Professor Kim Shapiro

Professor Kim Shapiro

School of Psychology
Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience

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. His current research interests continue in attention, particularly as it interacts with short- and long- term memory. He maintains an active lab that includes postdocs, doctoral and masters students, and undergraduate research assistants. In addition to basic research, he is interested in the combined application of brain stimulation and cognitive training to older adults and stroke patients ageing normally and abnormally (e.g., dementia).

He employs a wide range of neuroscience approaches and tools in his research, including functional imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG) and event-related potentials (ERPs), magnetoencephalography (MEG), and transcranial current stimulation (TCS). Funding for his research has come from the Welcome Trust, BBSRC, ESRC, MRC, HFSP, McDonnell Pew Foundation, and the Guangzhou (China) First People’s hospital.


BSc, MSc, PhD


Animal learning, attention and memory

Postgraduate supervision

Kim Shapiro, in collaboration with 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 has received recent funding for his research from the BBSRC, the ESRC, the Human Frontiers of Science Programme, and the Wellcome Trust.

Professor Shapiro supervises postgraduate research in all his areas of interest. Those wishing to apply to work in his lab are encouraged to contact him directly by email.

Other activities

Professor Shapiro joined the University of Birmingham in 2012 from Bangor University where he held the Chair of Cognitive Neuroscience. During his first six years at UoB he was the Head of the School of Psychology and active in helping to establish the Centre for Human Brain Health and the Institute for Mental Health.

He is a member of the Society for Neurosciences, the Psychonomics Society, and the Vision Sciences Society.

He reviews for a number of journals and has served as a member of the grant panel (A) for the Biological and Biosciences Research Council (BBSRC) and is currently on the grant panel for the Royal Society’s Newton Fellowship committee.

He served as Associate Editor for Perception and Psychophysics, as an Associate Editor for Frontiers in Cognition, and as a member of the Consulting Board for the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.

In addition to his research interests in attention and memory, he is currently developing a means of enhancing working memory in older adults and patients with stroke using transcranial stimulation in combination with cognitive training.


Highlight publications

Ratcliffe, O, Shapiro, K & Staresina, BP 2022, 'Fronto-medial theta coordinates posterior maintenance of working memory content', Current Biology, vol. 32, no. 10, pp. 2121-2129.e3.

Grech, O, Clouter, A, Mitchell, J, Alimajstorovic, Z, Ottridge, R, Yiangou, A, Roque, M, Tahrani, A, Nicholls, M, Taylor, A, Shaheen, F, Arlt, W, Lavery, G, Shapiro, K, Mollan, S & Sinclair, A 2021, 'Cognitive performance in idiopathic intracranial hypertension and relevance of intracranial pressure', Brain Communications, vol. 3, no. 3, fcab202.

Lindh, D, Sligte, I, Assecondi, S, Shapiro, K & Charest, I 2019, 'Conscious perception of natural images is constrained by category-related visual features', Nature Communications, vol. 10, no. 1, 4106.

Wang, D, Clouter, A, Chen, Q, Shapiro, K & Hanslmayr, S 2018, 'Single-trial phase entrainment of theta oscillations in sensory regions predicts human associative memory performance', The Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 38, no. 28, pp. 6299-6309.

Mazaheri, A, Segaert, K, Olichney, J, Yang, J-C, Niu, Y-Q, Shapiro, K & Bowman, H 2018, 'EEG oscillations during word processing predict MCI conversion to Alzheimer's disease', NeuroImage: Clinical, vol. 17, pp. 188-197.

Recent publications


Assecondi, S, Villa-sánchez, B & Shapiro, K 2022, 'Event-Related Potentials as Markers of Efficacy for Combined Working Memory Training and Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Regimens: A Proof-of-Concept Study', Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, vol. 16, 837979.

Pesquita, A, Bernardet, U, Richards, BE, Jensen, O & Shapiro, K 2022, 'Isolating Action Prediction from Action Integration in the Perception of Social Interactions', Brain Sciences, vol. 12, no. 4, 432.

Assecondi, S, Hu, R, Kroeker, J, Eskes, G & Shapiro, K 2022, 'Older adults with lower working memory capacity benefit from transcranial direct current stimulation when combined with working memory training: A preliminary study', Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, vol. 14, 1009262.

Assecondi, S, Hu, R, Eskes, G, Pan, X, Zhou, J & Shapiro, K 2021, 'Impact of tDCS on working memory training is enhanced by strategy instructions in individuals with low working memory capacity', Scientific Reports, vol. 11, no. 1, 5531.

Assecondi, S, Hu, R, Eskes, G, Read, M, Griffiths, C & Shapiro, K 2020, 'BRAINSTORMING: A study protocol for a randomised double-blind clinical trial to assess the impact of concurrent brain stimulation (tDCS) and working memory training on cognitive performance in Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)', BMC psychology, vol. 8, no. 1, 125.

Xia, J, Mazaheri, A, Segaert, K, Salmon, D, Harvey, D, Shapiro, K, Kutas, M & Olichney, J 2020, 'Event-related potential and EEG oscillatory predictors of verbal memory in mild cognitive impairment', Brain Communications.

Youdell, D, Lindley, M, Shapiro, K, Sun, Y & Leng, Y 2020, 'From science wars to transdisciplinarity: the inescapability of the neuroscience, biology and sociology of learning', British Journal of Sociology of Education, vol. 41, no. 6, pp. 881-899.

Nijhof, A, Shapiro, K, Catmur, C & Bird, G 2020, 'No evidence for a common self-bias across cognitive domains', Cognition, vol. 197, 104186, pp. 1-11.

Shapiro, K, Hanslmayr, S, Enns, J & Lleras, A 2017, 'Alpha, Beta: The Rhythm of the Attentional Blink', Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, vol. 24, no. 6, pp. 1862–1869.

Ahmad, J, Swan, G, Bowman, H, Wyble, B, Nobre, A, Shapiro, K & McNab, F 2017, 'Competitive interactions affect working memory performance for both simultaneous and sequential stimulus presentation', Scientific Reports, vol. 7, 4785.

Clouter, A, Shapiro, K & Hanslmayr, S 2017, 'Theta phase synchronization is the glue that binds human associative memory', Current Biology, vol. 27, no. 20, pp. 3143-3148.e6.

Eddy, C, Shapiro, K, Clouter, A, Hansen, P & Rickards, H 2017, 'Transcranial direct current stimulation can enhance working memory in Huntington's disease', Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, vol. 77, pp. 75-82.

Miller, CE, Shapiro, KL & Luck, SJ 2015, 'Electrophysiological measurement of the effect of inter-stimulus competition on early cortical stages of human vision', NeuroImage, vol. 105, pp. 229-237.


Porwal, N, Bowman, H, Lintern, M, Shapiro, K & Mavritsaki, E 2019, '28th Annual Computational Neuroscience Meeting: CNS*2019: P199 A spiking neural network model of the N400 congruency effect', BMC Neuroscience, vol. 56, no. 2019, 56.

Conference contribution

Chiou, E, Bieksaite, G, Stolkin, R, Hawes, N, Shapiro, K & Harrison, TS 2016, Experimental analysis of a variable autonomy framework for controlling a remotely operating mobile robot. in Proceedings of the 2016 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2016). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2016 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2016), Daejeon, Korea, Republic of, 9/10/16.

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