Magdalena Kachlicka

PhD student

The Auditory, Language, Perception, Hearing and Attention Lab

Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development
Department of Psychological Sciences
Birkbeck, University of London


Email address:


Research Gate



Research interests

My doctoral research investigates how native language experience shapes the salience of various acoustic dimensions and our ability to use that information in learning a second language (L2). I’ll test the hypothesis of whether the weighting of different perceptual cues during speech perception reflects the direction of attention towards the most informative cues. I’ll also explore whether training participants to attend to neglected perceptual dimensions can help them learn appropriate strategies for L2 speech perception and production and whether this training has any consequences on their ability to selectively attend to acoustic dimensions and neural encoding of sound.

This project is funded by the Bloomsbury Colleges Studentship.



Primary:            Dr Adam Tierney (Birkbeck, University of London)

Secondary:        Dr Kazuya Saito (University College London)



PhD Psychology; Birkbeck, University of London (2020-present)

MPhil Cognitive Science; University College London (2018-2020)

MSc Psychological Research Methods (Distinction); Birkbeck, University of London (2017-2018)

BSc Psychology (Summa Cum Laude); University of Nicosia, Cyprus (2015-2017)


Research experience

Institute of Education, University College London – Research Assistant (2020-present)

Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck University of London – Research Assistant (2018-2020)

Experimental Psychology Lab at University of Cyprus (Nicosia, Cyprus) – Research Intern (2017)

University of Social Sciences and Humanities – SWPS (Poznan, Poland) – Research Assistant (2015-2020)


Research publications

Saito, K., Hanzawa, K., Petrova, K., Kachlicka, M., Suzukida, Y., Tierney, A. (2022). Incidental and multimodal high variability phonetic training: Potential, limits, and future directions. Language Learning, May 2022, 1-43.

Kachlicka, M., Laffere, A., Dick, F, Tierney, A. (2022). Slow phase-locked modulations support selective attention to sound. NeuroImage, 252, 119024.


Saito, K., Kachlicka, M., Sun. H., & Tierney, A. (2020). Domain-general auditory processing as an anchor of post-pubertal second language pronunciation learning: Behavioural and neurophysiological investigations of perceptual acuity, age, experience, development, and attainment. Journal of Memory and Language, 115, 104168.

Saito, K., Sun, H., Kachlicka, M., Alayo, J., Nakata, T., & Tierney, A. (2020). Domain-general auditory processing explains multiple dimensions of L2 acquisition in adulthood. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 1-30,

Mitchell, A., Oberman, T., Aletta, F., Erfanian, M., Kachlicka, M., Lionello, M., & Kang, J. (2020). The Soundscape Indices (SSID) Protocol: A Method for Urban Soundscape Surveys—Questionnaires with Acoustical and Contextual Information. Applied Sciences, 10(7), 2397.

Kachlicka, M., Saito, K., & Tierney, A. (2019). Successful second language learning is tied to robust domain-general auditory processing and stable neural representation of sound. Brain and Language, 192, 15-24.


Conference papers

Mitchell, A., Oberman, T., Aletta, F., Erfanian, M., Kachlicka, M., Lionello, M., & Kang, J. (2020). Making cities smarter with new soundscape indices. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 146, 2873.

Aletta, F., Oberman, T., Mitchell, A., Erfanian, M., Lionello, M., Kachlicka, M., & Kang, J. (2019). Associations between soundscape experience and self-reported wellbeing in open public urban spaces: a field study. The Lancet, 394(S17).



Auditory processing in second language learning” at Brain & Language Seminar (February 2019), University of Helsinki, Finland


Teaching experience

PSYC0046 Introduction to Statistics with R at the UCL Psychology and Language Sciences Department – demonstrator and teaching assistant (2021-22 & 2022-23)

Methods for Dummies Course at Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging (UCL Institute of Neurology) – course organizer and content coordinator (2019-20 & 2020-21)

PSYC0012 Research Methods in Psychology at the UCL Psychology and Language Sciences Department – research project coordinator (2020-21)

PSYC0005 Introduction to Psychological Experimentation at the UCL Psychology and Language Sciences Department – demonstrator (2019-20 & 2020-21)

COMP0067 Design & Human-Computer Interaction at the UCL Interaction Centre, Department of Computer Sciences – teaching assistant (2019-20)

COMP0016 Systems Engineering & Human-Computer Interaction at the UCL Interaction Centre, Department of Computer Sciences – teaching assistant (2019-20)


Grants and Awards

Travel Award, Computational Cognitive Modeling for Language Summer School, University of California Irvine, 2022

Language Learning Dissertation Award, Research Grant, 2022

Bloomsbury Studentship, Birkbeck University, 2020-2023

ERC Studentship, ERC Advanced Grant to Prof Jian Kang No. 740696, 2018-2020

JUCE Diversity Scholarship, Audio Developers Conference, 2019

Student Travel Award, University of Connecticut, 2018

Kenway Legacy Scholarship, Birkbeck University, 2017-2018

Scholarship Based on Academic Performance, University of Nicosia, 2016-2017