Dr Ascen Pagan


School/Department: Psychology and Vision Sciences, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 229 7195



I got a BA in Psychology from the University of Murcia (Spain), a MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of La Laguna (Spain) and a PhD from the University of Southampton (UK). After my PhD I worked as a Research Associate in several ESRC projects at the University of Oxford and the University of Leicester. I got my first Lectureship at Northumbria University before moving back to the University of Leicester in 2021.


My research interests focus on how reading is acquired and developed across the lifespan in different languages. I use different methods from online computer tasks to eye-trackers and EEG to investigate the temporal course and the neural basis of the cognitive processes involved in children, young and older adults’ reading behaviour.



Howard, P.L., & Pagán, A. (2023). No Evidence for High Inflexible Precision of Prediction Errors in Autism during Lexical Processing. Autism Research. In press.

Saman, Y., Sharif, M., Lee, A., Ahmed, S., Pagán, A., McGuirk, M., ... & Arshad, Q. (2023). Sex-disease dimorphism underpins enhanced motion sickness susceptibility in primary adrenal insufficiency: a cross-sectional observational study. Experimental Brain Research, 241(4), 1199-1206.

Zhang, J., Warrington, K. L., Li, L., Pagán, A., Paterson, K. B., White, S. J., & McGowan, V. A. (2022). Are older adults more risky readers? Evidence from meta-analysis. Psychology and Aging, 37(2), 239-259.

Schroeder, S., Häikiö, T., Pagán, A., Dickins, J. H., Hyönä, J., & Liversedge, S. P. (2022). Eye movements of children and adults reading in three different orthographies. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 48(10), 1518–1541.

Hui, L., Warrington K. Pagán, A., & Paterson K. (2021). Independent Effects of Collocation Strength and Contextual Predictability on Eye Movements in Reading. Language Cognition and Neuroscience, 36, 1001-1009.

Pagán, A., Blythe, H. I., & Liversedge, S. P. (2021). The influence of children’s reading ability on initial letter position encoding during a reading-like task. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 47(7), 1186–1203.

Liu, N., Wang, X., Wu, S., Yan, G., Paterson, K., & Pagán, A. (2020). Eye movements of Developing Chinese Readers: Effects of Word Frequency and Predictability. Scientific Studies of Reading, 25, 234-250.

Pagán, A., Bird, M., Hsiao, Y., & Nation K. (2020). Both Semantic Diversity and Frequency influences Children’s Sentence Reading. Scientific Studies of Reading, 24(4), 356-364.

Hsiao, Y., Bird, M., Norris, H., Pagán, A., & Nation, K. (2020). The Influence of Item-level Contextual History on Lexical and Semantic Judgements by Children and Adults. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition, 46(12), 2367.

Paterson, K.B., McGowan, V.A., Warrington, K.L., Li, L., Li, S., Xie, F., Chang, M., Zhao, S., Pagán, A., White, S.J., & Wang, J. (2020). Effects of normative aging on eye movements during reading. Vision 4 (7).

Pagán, A., & Nation, K. (2019). Learning Words via Reading: Contextual Diversity, Spacing, and Retrieval Effects in Adults. Cognitive Science, 43(1):e12705.

Pagán, A., Blythe, H.I., & Liversedge, S.P. (2016). Parafoveal Pre-processing of Word Initial Trigrams during Reading in Adults and Children. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 42(3), 411-432.

Pagán, A., Paterson, K.B., Blythe, H.I., & Liversedge, S.P. (2016). An Inhibitory Influence of Transposed Letter Neighbours on Eye Movements during Reading. Psychonomic Bulletin & Performance, 23, 278-284.

Blythe, H.I., Pagán, A., & Dodd, M. (2015). Beyond decoding: Phonological Processing during Silent Reading in Beginning Readers. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 41, 1244-1252.

Pagán, A., Marín, J., & Perea, M. (2012). El Papel de la Silaba en la Codificación Posicional de las Representaciones Ortográficas. Anales de Psicología, 28(3), 954-962.

Marín, J., Pagán, A., Cuadro, A., & González, R.M. (2008). ERP Correlates of Phonological Ambiguity in Spanish Orthography. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 14(2), 23-23.

Marín, J., Cuadro, A., & Pagán, A. (2007). Léxico Ortográfico y Competencia Lectora. Ciencias Psicológicas, 1(1), 15-26.

Book Section

Alamargot, D., Leuwers, C., Caporossi, G., Pontart, V., Pagán, A., *O’Brien Ramirez, K., Fayol, M., & Chesnet, D. (2011). Analyse des mouvements oculaires au cours de la production de l’accord en nombre. In M. Audiffren & J. Chuquet (Eds.), Regards croisés sur la cognition : Du langage aux dynamiques sociales (pp. 175-192). Rennes : Presses Universitaires de Rennes.

Alamargot, D., Leuwers, C., Caporossi, G., Pontart, V., O’Brien Ramirez, K.,Pagán, A., Chesnet, D., & Fayol, M. (2011). Eye Tracking Data during Written Recall: Clues to Subject-Verb Agreement Processing during Translation. In V.W. Berninger (Ed.), Past, Present, and Future Contributions of Cognitive Writing Research to Cognitive Psychology. New York: Taylor & Francis/Routledge, Psychology Press.

Marín, J., Aveledo, F., Pagán, A. & Cuadro, A. (2008) “¿Por qué es más complicado distinguir entre “berenjena” y “berengena” que entre “escabeche” y “escaveche”?” (pp.875-881). En R. Monroy y A. Sánchez (eds.) 25 años de lingüística aplicada en España: Hitos y retos. Universidad de Murcia: Editum 

Marín, J., Pagán, A., Cuadro, A. & Aveledo, F. (2008). “Adquisición de información ortográfica y mecanismos de recodificación fonológica: nuevas implicaciones para el modelo de autoaprendizaje (Share, 1995)” (pp 883-888). En R. Monroy y A. Sánchez (eds.) 25 años de lingüística aplicada en España: Hitos y retos. Universidad de Murcia: Editum. 


I’m broadly interested in projects that will use quantitative methods in the area of cognitive psychology specifically language processing. I’m happy to supervise projects that are related (but they are not limited) to these areas:

1. Individual differences in child's reading development.

2. Cross-linguistics differences in reading across the lifespan.

3. Word learning via reading experience.

4. Understanding the neural basis of the cognitive processes (e.g. language, memory, vision, attention...) in typical and atypical populations.


I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

I welcome approaches from prospective PhD students with interests in my research area. I currently supervise the following:

Meyrem Tompson. Improving vocabulary acquisition in children via reading. 

Yuan Meng. The role of radical position information during Chinese character recognition.

Rupali Limachya. The neural basis of ageing effects in reading.


Pagán A. (2022). Departmental Seedcorn Funds. University of Leicester. £2500.

Blythe H. & Pagán A. (2021). Reading to learn: The blue toofle had long legs. Research Development Fund. Northumbria University.  

Warrington K. Pagán A. & McGowan (2019). An eye on Reading. ESRC-IAA Festival of Social Science. University of Leicester. £1000.

Paterson K.B. & Pagán A. (2019). Understanding the neural basis of language processing during natural reading. EPS Undergraduate Research Bursary. £2000.

Pagán A. (2011). Vice Chancellor´s Scholarship grant for Ph.D University of Southampton UK. £22K/Year over 3 years.

Pagán A. (2010). Short Term Scientific Mission in the European Research Network in the COST ISO703. University of Murcia Spain. €600.

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