Dorothy Bishop is Professor of Developmental Neuropsychology at the University of Oxford. She is funded by the Wellcome Trust on a Principal Research Fellowship and heads a programme of research into children’s communication impairments.
Dorothy's interest in cognitive disorders was stimulated when she studied Experimental Psychology at Oxford University in the early 1970s, and she went on to train as a clinical psychologist at the Institute of Psychiatry, in the days when this involved a two-year M.Phil. She particularly enjoyed neuropsychology and welcomed an opportunity to return to Oxford to work at a Neuropsychology Unit in the Radcliffe Infirmary where Freda Newcombe was her supervisor. Freda steered Dorothy's interest toward the numerous fascinating cases who were referred from the Park Hospital for Children, and this launched her career as a specialist in developmental language disorders.
She was fortunate in receiving long-term research funding, first from the Medical Research Council and subsequently from the Wellcome Trust, and this allowed her to adopt an unusually broad approach to the study of children's disorders. Her expertise extends from neuropsychology into behaviour genetics, auditory processing and hemispheric specialisation. As well as studying children with specific language impairment, her interests extend to encompass related disorders such as autism and dyslexia.
Dorothy has authored two books and edited four others, and published over 200 papers in scientific journals. Her research has led to practical applications, in the form of widely-used assessments of children’s language, the Test for Reception of Grammar, and the Children’s Communication Checklist.
In her prize-winning book, “Uncommon Understanding”, she achieved a synthesis of work on children’s comprehension disorders, relating typical and atypical development and covering processing of language right through from auditory analysis of the speech signal up to interpretation of a speaker's meaning.
Dorothy is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, a Fellow of the British Academy, and a Fellow of the Royal Society. She has Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Newcastle upon Tyne, Western Australia and Lund, Sweden. She holds a supernumerary fellowship at St John’s College, Oxford.
Dorothy is interested in public engagement and enjoys blogging as a way of communicating about topical and controversial issues with a broader audience. In her spare time she enjoys writing light-hearted crime novels, the latest of which, The Case of the Disappearing Dongle, manages to incorporate statistics into the solving of a crime.