Full Professor & Group Coordinator


T. +351 226 079 756

E. slcastro@fpce.up.pt

Research Interests

Cognitive neuroscience



Speech processing

Music psychology



São Luís Castro is Full Professor at the University of Porto, Faculty of Psychology and Education, where she directs the Speech Lab and the Neurocognition and Language Research Group of the Center for Psychology. She was recipient, with Ana Sucena, of the Cegoc 2006 Award for the development of ALEPE, a battery of tests for the assessment of reading skills in Portuguese. Early on as a student of brain hemispheric asymmetries, more recently as a researcher on how speech and music may “flow from the same source” (as the Portuguese poet Eugénio de Andrade once put it), a keen interest in language has been a constant in her professional life. She is an enthusiast polyglot traveler and, in her spare time, she enjoys choir singing and, ... guess what?, reading.



Habilitation in Psychology, 2008, Universidade do Porto (Language and experience)

PhD in Psychology, 1989, University of Porto (Literacy and brain specialization for language)

Licence in Psychology, 1980, University of Porto


Professional Experience

Full Professor, University of Porto, since 2012 (Associate professor 1992-2012)

Visiting Assistant Professor, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, 1989

Member of the editorial board of Current Psychology Letters: Behavior, Brain & Cognition, and of Reading & Writing (2002-2004)



Susana Silva, PhD 2012, post-doctoral researcher at the Cognitive Neuroscience Research Group, University of Algarve. César Lima, PhD 2011, post-doctoral researcher at UP and University College London. Rui Alves, PhD 2009, assistant professor at the University of Porto. Carlos Marques, PhD 2007, director of Calouste Gulbenkian Music Conservatory of Aveiro. José de Oliveira Lopes, PhD 2006, professional singer and professor at the School of Arts "Escola Superior de Música e Artes do Espectáculo, Instituto Politécnico do Porto". Ana Sucena, PhD 2005, assistant at the "Escola Superior de Tecnologias da Saúde, Instituto Politécnico do Porto". Selene Vicente, PhD 2003, assistant professor at the University of Porto. Inês Gomes, PhD 2001, associate professor at Fernando Pessoa University, Porto, and head of department.


Courses (selection)

Psicologia do Pensamento / Psychology of Thought

Psicologia da Linguagem / Psychology of Language

Neuropsicologia / Neuropsychology

Dificuldades de Aprendizagem da Língua Materna / Language difficulties in children


Selected publications

Fernandes, T., Araújo, S., Sucena, A., Reis, A., & Castro, S. L. (2017). The 1-min screening test for reading problems in college students: Psychometric properties of the 1-min TIL. Dyslexia, 23, 66-87. doi: 10.1002/dys.1548

Fernandes, T., Coelho, B., Lima, F., Castro, S. L., Coelho, B., & Lima, F. (2017). The handle of literacy: evidence from preliterate children and illiterate adults on orientation discrimination of graspable and non-graspable objects. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 0(0), 1–15. http://doi.org/10.1080/23273798.2017.1283424

Branco, P., Seixas, D., & Castro, S. L. (2016). Temporal reliability of ultra-high field resting-state MRI for single-subject sensorimotor and language mapping. NeuroImage, 1–45. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.11.029

Silva, S., & Castro, S. L. (2016). Moving stimuli facilitate synchronization but not temporal perception. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1798, 1–14. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01798

Silva, S., Petersson, K.M. & Castro, S. L. (2016). The effects of ordinal load on incidental temporal learning. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 70 (4), 664-674. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2016.1146909 (Online first: 17 Mar 2016)

Branco, P., Seixas, D., Deprez, S., Kovacs, S., Peeters, R., Castro, S. L. & Sunaert, S. (2016). Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging for language pre-operative planning. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 10(11). doi:  10.3389/fnhum.2016.00011 [IF 3.6]

