Nicky Brunswick

nicky pic

Dr Brunswick is an Associate Professor of Neuropsychology who has been based at Middlesex University since 1999. Prior to that she completed her PhD in the psychophysiology of dyslexia at the University of Warwick before holding post-doctoral positions at University College London: as an E.U. Research Fellow at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging (with Professor Chris Frith), a Research Scientist (external collaborator) at the MRC Cognitive Development Unit (with Professor Uta Frith), and as a Research Psychologist in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at UCL Medical School (with Professor Jane Wardle).

Nicky’s research focuses on the relationship between language, literacy, musical and artistic ability in children and adults, with a particular focus on developmental dyslexia. Some of her recent projects have explored the relationship between musicality and reading ability in professional ballet dancers and musicians (with Dr Franco); the link between creativity and self-perception in dyslexic readers, and how this influences subject studied at university and future career aspirations; and language and executive functioning skills in trained musicians and bilingual speakers (also with Dr Franco). She has an ongoing interest in how young children learn to learn, and the cognitive and perceptual factors that influence this.

Nicky has written/edited five books on reading and dyslexia, and she served for six years as a Trustee of the British Dyslexia Association with whom she continues to be actively involved. She is also a current member of the British Psychological Society, the International Dyslexia Association, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.


Representative publications:

  • Chamberlain, R., Brunswick, N., Siev, J., & McManus, I.C. (2018). Meta‐analytic findings reveal lower means but higher variances in visuospatial ability in dyslexia. British Journal of Psychology, 109, 4, 897-916.
  • Rankin, Q., Riley, H., Brunswick, N., McManus, I. C., & Chamberlain, R. (2017). Talking the line: Inclusive strategies for the teaching of drawing. Drawing: Research, Theory and Practice, 2, 2, 287-304.
  • Brunswick, N. (2015). Dyslexia: Creating impact through innovation. Dyslexia, 21, 3, 195-196.
  • Chamberlain, R., McManus, I. C., Brunswick, N., Rankin, Q., & Riley, H (2015). Scratching the surface: Practice, personality, approaches to learning and the acquisition of high level representational drawing ability. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts, 9, 4, 451-462.
  • Rankin, Q., Riley, H., Chamberlain, R., McManus, C. & Brunswick, N. (2014). Learning to perceive: informing pedagogic practice through the empirical study of drawing. TRACEY: The Online Journal of Contemporary Drawing ResearchAvailable to view here
  • Chamberlain, R., McManus, C., Brunswick, N., Rankin, Q., Riley, H., & Kanai, R. (2014). Drawing on the right side of the brain: a voxel-based morphometry analysis of observational drawing. Neuroimage, 96, 167-173.
  • Chamberlain, R., McManus, C., Riley, H., Rankin, Q., & Brunswick, N. (2014). Cain’s House revisited and revived: Extending theory and methodology for quantifying drawing accuracy. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts, 8, 2, 152-167
  • Chamberlain, R., McManus, I., Riley, H., Rankin, Q., & Brunswick, N. (2013). Local processing enhancements associated with superior observational drawing are due to enhanced perceptual functioning, not weak central coherence. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 66, 7, 1448-1466.
  • Chamberlain, R., Riley, H., McManus, I.C., Rankin, Q., & Brunswick, N. (2012). The perceptual foundations of drawing ability. Thinking through drawing: Practice into knowledge. Proceedings of an interdisciplinary symposium on drawing, cognition and education. 95-102.
  • Brunswick, N., Martin, G.N. and Rippon, G. (2012). Early cognitive profiles of emergent readers: a longitudinal investigation. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 111, 268-285.
  • McManus, I.C., Loo, P.-W., Chamberlain, R., Riley, H. and Brunswick, N. (2011). Does shape constancy relate to drawing ability? Two failures to replicate. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 29, 2, 191-208.
  • Franco, F., Brunswick, N. and de Mornay Davies, P. (2010). Music of language, language of music. The Psychologist, 23, 11, 913-914.
  • Brunswick, N., Martin, G.N. and Marzano, L. (2010). Visuospatial superiority in developmental dyslexia: myth or reality? Learning and Individual Differences, 20, 421-426.
  • McManus, I.C., Chamberlain, R., Loo, P.-W., Rankin, Q., Riley, H. and Brunswick, N. (2010). Art students who cannot draw: An exploration of the relations between personality, dyslexia, perceptual problems and drawing skills. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 4, 1, 18-30.