Professor Maria Uther

Professor of Psychology

Email address: M.Uther@wlv.ac.ukPhone number: 01902 X1338Location: MC 305Faculty: Faculty of Education Health & WellbeingSchool/Institute: Institute of Human SciencesAreas of expertise:

I have specialist knowledge within the area of speech and hearing sciences and digital technologies. In addition, I have practitioner skills in occupational psychology (with specialisms in in training/development and human factors).

About

Maria Uther is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Wolverhampton and Head of Centre for Psychological Research. She has authored numerous peer refereed journal articles, given keynotes talks, and her work has been funded by a variety of sources including the EPSRC, ESRC, Nuffield Foundation, Nokia Foundation and Sharp Research Laboratories of Europe. She is a sought after external consultant on the design and usage of mobile technologies for learning. Prof. Uther served as guest editor recently for Educational Sciences on a special issue for mobile learning and was panel chair for a special session on Mobile Design, User Experience and Usability for HCI International, 2018. She has served on numerous scientific committee including Interspeech, IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing, IADIS mobile learning, among others. 

Research interests

  • Auditory perception
  • Speech perception
  • Digital technologies (especially mobile technologies)
  • Occupational psychology

Membership of professional bodies

  • British Psychological Society – Chartered Psychologist (C.Psychol.), Associate Fellow (AFBPsS) and authorised test user (ability and personality).
  • Science Council – Chartered Scientist.
  • IEEE Technical Committee on Learning Technology
  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy (UK)

Qualifications

  • PhD in Psychology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
  • BSc in Psychology, University of Sydney
  • BSc (Hons, Class 1) in Psychology, University of Wollongong, Australia
  • PGCert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, University of Portsmouth, UK
  • MSc in Occupational Psychology (with Distinction), University of Surrey, UK

Publications

Selected publications (NB: some appear under maiden name Jaramillo)

