Dyslexia expert to receive honorary degree

Tuesday 15 February 2000

One of the world’s most respected developmental psychologists is to receive an honorary degree from the University of St Andrews.

Professor Uta Frith, who pioneered the cognitive explanation of autism and dyslexia, will receive a Doctor of Science (DSc) at one of the University’s graduation ceremonies in June.

Born in Germany in 1941, Professor Frith studied psychology at the Universitat des Saarlandes in Saarbrucken and then moved to the University of London where she obtained a Diploma in Abnormal Psychology and a Phd in Psychology.

Her work on autism and dyslexia changed the understanding of these disorders removing blame from parents and teachers. Her work has inspired many other researchers and has had practical benefits, leading to better diagnosis and designs of treatment programmes. In particular, Professor Frith has raised awareness of Asperger Syndrome, a high-functioning variant of autism. Most recently, she led a European brain imaging project on dyslexia. Dyslexia was found to be a less severe problem for children learning a regular writing system such as Italian when compared to English. Nevertheless, the nature of the underlying problem in the brain and in the mind, was the same.

Following several decades of service on the scientific staff of the Medical Research Council, Professor Frith took up the post of Visiting Professor with the University College London, progressing to Professor of Cognitive Development at University College London in 1996. She is now is the Deputy Director of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, a post she has held since 1998.

Now living in London, Professor Frith sits on international Peer Review Committees and, since 1969, has contributed to over 170 publications. She has also received many awards including the President’s Award of the British Psychological Society and, in 1992, was appointed a Member of the Academia Europa. Professor Frith is also a member of numerous professional bodies including the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities, the National Autistic Society and the Experimental Psychology Society.

Issued by Beattie Media on behalf of the University of St Andrews For more information please contact Claire Grainger on 01334 462530, 07887 650072 or email [email protected] Ref: hon2000.frith/standrews/chg/15feb20 00/PR1889


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