Emma Moore is a PhD student jointly based in the Institute for Music in Human and Social Development (IMHSD), part of the Reid School of Music at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA), the Department of Psychology and the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences. She holds an undergraduate degree in Music from Edinburgh, and is also an alumnus of our MSc by Research programme.

Emma was recently awarded a highly competitive student fee-waiving conference scholarship, a Gwen Clutterbuck Travel Scholarship and funding from ECA Postgraduate Research Expenses to attend the Neurosciences and Music VI: Music, Sound and Health Conference which took place at Harvard Medical School, Boston, 15th-18th June 2017.

My PhD research into music and dyslexia, supervised by Dr Katie Overy (Reid School of Music), Prof Holly Branigan (Department of Psychology) and Dr Mark Bastin (Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences), investigates the potential of musical activities to support phonological and literacy skills in children and the possible neural substrates underlying these transfer effects.

The Neuroscience and Music conferences occur triennially, and bring together leading researchers in the field of music neuroscience from across the world. Attending the Neuroscience and Music VI: Music, Sound and Health Conference in June 2017 thus offered me an ideal opportunity to share the results of my PhD work. Specifically, I presented a recent study I conducted in two primary schools in Edinburgh to compare the potential of two different kinds of musical activity programmes to support phonological and literacy skills in children with dyslexia.


My poster was recognised with an Outstanding Poster Award. I was consequently invited to give a short talk about this work to the entire conference delegation, which gave me the opportunity to receive feedback about my work from a wider audience.

My poster – entitled “Exploring the role of auditory-motor synchronization in the transfer of music to language skills in dyslexia” and co-authored by Dr Katie Overy and Prof Holly Branigan – was recognised with an Outstanding Poster Award. I was consequently invited to give a short talk about this work to the entire conference delegation, which gave me the opportunity to receive feedback about my work from a wider audience.

I also had the opportunity to attend and present my work at the pre-conference symposium on Neural Entrainment and Rhythm Dynamics (NERD), which took place on 14th June 2017, also at Harvard Medical School. During my trip, I visited the lab of my collaborators Jennifer Zuk and Dr Nadine Gaab at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, with whom I have recently published a paper about auditory processing abilities in musicians with dyslexia (Zuk et al., 2017), to learn more about the work they are undertaking there.

Find out more about Emma’s work or the work of the IMHSD on the IMHSD website.


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