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Dr Anna Di Betta PhD

Senior Lecturer In Psychology


Anna is part of the teaching team for several modules, mainly in the fields of Biological and Cognitive Psychology. She is also module leader for Cognitive Psychology, Biopsychology and Developmental Disorders of Reading and Language.

  • About

    Anna joined the Department of Psychology at SHU in January 2012. Before then, she had worked as a Lecturer at the University of Sheffield and at Derby University. She is teaching areas mainly included Cognitive Psychology, Biological Psychology and Research Methods. Anna delivers lectures in the areas of Cognitive Psychology (language and memory) and Biological Psychology. 

    After her Medical Degree and Specialisation which she completed at the Catholic University, Rome, Italy, she completed a PhD in Cognitive Psychology which focused on the acquisition of new words in adult developmental dysgraphia. She then held post-doc positions at Aston University and at the University of York. During this latter experience, she was involved in studies that looked at the cognitive and neural changes induced by the acquisition of novel spoken words in adults. 

    While at Derby University, Anna held a consultancy contract with the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement. She delivered training workshops about human fallibility in the context of cognitive and social theories to NHS trust employees.

    Specialist areas of interest

    Cognitive Psychology, Biological Psychology, L2 phonology perception and representation, Adaptation to foreign-accented speech by L2 listeners, Acquisition of novel spoken and written lexical representations in adults, Cognitive deficits underlying developmental disorders of reading and spelling, Attitude towards second-language speakers in Higher Education Institutions.

  • Teaching

    Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics

    Development and Society


    Cognitive Psychology (Level 7)

    Biopsychology (Level 5)

    Developmental Disorders of Reading and Language (Level 5)

  • Research

    Anna completed a PhD in Cognitive Psychology focused on the acquisition of new words in adult developmental dysgraphia.

  • Publications

    WEBER, Andrea, DI BETTA, Anna and MCQUEEN, James M. (2014). Treack or trit: adaptation to genuine and arbitrary foreign accents by monolingual and bilingual listeners. Journal of Phonetics, 46, 34-51.

    ROMANI, Cristina, TSOUKNIDA, Effie, DI BETTA, Anna Maria and OLSON, Andrew (2011). Reduced attentional capacity, but normal processing speed and shifting of attention in developmental dyslexia: Evidence from a serial task. Cortex, 47 (6), 715-733.

    DAVIS, Matthew H, DI BETTA, Anna Maria, MACDONALD, Mark, GASKELL, M Gareth (2009). Learning and consolidation of novel spoken words. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 21 (4), 803-820.

    SNOERSEN, Natalie D, GASKELL, M Gareth, DI BETTA, Anna Maria (2009). The perception of assimilation in newly learned novel words. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 25 (2), 542-549.

    ROMANI, Cristina, DI BETTA, Anna Maria, Tsouknida, Efstathia, OLSON, Andrew (2008). Lexical and non-lexical processing in developmental dyslexia: A case for different resources and different impairments? Cognitive Neuropsychology, 26 (5), 798-830.

    Recent presentations at conferences

    SCHALLENBERGER, L, BENDLER, S, DI BETTA, Anna Maria, SCHAEFER, B (2010). The relationship between paired associated learning, rapid automatized naming, phonological processing skills and spelling in typically developing German-speaking second graders. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the IALP, Athens, August.

    Di BETTA, Anna Maria, MCQUEEN, James M, WEBER, Andrea (2010). Adaptation to Italian-accented speech: A comparison of native and nonnative listeners. Poster presented at the workshop

    “Psycholinguistic approaches to speech recognition in adverse conditions”, Bristol, March.

    Di BETTA, Anna Maria, WEBER, Andrea, MCQUEEN, James M (2009). Trick or treat? Adaptation to Italian-accented English speech by native English, Italian, and Dutch listeners. Poster presented at the 15th Annual Conference AMLaP, Barcelona, September.

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