  • Jones, R, Uther, M. & Cleveland, M. (2019) State and trait neural correlates of work-life balance: poor work-life balance is associated with increased resting alpha power and reduced suppression of neural response to irrelevant e-mail alert sounds. In press, Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging
  • Uther, M. (2019) Mobile Learning—Trends and Practices, 9 (33). In press, Education Sciences, doi:10.3390/educsci9010033.
  • Uther, M. & Ylinen, S. (2019) The Role of Subjective Quality Judgements in User Preferences for Mobile Learning Apps, Education Sciences, 9(1),3, https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9010003
  • Uther, M., Smolander, A-R., Junttila, K., Kurimo, M., Karhila, R., Enarvi, S. (2018) User experiences from children using a speech learning application: implications for designers of speech training applications for children. Advances in Human-Computer Interaction Vol. 2018, https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/7345397.
  • Uther, M. & Banks, A. (2018) User perceptions of sound quality: implications for the use of audio-based mobile applications. International Journal of Human-computer interaction, DOI: 10.1080/10447318.2018.1532195
  • Uther, M., Cleveland, M. & Jones, R. (2018). Email overload? Brain and behavioural responses to common messaging alerts are heightened for email alerts and are associated with job involvement. Frontiers in Psychology, 9(1206). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01206
  • Karhila, R., Ylinen, S., Enarvi, S., Palomaki, S., Nikulin, A., Rantula, O., Viitanen,V., Dhinakaran, K. Smolander, A-S. Kallio, H., Junttila, K., Uther, M., Hamalainen, P., Kurimo, M. (2017) SIAK - A Game for Foreign Language Pronunciation Learning. Interspeech 2017, 3429-3430.
  • Giannakopoulou, A., Uther, M & Ylinen, S. (2016) Phonetic and orthographic cues are weighted in speech sound perception by second language speakers: Evidence from Greek speakers of English. Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, Vol. 20, 060011. http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/2.0000206
  • Uther, M., & Banks, A. (2016) The influence of affordances on user preferences for multimedia language learning applications, Behaviour & Information Technology, 35:4, 277-289, DOI: 10.1080/0144929X.2016.1151077.
  • Hazan, V., Uther, M. & Gronlund, S. (2015). How does foreigner-directed speech differ from other forms of listener-directed clear speaking styles? Proceedings of 18thCongress of International Phonetic and Speech Sciences, Glasgow, August, 2015.
  • Giannakopoulou, A., Uther, M. & Ylinen, S. (2013) Enhanced plasticity in spoken language acquisition for child learners: evidence from phonetic training studies in child and adult learners of English. Child Language Teaching and Therapy(special issue on child second language learners), 29 (2) 201-218
  • Uther, M., Giannakopoulou, A. & Iverson, P. (2012) Hyperarticulation of vowels enhances phonetic change responses in both native and non-native speakers of English: evidence from an auditory event-related potential study. Brain ResearchAug 27;1470:52-8.
  • Kangatharan, J., Kuhn, L. K., Uther, M. & Gobet F. (2012). A-M I S-P-EA-K-I-NG C-L-E-AR-L-Y E-N-OU-GH? An investigation of the possible role of vowel hyperarticulation in speech communication. Proceedings of Acoustics, 2012.
  • Uther, M. & Ipser, A. (2012) Designing mobile language learning applications using multimedia. Implications from a small-scale prospective learner study. Proceedings of the IEEE conference on Wireless, Mobile and Ubiquitous Technologies, p.202-204.
  • Knoll,M., Uther, M & Costall, A (2011): Using the Internet for speech research: an evaluative study examining affect in speech, Behaviour & Information Technology, 30:6, 845-851
  • Ylinen, S., Uther, M., Latvala, A., Vepasalainen, S., Iverson, P., Akahane-Yamada, R. & Naatanen, R. (2010) Training the brain to weight speech cues differently: a study of Finnish second-language users of English, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. Vol. 22, No. 6, Pages 1319-1332.
  • Joseph, S.R.H. & Uther, M. (2009) (invited for special issue) Mobile devices for language learning: multimedia approaches.Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning, 4 (1), pp. 1-26.
  • Knoll, M., Uther, M. & Costall, A. (2009) Effects of low-pass filtering on the judgment of vocal affect in speech directed to infants, adults and foreigners. Speech Communication, 51 (3), 210-216.
  • Uther, M. & Haley, H. (2008) Back vs. stack: The effect of training in correct mental models on back-button use in web-browsing, Behaviour and Information Technology. 27 (3), 211-218.
  • Uther, M., Knoll, M. & Burnham, D. (2007) Do you speak E-NG-L-I-SH? A comparison of foreigner- and infant- directed speech. Speech Communication, 49, pp. 2–7.
  • Uther, M., Uther, J., Athanasopoulos, P., Singh, P. & Akahane-Yamada, R. (2007) Mobile Adaptive CALL (MAC). A lightweight speech-based intervention for mobile language learners. Proceedings of Interspeech 2007 conference, Antwerp, Belgium, August 27-31, 2007, pp. 2329-2332 [ISSN: 1990-0772].