Vilhena, D. A., Sucena, A., Castro, S. L. & Pinheiro, A. M. Vieira (2016). Reading Test – Sentence Comprehension: An adapted version of Lobrot’s L3 test for Brazilian Portuguese. Dyslexia, 22(1), 47–63. doi: 10.1002/dys.1521

Alves, R. A., Limpo, T., Fidalgo, R., Carvalhais, L., Pereira, L. A. & Castro, S. L. (2016). The impact of promoting transcription on early text production: effects on bursts and pauses, levels of written language, and writing performance. Journal of Educational Psychology, 108 (5), 665-679. doi:  10.1037/edu0000089 (Online first : 23 Nov 2015)

Filipe, M. G., Branco, P., Frota, S., Castro, S. L. & Vicente, S. G. (2015). Affective prosody in European Portuguese: Perceptual and acoustic characterization of one-word utterances. Speech Communication, 67, 58-64. doi:10.1016/j.specom.2014.09.007

Castro, S. L., & Lima, C. F. (2014). Age and musical expertise influence emotion recognition in music. Music Perception, 32, 125-142. doi:10.1525/MP.2014.32.2.125

Silva, S., Branco, P., Barbosa, F., Marques-Teixeira, J., Petersson, K.M. & Castro, S. L. (2014). Musical phrase boundaries, wrap-up effects and the Closure Positive Shift. Brain Research, 1585, 99-107. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2014.08.025. Advance online publication 17 August 2014

Filipe, M. G., Frota, S., Castro, S. L. & Vicente, S. G. (2014). Atypical prosody in Asperger Syndrome: Perceptual and acoustic measurements. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. doi: 10.1007/s10803-014-2073-2 Advance online publication 4 March 2014.

Silva, S., Barbosa, F., Marques-Teixeira, J., Petersson, K.M. & Castro, S. L. (2014). You know when: Event-Related Potentials and theta/beta power indicate boundary prediction in music. Journal of Integrative Neuroscience, 13, 1-16. doi: 10.1142/S0219635214500022

Lima, C. F., Alves, T., Scott, S. K. & Castro, S. L. (2014). In the ear of the beholder: How age shapes emotion recognition in nonverbal vocalizations. Emotion, 14, 145-160. doi: 10.1037/a0034287. Advance online publication 11 Nov 2013.

Lima, C. F., Castro, S. L., & Scott, S. K. (2013). When voices get emotional: A corpus of nonverbal vocalizations for research on emotion processing. Behavior Research Methods, 45, 1235-1245

Duncan, L. G., Castro, S. L., Deflor, S., Seymour, P. H. K., Bailie, S., Leybaert, J., ... Serrano, F. (2013). Phonological development in relation to native language and literacy: variations on a theme in six alphabetic orthographies. Cognition, 127, 398-412. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2013.02.009.

Lima, C. F., Garrett, C., & Castro, S. L. (2013). Not all sounds sound the same: Parkinson’s disease affects differently emotion processing in music and in speech prosody. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 35, 373-392.

Pereira, C. S., Teixeira, J., Figueiredo, P., Xavier, J., Castro, S. L. & Brattico, E. (2011). Music and emotion in the brain: Familiarity matters. PLoS One, 6, e27241. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0027241

Lima, C. F. & Castro, S. L. (2011). Speaking to the trained ear: Musical expertise enhances the recognition of emotions in speech prosody. Emotion, 11, 1021-1031. doi: 10.1037/a0024521

Lima, C. F. & Castro, S. L. (2011). Emotion recognition in music changes across the adult life span. Cognition & Emotion, 25, 585-598. doi: 10.1080/ 02699931.2010.502449

Morais, J. & Castro, S. L. (2010-2011). Introduction to the Special Issue. Lexical processing: Phonetic, prosodic and morphological aspects. Journal of Portuguese Linguistics, 9-10, 3-9.

Serrano, F., Genard, N., Sucena, A., Defior, S., Alegria, J., Mousty, P., Leybaert, J., Castro, S. L., & Seymour, P. H. K. (2010-2011). Variations in reading and spelling acquisition in Portuguese, French and Spanish: A cross-linguistic comparison. Journal of Portuguese Linguistics, 9-10, 183-205.

