Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.


Social media

Birtan Demirel


DPhil Candidate

  • Speech and Brain (Watkins Lab)
  • Generously Funded by Dominic Barker Trust
  • Graduate Development Scholarship (GDS) Scholar at St Anne's College

I am interested in speech-motor impairments and how acute stress physiology, cognitive functions and emotions affect speech production. I am supervised with Prof. Kate Watkins at the Department of Experimental Psychology, and Prof. Charlotte Stagg at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences. We use transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) alongside advanced neuroimaging techniques of MRI, functional MRI, and magnetoencephalography (MEG).

My DPhil research focuses on persistent stuttering. We aim to achieve motor learning of fluent speech by using tACS. The results of the study should inform further brain stimulation studies in stuttering and provide possible therapeutic interventions for people who want to work on their fluency.

Because of its heterogeneous nature of stuttering, people who stutter can speak more fluently in some conditions, such as while being alone or with metronome paced speech. Therefore, I am also interested in exploring neurophysiological and psychological mechanisms in fluency enhancing conditions, which can shed light on the multifaceted aetiology of stuttering.

Additional to my research studies, I teach neurophysiology at undergraduate level as part of a Graduate Development Scholarship from St. Anne's College, Oxford.