Professor Kim Shapiro

Professor Kim Shapiro

School of Psychology
Professor and Chair of Cognitive Neuroscience
Head of School

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Professor Shapiro in collaboration with other colleagues published the first paper on the ‘attentional blink’ phenomenon, which has attracted great interest on the part of many scientists. The original publication has been cited over 1000 times and approximately 500 reports on the same topic have followed from it. He employs a wide range of neuroscience approaches and tools in his research, including functional imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG) and event-related potentials (ERPs), and magnetoencephalography (MEG). Professor Shapiro is the Head of School in Psychology.


BSc, MSc, PhD


Professor Shapiro received his PhD in animal learning from Dalhousie University (Canada) before taking up his first (assistant professor) post at the Pennsylvania State University. He then moved to the University of Calgary (Canada) where he was tenured and promoted to Full Professor. Prior to moving to the University of Birmingham, he was employed by Bangor University where he helped to establish the functional imaging centre in the School of Psychology. Professor Shapiro has received recent funding for his research from the BBSRC, the ESRC, the Human Frontiers of Science Programme, and the Welcome Trust.


Animal learning, attention and memory

Postgraduate supervision

Current postgraduate students: 

  • Jess Kerlin

Current postdoctoral research associates: 

  • Risa Sawaki 
  • Ilja Sligte

Those wishing to apply to work in Professor Shapiro’s lab are encouraged to contact him directly by email.


Research interests

Attention, visual short-term memory

Other activities

Professor Shapiro recently joined the University of Birmingham from Bangor University where he held the Chair of Cognitive Neuroscience. He is a member of the Society for Neurosciences, the Psychonomics Society, and the Vision Sciences Society, as well as a member of the grant panel (A) for the Biological and Biosciences Research Council (BBSRC). He has served in the past as Associate Editor for Perception and Psychophysics and is currently an Associate Editor for Frontiers in Cognition. He is also currently a member of the Consulting Board for the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.


Google Scholar Citation Page

Zauner, A., Fellinger, R., Gross, J., Hanslmayr, S., Shapiro, K., Gruber, W., Müller, S., & Klimesch, W. (in press). Alpha entrainment is responsible for the attentional blink phenomenon. NeuroImage.

Fan, Z., Singh, K., Muthukumaraswamy, S., & Shapiro, K. (in press). The role of sustained posterior brain activity in the serial chaining of two cognitive operations: A MEG study. Psychophysiology.

Helen M. Morgan, Margaret C. Jackson, Martijn van Koningsbruggen, Kimron L. Shapiro, & David E.J. Linden. (In press). Frontal and parietal theta burst TMS impairs working memory for visual-spatial conjunctions. Brain Imaging.

Morgan, H. M., Muthukumaraswamy, S. D., Hibbs, C. S., Shapiro, K. S., Bracewell, R. M., Singh, K. D., & Linden, D. E., J. (in press). Feature integration in visual working memory: Parietal gamma activation is related to cognitive coordination. Journal of Neurophysiology.

Jackson, M.C., Morgan, H. M., Shapiro, K. S., Mohr, H. M., Linden, D. E. J. (in press). Strategic resource allocation in the human brain supports cognitive coordination of visual and spatial working memory. Human Brain Mapping.

Johnston, S., Linden, D. E. J., & Shapiro, K. L. (2011). Functional imaging reveals working memory and attention interact to produce the attentional blink. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 24, 28-38.

Ihssen, N., Linden, D. E. J., & Shapiro, K. L. (2010). Improving Visual Short-Term Memory by sequencing the stimulus array. Psychonomic, Bulletin, & Review, 17, 680-686.

Gross, J., Schmitz, F., Schnitzler, I., Kessler, K., Shapiro, K., Hommel, B., & Schnitzler, A. (2004). Modulation of long-range neural synchrony reflects temporal limitations of visual attention in humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 101, 13050-13055.

Husain, M., Shapiro, K. L., Martin, J., and Kennard, C. (1997). Temporal dynamics of visual attention reveal a non-spatial abnormality in spatial neglect. Nature, 385, 154-156.

Luck, S. J., Vogel, E. K., and Shapiro, K. L. (1996). Word meanings can be accessed but not reported during the attentional blink. Nature, 382, 616-618.

Duncan, J., Ward, R., and Shapiro, K. L. (1994). Direct measurement of attentional dwell time in human vision. Nature, 369, 313-315.

Raymond, J. E., Shapiro, K. L., and Arnell, K. M. (1992). Temporary suppression of visual processing in an RSVP task: An attentional blink? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 18, 849-860.