  • Joseph, S. & Uther, M. (2006) Mobile Language Learning with Multimedia and Multi-modal Interfaces, Proceedings of 4th International Workshop on Wireless, Mobile and Ubiquitous Technologies in Education, November 16-17, pp.124-128. [ISBN:0-7695-2723-X]
  • Knoll, M. A., Uther, M., MacLeod, N. O’Neill, M. & Walsh, S. A. (2006). Emotional, linguistic or cute? The function of pitch contours in infant- and foreigner-directed speech. In Proceedings of the 3rd international conference on Speech Prosody (pp.165-168). Dresden, Germany. [ISBN 3-9388-6357-9]
  • Uther, M., Kujala, A., Huotilainen, M., Shtyrov, Y. & Näätänen, R. (2006) Training in Morse code enhances involuntary attentional switching to acoustic frequency: evidence from ERPs. Brain Research, Volumes 1073-1074, pp. 417-424.
  • Tervaniemi, M., Castaneda, A., Knoll, M. & Uther, M. (2006) Sound processing in amateur musicians and non-musicians: ERP and behavioral indices. NeuroReport, Vol 17, No. 11, pp.1225-1228.
  • Uther, M., Singh, P., Zipitria, I., & Uther, J. (2005) ‘MAC: An adaptive, perception-based speech remediation s/w for mobile devices’. Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED) workshop on language tutoring, July, 2005, IOS Press, p.1-8. [ISBN 1-58603-530-4]
  • Uther, M., Singh, P. & Uther, J. (2005) ‘Mobile Adaptive Call (MAC): a software for speech remediation’, IEEE Pervasive services in computing, 11-14 July 2005; pp.413 – 416 [ISBN: 0-7803-9032-6]
  • Uther, M., Zipitria, I., Uther, J. & Singh, P. (2005) ‘Mobile Adaptive CALL (MAC): A case-study in developing a mobile learning application for speech/audio language training.’, IEEE International Workshop on Wireless and Mobile Technologies in Education, 28-30 Nov. 2005; pp.187-191. [ISBN: 0-7695-2385-4]
  • Uther, M., Jansen, D.H.J., Huotilainen, M., Ilmoniemi, R.J. & Naatanen, R. (2003) Mismatch negativity indexes auditory temporal resolution: evidence from event-related potential (ERP) and event-related field (ERF) recordings. Cognitive Brain Research,17, pp.685-691.
  • Kujala, A., Huotilainen, M., Uther, M., Shtyrov, Y., Monto S., Ilmoniemi,R.J. & Naatanen, R. (2003) Plastic Cortical Changes Underlying Learning to Communicate with Non-speech Sounds: Evidence from Morse Code Acquisition. NeuroReport, 14 (13), pp. 1683-1687.
  • Uther, M. (2002). Mobile Internet Usability: What Can 'Mobile Learning' learn from the past? In Milrad, M. & Hoppe, U. (eds.), Proceedings of IEEE International Workshop on Wireless and Mobile Technologies in Education, Aug 29-30, 2002, Vaxjo, Sweden, pp. 174-176. [ISBN: 0-7695-1706-4]
  • Jaramillo, M., Ilvonen, T., Kujala, T., Alku, P. Tervaniemi, M., & Alho, K. (2001) Are different kinds of acoustic features processed differently for speech and non-speech sounds. Cognitive Brain Research, 12, pp. 459-466.
  • Paavilainen, P., Simola, J., Jaramillo, M. Naatanen, R. & Winkler, I. (2001) Preattentive extraction of abstract feature conjunctions from auditory stimulation as reflected by the mismatch negativity (MMN). Psychophysiology, 38, pp. 359-365.
  • Jaramillo, M., Paavilainen, P., & Naatanen, R. (2000) Mismatch negativity (MMN) and behavioral discrimination in humans as a function of the magnitude of change in sound duration. Neuroscience Letters, 290, pp. 101-104.
  • Jaramillo, M., Alku, P., & Paavilainen, P. (1999) An event-related potential (ERP) study of duration changes in speech and non-speech sounds. NeuroReport, 10, pp. 3301-3305.
  • Paavilainen, P., Jaramillo, M., Naatanen, R. & Winkler, I. (1999) Neuronal populations in the human brain extracting invariant relationships from acoustic variance. Neuroscience Letters, 265, pp. 179-182.
  • Paavilainen P., Jaramillo, M. & Naatanen, R. (1998) Binaural information can converge in abstract memory traces, Psychophysiology, 35, pp. 483-487.
  • Winkler, I., Czigler, I., Jaramillo, M., Paavilainen, P., & Naatanen, R. (1998) Temporal constraints of auditory event synthesis: evidence from ERPs. NeuroReport, 9, pp. 495-499.

Book Chapters

  • Giannakopoulou, A., Uther, M. & Ylinen, S. Phonetic cue-weighting in the acquisition of a second language (L2): evidence from Greek speakers of English (2011), Volume 1 of ‘New Sounds’ conference proceedings Peter Lang Publishers. Achievements and Perspectives in SLA of Speech: New Sounds 2010 (Polish Studies in English Language and Literature), Peter Lang Pub Inc, 13 May 2011.
  • Knoll, M. A., Walsh, S. A.., MacLeod, N. O’Neill, M. & Uther, M, (2007). Good performers know their audience! Identification and characterisation of pitch contours in infant- and foreigner-directed speech. In N. MacLeod, (Ed.) Automated taxon recognition in systematics: theory, approaches and applications. CRC Press/The Systematics Association, Boca Raton, Florida pp. 299–310.

Edited Volumes

  • Uther, M., Cox, S. & Moore, R. (2009) (Eds.), INTERSPEECH 2009 10th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, Brighton, United Kingdom, ISSN: 1990-0772.

Experience in industry

Prof. Uther has extensive experience working in house within industry, particularly within tech companies. She has worked for Nokia as well as consulted for Sharp Research Laboratories as well as smaller organisations.