Usha Goswami is a developmental psychologist who has pioneered the application of neuroscience to education. Her research investigates the sensory/neural basis of childhood disorders of language and literacy, which are heritable and found across languages. Usha's research shows a shared sensory/neural basis in auditory rhythmic processing. The acoustic 'landmarks' for speech rhythm provide automatic triggers for aligning speech rhythms and brain rhythms, and Usha has shown that this automatic process is disrupted, thereby disrupting speech encoding.
Usha originally trained as a primary school teacher, and the sensory/neural mechanisms uncovered by her research point the way for new therapies in education. Usha has already developed a phonics App (GraphoGame Rime) based on her research. She is currently developing listening technologies to amplify the acoustic landmarks to rhythm, expected to benefit children with dyslexia and developmental language disorder.
Usha was a scientific lead for the UK Government Foresight project 'Mental Capital and Wellbeing' (2008), where she focused on combating learning difficulties and helping all children flourish. She was awarded the Yidan Prize for Educational Research in 2019.
Professor of Cognitive Developmental Neuroscience, Centre for Neuroscience in Education, University of Cambridge