The CAASD Team

Dr Fang Liu (PI)

Fang Liu is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences at the University of Reading. She received her PhD in Linguistics and MS in Statistics from the University of Chicago. Her research aims to understand how the human brain processes pitch information for linguistic and musical purposes during production and perception. Her current areas of research include speech prosody in tone versus non-tonal languages, pitch processing in different populations (autism, amusia, dyslexia, musicianship), speech/music production and perception, and cognitive and neural bases of pitch processing.



Professor Cunmei Jiang (Co-I)

Cunmei Jiang is a Professor of Musicology in the Music College at Shanghai Normal University, China. She received her PhD in Musicology from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing in 2005. She then spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Professor Jiang has a wide variety of research interests, including music psychology, music performance, and Mozart piano music. Her current research focuses on congenital amusia, comparison between music and speech processing, music emotion, and therapeutic effects of music on speech disorders (particularly on aphasia and autism).


Dr Anna Petrova

Anna Petrova is a Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the University of Reading. She received a Master’s degree in clinical psychology and neuroscience from Moscow State University (Russia), and a PhD in psychological science from the University of Padua (Italy) in collaboration with Rice University (Houston, USA). She also received a diploma in classical piano from the Moscow college of improvised music. She worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Hong Kong, went on to do a research project at the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology of University of Glasgow supported by a Glasgow/HKU fellowship, and then worked at the Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience, HSE, Moscow. Her primary research interests are psycholinguistics, embodied cognition, and the cognitive and neural architecture of bilingualism and multilingualism. She is currently working on the ‘CAASD’ project, investigating neural processing of music and language in autism.


Jiayin Li

Jiayin Li is a PhD student at the University of Reading. She received a BA and an MA in Linguistics from Harbin Institute of Technology (China) and an MSc in Language Sciences (Neuroscience, Language & Communication) from University College London. She is currently in her 1st year of the PhD program working under Dr. Fang Liu’s supervision where her research focuses on speech-in-noise processing in autism. Her PhD is supported by a SeNSS PhD studentship with Dr. Ian Cunnings as her 2nd supervisor.




Zivile Bernotaite

Zivile Bernotaite is an undergraduate at the University of Reading, currently in the 3rd year of her Bsc Psychology degree. She is completing her placement as a research assistant with Dr. Fang Liu, where she is assisting with the ‘CAASD’ project investigating music and language processing in autism, congenital amusia and developmental dyslexia.





Viet Anh Nguyen

Viet Anh Nguyen currently studies MSc Psychology conversion at the University of Reading. He received a diplomat in Mechanical Engineering at Bristol University and a BA in psychology at Open University. He is an MSc placement student in the lab and is working towards becoming a therapist in the future.