Fiona M. Richardson
Position: Post Doctoral Researcher
Office: Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, UCL
12 Queen Square, London
Phone: 020 7833 7488
Fax: 020 7631 6312

I have always been a cognitive scientist by trade, and so, my research has a multidisciplinary flavour. At present, my current work involves functional and structural brain imaging and neural network modelling. I am working on a brain imaging project exploring speech and language processing with Professor Cathy Price based at the Wellcome Department of Functional Imaging at UCL. Our current developmental trajectory consists of approximately 49 individuals scanned individuals from the age of 7 to 75 years We have also scanned young children and adults with Specific Language Impairment as part of this project to explore both similarities differences in language processing in these individuals in comparison to controls. I also carry out computational modelling, mainly using self-organising maps to investigate developmental issues. This project has explored critical periods and catastrophic interference, as well as profiles of recovery from damage at different times during development.

Brains constantly fascinate me! - Both looking at them and modelling them.

Journal articles

Richardson, F.M., Thomas, M.S.C., Filippi, R., Harth, H., & Price, C.J. (in press). Contrasting effects of vocabulary knowledge on temporal and parietal brain structure across lifespan. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Richardson, F.M., Thomas, M.S.C., & Price, C.J. (in press). Neuronal activation for semantically reversible sentences. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Richardson, F.M., & Thomas, M.S.C. (2008). Catestrophic interference and critical periods in self-organising learning systems. Developmental Science, 11 (3), 371-389.

Richardson, F.M., Davey, N., Done, D.J. & Adams, R. (2007).Learning through experience: an emergent connectionist account of letter production behaviour. Connection Science, 18 (3), 231-246.


Book Chapters

Richardson, F. M., & Thomas, M.S.C. (2009). Developmental disorders and language. In E. Bavin (Ed.), The handbook of child language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dick, F., Richardson, F., & Saccuman, L. (2008). Using MRI to study developmental language disorders. In C.F. Norbury, B.J. Tomblin, & D.V.M. Bishop (Eds.), Understanding developmental language disorders: from theory to practice Psychology Press.

Dick, F., Leech, R., & Richardson, F. (2008). Language Development. In J. Reed, & J. Warner Rogers(Eds.), Child neuropsychology: concepts, theory and practice Wiley-Blackwell.



Thomas, M. S. C.,McClelland, J.L., Richardson, F.M., & Baughman, F. (2009).Formal approaches to cognitive development: A connectionist perspective on the New Grand Theory. In J.P. Spencer, M.S.C. Thomas & J.L. McClelland (Eds.), Towards a new unified theory of development: Connectionism and dynamical systems theory re-considered. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Richardson, F.M., & Thomas, M.S.C. (2006). The benefits of compuational modelling for the study of developmental disorders: extending the Triesch et al. model to ADHD. Developmental Science, 9 (2), 151-155.


Selected Conference Proceedings

Thomas, M. S. C., & Richardson, F. (2006). Atypical representational change: Conditions for the emergence of atypical modularity. In M. Johnson & Y. Munakata (Eds.),Attention and Performance XXI. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Richardson, F.M., Forrester, N., Baughman, F.D. & Thomas, M.S.C (2006). Computational Modeling of Variability in the Conservation Task.Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, July 26-29, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Thomas, M.S.C, Forrester,N., & Richardson, F.M. (2006). What is modularity good for? Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, July 26-29, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Richardson, F.M., Baughman, F.D., Forrester, N., & Thomas, M.S.C. (2006). Computational Modelling of Variability in the Balance Scale Task. Proceedings of the 7th International Conference of Cognitive Modeling. (pp 256-261). Trieste, Italy: Edizioni Goliardiche



My Thesis: Representations formed in the processes of character production and recognition (2003) University of Hertfordshire.


Selected Talks and Lectures

Structural plasticity and learning in the healthy human brain 9th Annual Course in Neuroradiology and Functional Neuroanatomy, Institiute of Neurology 30th March 2nd April 2009.

The structural and functional correlates of language skills Lecture given on the MSc in Neuroscience, language and communication at UCL,Febuary 2009.

Functional neuroimaging and the architecture of the language system Lecture given on the MSc in Cognitive Neuropsychology at Birkbeck,Febuary 2009.

Connectionist Models of Language Deficits. Lecture given on the MSc in Cognitive Neuropsychology at Birkbeck,Febuary 2009.

Modelling Language Development A talk given at the Department of Human Communication Science, UCL. May 2006.

Computational Modelling of Variability in the Balance Scale Task. A talk given at the ICCM conference in Trieste, Italy. April 2006.


Plasticity and Sensitive Periods in Self-Organising Maps. Poster presented at the CCN Conference held in Washington, USA. November 2005.


Useful Links

The PDP++ website:

The all new OXlearn simulation tool for connectionist neural network models page:

The University of Hertfordshire Computational Research Group:

Matlab (a useful platform for OXlearn and writing code for your own neural networks, and spm, a toolbox for brain imaging data analysis) :


Atlas of the human brain:

The Functional Imaging Laboratory:

fMRI for Newbies: