., . . . Yang, J. (2003). Neural mechanisms underlying semantic and orthographic processing in Chinese-English bilinguals. NeuroReport, 14(12), 1557-1562.
    DOI Scopus62 Europe PMC26
    2002 Perry, C., & Ziegler, J. (2002). Cross-language computational investigation of the length effect in reading aloud. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 28(4), 990-1001.
    DOI Scopus23 Europe PMC9
    2002 Perry, C., & Ziegler, J. (2002). On the nature of phonological assembly: Evidence from backward masking. Language and Cognitive Processes, 17(1), 31-59.
    DOI Scopus19
    2002 Perry, C., Ziegler, J., & Coltheart, M. (2002). A dissociation between orthographic awareness and spelling production. Applied Psycholinguistics, 23(1), 43-73.
    DOI Scopus22
    2002 Perry, C., Ziegler, J., & Coltheart, M. (2002). How predictable is spelling? developing and testing metrics of phoneme-grapheme contingency. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Section A: Human Experimental Psychology, 55(3), 897-915.
    DOI Scopus35 Europe PMC11
    2002 Perry, C. (2002). A consonant-vowel priming effect in nonword spelling. Australian Journal of Psychology, 54(1), 25-31.
    2001 Ziegler, J., Perry, C., Jacobs, A., & Braun, M. (2001). Identical words are read differently in different languages. Psychological Science, 12(5), 379-384.
    DOI Scopus144 Europe PMC70
    2001 Coltheart, M., Rastle, K., Perry, C., Langdon, R., & Ziegler, J. (2001). DRC: A dual route cascaded model of visual word recognition and reading aloud. Psychological Review, 108(1), 204-256.
    DOI Scopus2332 Europe PMC1131
    2000 Ziegler, J., Perry, C., & Coltheart, M. (2000). The DRC model of visual word recognition and reading aloud: An extension to german. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 12(3), 413-430.
    DOI Scopus74
    2000 Ziegler, J., Tan, L., Perry, C., & Montant, M. (2000). Phonology Matters: The Phonological Frequency Effect in Written Chinese. Psychological Science, 11(3), 234-238.
    DOI Scopus38 Europe PMC21
    2000 Perry, C., & Ziegler, J. (2000). Linguistic difficulties in language and reading development constrain skilled adult reading. Memory and Cognition, 28(5), 739-745.
    DOI Scopus11 Europe PMC4
    1999 Perry, C. (1999). Testing a computational account of category-specific deficits. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 11(3), 312-320.
    DOI Scopus10 Europe PMC4
    1999 Coltheart, M., Woollams, A., Kinoshita, S., & Perry, C. (1999). A position-sensitive stroop effect: Further evidence for a left-to-right component in print-to-speech conversion. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 6(3), 456-463.
    DOI Scopus56 Europe PMC31
    1998 Ziegler, J., & Perry, C. (1998). No more problems in Coltheart's neighborhood: Resolving neighborhood conflicts in the lexical decision task. Cognition, 68(2), B53-B62.
    DOI Scopus82 Europe PMC38
  • Conference Papers

    Year Citation
    1995 Perry, C. (1995). Integrated developmental connectionist model of orthography to phonology and orthography to semantics translation. In IEEE International Conference on Neural Networks - Conference Proceedings Vol. 6 (pp. 2960-2964).
  • Position: Senior Lecturer
  • Phone: 83132861
  • Email:
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Hughes, floor 5
  • Room: 5 16
  • Org Unit: The University of Adelaide

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