Dr Andrew Olson BSc, MA, PhD

Dr Andrew Olson

School of Psychology
Associate Professor
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.


Recent publications


Goranova, J, Olson, A & Krott, A 2021, 'What about lexical competition? Exploring the locus of lexical retrieval deficits in adults with developmental dyslexia', Neuropsychology, vol. 35, no. 8, pp. 822-846. https://doi.org/10.1037/neu0000767

Clark, R, Blundell, J, Dunn, M, Erichsen, J, Giardini, M, Gottlob, I, Harris, C, Lee, H, Mcilreavy, L, Olson, A, Self, J, Vinuela-Navarro, V, Waddington, J, Woodhouse, JM, Gilchrist, I & Williams, C 2019, 'The potential and value of objective eye tracking in the Opthalmology clinic', Eye, vol. 33, no. 8, pp. 1200–1202. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41433-019-0417-z

Blundell, J, Frisson, S, Chakrapani, A, Kearney, S, Vijay, S, MacDonald, A, Gissen, P, Hendriksz, C & Olson, A 2018, 'Markers of cognitive function in patients with metabolic disease: Morquio Syndrome and Tyrosinemia Type III', Cognitive Neuropsychology, vol. 35, no. 3-4, pp. 120-147. https://doi.org/10.1080/02643294.2018.1443913

Blundell, J, Frisson, S, Chakrapani, A, Gissen, P, Hendriksz, C, Vijay, S & Olson, A 2018, 'Oculomotor abnormalities in children with Niemann-Pick Type C', Molecular Genetics and Metabolism, vol. 123, no. 2, pp. 159-168. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ymgme.2017.11.004

Romani, C, Thomas, L, Olson, A & Lander, L 2018, 'Playing a team game improves word production in post-stroke aphasia', Aphasiology, vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 253-288. https://doi.org/10.1080/02687038.2018.1548205

Westwood, SJ, Olson, A, Miall, R, Nappo, R & Romani, C 2017, 'Limits to tDCS effects in language: Failures to modulate word production in healthy participants with frontal or temporal tDCS', Cortex, vol. 86, pp. 64-82. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2016.10.016

Olson, A, Halloran, E & Romani, C 2015, 'Target/error overlap in jargonaphasia: The case for a one-source model, lexical and non-lexical summation, and the special status of correct responses', Cortex, vol. 73, pp. 158-179. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2015.06.028

Breadmore, HL, Krott, A & Olson, AC 2014, 'Agreeing to disagree: Deaf and hearing children's awareness of subject-verb number agreement', The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, vol. 67, no. 3, pp. 474-498. https://doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2013.818702

Frisson, S, Olson, A & Wheeldon, L 2014, 'Competition between orthographically and phonologically similar words during sentence reading: evidence from eye movements', Journal of Memory and Language, vol. 73, pp. 148–173. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2014.03.004

Frisson, S, Olson, A & Wheeldon, L 2014, 'Competition between orthographically and phonologically similar words during sentence reading: evidence from eye movements', Journal of Memory and Language. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2014.03.004

Lesage, E, Morgan, BE, Olson, AC, Meyer, AS & Miall, RC 2012, 'Cerebellar rTMS disrupts predictive language processing', Current Biology, vol. 22, no. 18, pp. R794-5. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2012.07.006

Breadmore, HL, Olson, AC & Krott, A 2012, 'Deaf and hearing children's plural noun spelling', The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, vol. 65, no. 11, pp. 2169-2192. https://doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2012.684694

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, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 143-161. https://doi.org/10.1080/02687038.2011.624166

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, vol. 62, no. 2, pp. 151-92. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogpsych.2010.08.001


Westwood, SJ, Olson, A, Miall, C & Romani, C 2017, 'tDCS modulation of naming in healthy participants: Negative results and still no explanation – A response to a commentary by Gauvin et al. (2017)', Cortex. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2017.08.012

View all publications in research portal