Dr Andrew Olson BSc, MA, PhD

Dr Andrew Olson

School of Psychology
Senior Lecturer
Director of PGT Programmes

Contact details

The School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Andrew Olson is a neuropsychologist who is interested in cognition and its various forms of breakdown and especially in the organization of language in the brain. He works with patient volunteers with aphasia, children, healthy adults and members of the deaf community.


BSc, Eckerd College; MA, Johns Hopkins; PhD Johns Hopkins


Andrew Olson did his undergraduate work in biology and an MA in poetry at the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University before completing his PhD with Alfonso Caramazza at Johns Hopkins. He did post-doctoral work with Glyn Humphreys at Birmingham before joining the staff as a Lecturer.


Andrew currently teaches on the 2nd year Introduction to Psycholinguistics module and on the 1st year Language and Memory module and has contributed to various Masters courses that include topics related to language and the brain. In the past he has also taught statistics and programming.

Postgraduate supervision

Andrew is very happy to talk to potential PhD students who have interests in neuropsychology, speech and language therapy, linguistics, psycholinguistics and computational modeling. Students interested in joining the lab should email Andrew directly.


Scopus Author ID: 35965895600

Andrew is interested in how language is organized in the mind and brain. He works with brain-damaged patients, children with developmental disorders (e.g. neurodegenerative disease) and other special populations, including participants from the deaf community. He uses a wide variety of methods, including standard neuropsychological assessment, computerized experiments and eye-tracking. He is interested in computational and statistical models of cognition and in using explicit models for testing theories of language organization.


Harris, L., Olson, A., & Humphreys, G. (2012). Rehabilitation of spelling in a participant with a graphemic buffer impairment: The role of orthographic neighbourhood in remediating the serial position effect. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 22, 890-919.

Harris, L., Olson, A., & Humphreys, G. (2012). Rehabilitation of past tense verb production and non-canonical sentence production in left inferior frontal non-fluent aphasia. Aphasiology, 26, 143-161.

Olson, A. C. & Romani, C. (2011). Model evaluation and case series data. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 28, 486-499.

Romani, C., Tsouknida, E., Di Betta, A. M., & Olson, A. (2011). Reduced attentional capacity, but normal processing speed and shifting of attention in developmental dyslexia: Evidence from a serial task. Cortex, 47, 715-733.

Romani, C., Galluzzi, C., Bureca, I., & Olson, A. (2011). Effects of syllable structure in aphasic errors: Implications for a new model of speech production. Cognitive Psychology, 62, 151-192.

Romani, C., Galluzzi, C., & Olson, A. (2011). Phonological-lexical activation: A lexical component or an output buffer? Evidence from aphasic errors. Cortex, 47, 217-235.

Olson, A., Romani, C., & Caramazza, A. (2010). Analysis and interpretation of serial position data. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 27, 134-151.

Romani, C., Di Betta, A., Tsouknida, E., & Olson, A. (2008). Lexical and nonlexical processing in developmental dyslexia: A case for different resources and different impairments. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 25, 798-830.

Shapiro, L. R., Lamberts, K., & Olson, A. C. (2008). Measuring the influence of similarity on category-specific effects. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 20, 346-366.

Olson, A. C., Romani, C., & Halloran, L. (2007). Localizing the deficit in a case of jargonaphasia. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 24, 211-238.

Romani, C., McAlpine, S., Olson, A., Tsouknida, E., & Martin, R. (2005). Length, lexicality, and articulatory suppression in immediate recall: Evidence against the articulatory loop. Journal of Memory and Language, 52, 406-423.

Shapiro, L. R. & Olson, A. C. (2005). Does normal processing provide evidence of specialised semantic subsystems? Language and Cognitive Processes, 20, 697-724.

Olson, A. C. & Caramazza, A. (2004). Orthographic structure and deaf spelling errors: Syllables, letter frequency, and speech. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Section A: Human Experimental Psychology, 57, 385-417.

Duncan, J., Bundesen, C., Olson, A., Humphreys, G., Ward, R., Kyllingsbaek, S. et al. (2003). Attentional functions in dorsal and ventral simultanagnosia. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 20, 675-701.

Osswald, K., Humphreys, G. W., & Olson, A. (2002). Words are more than the sum of their parts: Evidence for detrimental effects of word-level information in Alexia. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 19, 675-695.

Romani, C., Olson, A., Ward, J., & Ercolani, M. G. (2002). Formal lexical paragraphias in a single case study: How "masterpiece" can become "misterpieman" and "curiosity" "suretoy". Brain and Language, 83, 300-334.

Romani, C., Olson, A., Semenza, C., & Graná, A. (2002). Patterns of phonological errors as a function of a phonological versus an articulatory locus of impairment. Cortex, 38, 541-567.

Humphreys, G. W. & Olson, A. (2001). Separating effects of orthographic similarity and contour summation in the identification of masked letter strings. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Section A: Human Experimental Psychology, 54, 1203-1219.

Mayall, K., Humphreys, G. W., Mechelli, A., Olson, A., & Price, C. J. (2001). The effects of case mixing on word recognition: Evidence from a pet study. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 13, 844-853.

Olson, A. C. & Nickerson, J. F. (2001). Syllabic organization and deafness: Orthographic structure or letter frequency in reading? Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Section A: Human Experimental Psychology, 54, 421-438.

Humphreys, G. W., Cinel, C., Wolfe, J., Olson, A., & Klempen, N. (2000). Fractionating the binding process: Neuropsychological evidence distinguishing binding of form from binding of surface features. Vision Research, 40, 1569-1596.

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