School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

Staff Profiles

Emeritus Professor Nick Miller

Emeritus Professor


Research Interests

Motor control (in particular, motor speech disorders and apraxia)
Psychosocial impact of (communication) disability in neurological illness
Bilingualism (in particular, neurolinguistic aspects)

My main areas of research come under the general label of neurogenic speech disorders – i.e. disruptions to speech associated with neurological illness or damage to the brain from whatever cause – e.g. Parkinson’s disease, stroke, head injury, developmental conditions such as cerebral palsy.

I am interested in the changes to voice, speech and swallowing that arise as a result of neurological illness and the effects these changes have on the life of the person who has a neurological condition and the effects on their family and social life. I am interested in how to accurately describe changes and what methods there are to ameliorate and overcome the effects of living with a motor speech disorder.

Broadly speaking my work takes three perspectives:

1) A theoretical perspective: looking at data from the ways in which speech control changes in neurological conditions to tell us about how the brain plans and executes speech motor control and how this relates to language processing on the one hand and more general movement planning and control on the other.

2) An applied perspective: seeking ways in which theoretical constructs and advances and results from the first perspective can be gainfully applied to clinical assessment in neurological conditions and to rehabilitation of changes that affect the individual.

3) A social psychological perspective: looking at how voice and speech changes impact on the self concept and social life of the person with a motor speech disorder and on their family.