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 2500 times and over 1000 reports on the same topic by scientists in many countries 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 funding for his research from the BBSRC, the ESRC, the Human Frontiers of Science Programme, the Wellcome Trust, and Facebook research.


Animal learning, attention and memory

Postgraduate supervision

Current postgraduate students:

  • Andrew Clouter (in progress)
  • Oliver Ratcliffe (Co-supervisor; in progress)
  • Tom Faherty (Co-supervisor; in progress)
  • Daniel Lindh (in progress)
  • Hu Rong (in progress)
  • Alberto Aviles (Co-supervisor; in progress)
  • Nirav Porwal (Co-supervisor; in progress)
  • Kasim Qureshi (in progress)
  • Qiaoyu Chen (Co-supervisor; in progress)

Current postdoctoral research associates:

  • Sara Assecondi
  • Danying Yang
  • Ana Pesquita

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, long-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 Page

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. Journal of Neuroscience, 38(28), 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, 17, 188–197.

Clouter, A., Shapiro, K.L., Hanslmayr, S. (2017). Theta Phase Synchronization Is the Glue that Binds Human Associative Memory. Current Biology, 27, 1–6.

Shapiro, K. L., Hanslmayr, S., Enns, J. T., & Lleras, A. (2017). Alpha, beta: The rhythm of the attentional blink. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 24(6), 1862-1869.

Ahmad, J., Swan, G., Bowman, H., Wyble, B., Nobre, A. C., Shapiro, K. L., & McNab, F. (2017). Competitive interactions affect working memory performance for both simultaneous and sequential stimulus presentation. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 4785.

Kerlin, J. R. & Shapiro, K. L. (2015). Multisensory integration: How sound alters sight. Current Biology, 25, R76-R77.

Zauner, A., Fellinger, R., Gross, J., Hanslmayr, S., Shapiro, K., Gruber, W., Müller, S., & Klimesch, W. (2012). Alpha entrainment is responsible for the attentional blink phenomenon. NeuroImage, 63, 674-686.

Jackson, M. C., Morgan, H. M., Shapiro, K. L., Mohr, H. M., Linden, DEJ (2011). Strategic resource allocation in the human brain supports cognitive coordination of visual and spatial working memory. Human Brain Mapping, 32, 1330-1348.

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.

Hanslmayr, S., Gross, J., Klimesch, W., Shapiro, K.L. (2011) The role of alpha oscillations in temporal attention. Brain Research Reviews, 67, 331-343.

Martin, E. W., Enns, J. T., & Shapiro, K. L. (2011). Turning the Attentional Blink On and Off: Opposing Effects of Spatial and Temporal Discontinuity. Psychonomic, Bulletin, & Review, 18, 295-301.

Morgan, H. M. Klein, C., Boehm, S. G., Shapiro, K. L., & Linden, D. E. J. (2008). The influence of working memory load on face processing: An event-related potential study of the P300, N170, and N250r. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 20, 989-1002.

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.

Shapiro, K. L., Husain, M., & Hillstrom, A. P. (2002). Control of visuotemporal attention by inferior parietal and superior temporal cortex. Current Biology, 12, 1320-1325.

Sheppard, D., Duncan, J., Shapiro, K. L., & Hillstrom, A. P. (2002).  Objects and events in the attentional blink. Psychological Science, 13, 410-415.

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.

Shapiro, K. L., Driver, J., Ward, R, and Sorensen, R. E.  (1997). Priming from the attentional blink: A failure to extract visual tokens but not visual types.  Psychological Science, 8, 95-100.

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.

Shapiro, K. L., Raymond, J. E., and Arnell, K. M.  (1994).  Attention to visual pattern information produces the attentional blink in RSVP.  Journal of Experimental PsychologyHuman Perception and Performance, 20, 357-371.

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.