Matthew Mak

BA (HKU), MPhil (Cantab)

Language & Cognitive Development (Nation Lab)

In a very broad sense, I am interested in how language (reading skills, in particular) is acquired and how long-term memory is formed. I also have a long-standing interest in the neurocognitive basis of developmental dyslexia and developmental language disorder (DLD). 

My current DPhil project attempts to shed light on how the human brain acquires long-term representations of orthography (i.e., how short-term orthographic memory becomes long-term?). And how different linguistic (e.g., context, meaning) and non-linguistic factors (e.g., nocturnal sleep) influence this process. I use behavioural testing, eye-tracking, and computational methods to address these questions. In addition to my DPhil project, I am also working on a study that looks into the contribution of different neurotransmitters to the reading difficulty associated with developmental dyslexia. 

I completed my bachelor's degree at the University of Hong Kong, during which I spent two semesters at UC Berkeley as an exchange student. I then completed my MPhil at Cambridge, where I worked on a project that explored the relation between statistical learning and the development of L2 spelling.

Most recent publication:

My DPhil is funded by the R C Lee Foundation.

For teaching, I provide tutorials for second-year undergraduates on Developmental Science and Cognition. I also teach Introduction to Psychology to international students in summer.