Professor Patricia E Cowell, BA, MS, PhD.

Dr Patty Cowell

Head of Department
Department of Human Communication Sciences
University of Sheffield
362 Mushroom Lane
S10 2TS
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 114 222 2426
Fax: +44 (0) 114 222 2439

email :


Patricia Cowell is a Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Sheffield. Before coming to Sheffield she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (1992-1995) in the Brain Behavior Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania Medical School with a research focus on cortical sex differences in adults in relation to aging and schizophrenia. Patricia completed her PhD (1992) and masters (1990) in Biobehavioral Sciences at the University of Connecticut through research on the corpus callosum and behavioural laterality in humans and rodents. Her undergraduate education at Boston University (1983-1987) was in Psychology and Statistics.

Research interests

  • Ovarian hormone effects on speech, language and cognition
  • Cerebral asymmetries and interhemispheric relationships
  • Sex differences in cortical development and aging
  • Modelling mechanisms of neurocognitive plasticity

Current projects and collaborations

  • Ovarian Hormone Effects of Speech and Language. Collaborators: Dr Sandra Whiteside, Human Communication Sciences, University of Sheffield and Dr Shehnaaz Jivraj, Jessop Wing, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.
  • Language and Neurocognitive Asymmetries in MZ twins. Dr Jennifer Gurd, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Oxford University.
  • Neurocognitive plasticity in Apraxia of Speech. Collaborators Dr Sandra Whiteside, University of Sheffield and Prof Rosemary Varley, Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, UCL.

Professional affiliations

  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Organization for the Study of Sex Differences
  • ESRC Peer Review College
  • Medical Humanities Sheffield

Key publications

  1. Zimmerer, V.C., Cowell, P.E. and Varley, R.A. Artificial grammar learning in individuals with severe aphasia. Neuropsychologia, in press. (online in press, doi 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2013.10.014)
  2. Gurd, J.M. and Cowell, P.E. Discordant cerebral lateralisation for verbal fluency, not an artefact of attention: Evidence from MzHd twins. Brain Structure and Function, in press. (online first article, doi: 10.1007/s00429-013-0637-0)
  3. Gurd, J.M., Cowell, P.E., Lux, S., Rezaie, R., Cherkas, L., and Ebers, G. 2013. fMRI and corpus callosum relationships in monozygotic twins discordant for handedness. Brain Structure and Function, 218:491-509.
  4. Cowell, P.E., Ledger, W.L., Wadnerkar, M.B., Skilling, F.M., and Whiteside, S.P. 2011. Hormones and dichotic listening: Evidence from the study of menstrual cycle effects.. Brain and Cognition, Special Anniversary Issue, 76:256-262.
  5. Cowell, P.E., Whiteside, S.P., Windsor, F., and Varley, R.A. 2010. Plasticity, permanence and patient performance: study design and data analysis in the cognitive rehabilitation of acquired communication impairments. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 4: Article 213, pp 1-12.
  6. Cowell, P.E. 2010. Auditory laterality - Recent findings in speech asymmetry. In: The two halves of the brain: Information processing in the cerebral hemispheres. K Hugdahl and R Westerhausen (Eds). M.I.T. Press. pages 349-377.