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Dr Shu Yau


I am the MSc Education Programme Director, and interim Neuroscience pathway coordinator in the School of Education. I also co-direct the Bristol Autism Research Group (BARG) with Experimental Psychology. I teach on both the neuroscience pathway and on the MSc and BSc Psychology in Education (BPS-accredited) and have supervised 20 MSc theses to completion. My research is mostly based at the Clinical Research and Imaging Centre, at St Michael's Hill.

I completed my PhD in human cognition and brain sciences at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. Together with Dr Jon Brock and Prof Genevieve McArthur, I used magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalography (EEG) to investigate the links between auditory processing and language impairment in Autism. Then I moved to the UK to take up a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship at Aston Brain Centre with Prof Joel Talcott and Dr Caroline Witton. Here, I developed an N400 language mapping paradigm for use in young children and for pre-surgical language mapping in epilepsy. Prior to academia, I worked as a specialist psychologist for children with learning differences, including dyslexia, ADHD, and specific language impairment.

Research and Supervision

I am interested in typical and atypical development of language and cognition in neurodevelopmental conditions and can supervise students within these areas :

  • Autism, including Nonverbal / Minimally verbal individuals with ASD
  • Language processing and impairment in children
  • Auditory processing
  • Language lateralisation in children with epilepsy
  • SpLD and SEN
  • Developing and refining testing methods for very young or vulnerable populations
  • Psychopathology
  • Neuroimaging and psychophysiological methods

Selected Awards and Public Engagement

    • Autism Awareness Public Event, University of Bristol Public Engagement Award (2017)
    • Jean Golding Institute Seed Corn Funding for fMRI research in nonverbal children with Autism (2017)
    • Macquarie University Research Excellence Awards: Highly Commended 'Innovative Technologies' (2015), Badcock, N.A., McArthur, G., de Lissa, P., Preece, K.A., de Wit, B., Fieder, N., Mousikou, P., Thie, J., Mahajan, Y., Yau, S., Brock, J., Sorensen, S., & Glenn, K. "Efficient and child-friendly measures of brain activity using a video-gaming system."
    • Young Australian leaders welcome reception for their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Sydney Opera House. Macquarie News. 16 April 2015.
    • Six women whose research will change the world. Sydney Morning Herald National. 23 August 2014.
    • Campus crusaders. Women to Watch, Sydney Morning Herald Weekend. 2014.
    • Macquarie University Faculty of Human Sciences HDR National Recognition Award (2013)
    • Finalist, Trans-Tasman 3 Minute Thesis Finals (2013)
    • 1st Place Macquarie University 3 Minute Thesis Competition (2013)
    • People's Choice, Human Sciences Faculty, 3 Minute Thesis Competition (2013) Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
    • Best PhD presentation (2012), Yau, S.H. Australasian Society for Autism Research Scientific Meeting