Costa, A. S., & Castro, S. L. (2010). Controlo inibitório em crianças medido através da tarefa Stroop Animal. Laboratório de Psicologia, 8, 51-62.

Reis, A., Faísca, L., Castro, S.L. & Petersson, K. M. (2010). Preditores da leitura ao longo da escolaridade: Alterações dinâmicas no papel da consciência fonológica e da nomeação rápida. In C. Nogueira, I. Silva, L. Lima, A. T. Almeida, R. Cabecinhas, R. Gomes, C. Machado, A. Maia, A. Sampaio & M. C. Taveira (Eds.), Actas do VII Simpósio Nacional de Investigação em Psicologia (pp. 3117-3132). Retirado de http://www.actassnip2010.com

Castro, S. L., & Lima, C. F. (2010). Recognizing emotions in spoken language: A validated set of Portuguese sentences and pseudosentences for research on emotional prosody. Behavior Research Methods, 42, 74-81. doi:10.3758/BRM.42.1.74

Lima, C. F., & Castro, S. L. (2010). Reading strategies in orthographies of intermediate depth are flexible: Modulation of length effects in Portuguese. The European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 22, 190-215. doi:10.1080/09541440902750145

Sucena, A., Castro, S. L., & Seymour, P. (2009). Developmental dyslexia in an orthography of intermediate depth: the case of European Portuguese. Reading and Writing, 22, 791-810. doi:10.1007/s11145-008-9156-4

Sucena, A. & Castro, S. L. (2009). Aprender a ler e avaliar a leitura. O TIL, Teste de Idade de Leitura. Coimbra: Almedina. (Segunda edição; edição original de 2008)

Moreno, S., Marques, C., Santos, A., Santos, M., Castro, S. L., & Besson, M. (2009). Musical training influences linguistic abilities in 8-year old children: more evidence for brain plasticity. Cerebral Cortex, 19, 712-723. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhn120.

Olive, T., Alves, R. A., & Castro, S. L. (2009). Cognitive processes in writing during pauses and execution periods. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 21, 758-785. doi: 10.1080/09541440802079850

Lima, C. F., Meireles, L., Fonseca, R., Castro, S. L., & Garrett, C. (2008). The Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB) in Parkinson's disease and correlations with formal measures of executive functioning. Journal of Neurology, 255, 1756-1761. doi:10.1007/s00415-008-0024-6

Alves, R. A., Castro, S. L., & Olive, T. (2008). Execution and pauses in writing narratives: Processing time, cognitive effort and typing skill. International Journal of Psychology, 43, 969-979. doi: 10.1080/00207590701398951.

Castro, S. L., Caló, S., Gomes, I., Kay, J., Lesser, R. & Coltheart, M. (2007). PALPA-P, Provas de Avaliação da Linguagem e da Afasia em Português [Tasks for the assessment of language processing and aphasia in Portuguese, PALPA-P]. Lisboa: CEGOC.

Marques, C., Moreno, S., Castro, S. L., & Besson, M. (2007). Musicians detect pitch violation in foreign language better than non-musicians: Behavioral and electrophysiological evidences. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 19, 1453-1463.

Alves, R. A., Castro, S. L., Sousa, L., & Stroemqvist, S. (2007). Influence of typing skill on pause-execution cycles in written composition. In G. Rijlaarsdam (Series Ed.), M. Torrance, L. van Waes, & D. Galbraith (Vol. Eds),Writing and cognition: Research and applications(pp. 55-65). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Silva, S. M., & Castro, S. L. (2005). Understanding musical meaning: How does the listener parse music into phrases? In J. Davidson (Ed.), Proceedings of the International Conference on Psychological, Philosophical, and Educational Issues in Musical Performance [CD-ROM]. Porto: CIPEM.

Castro, S. L., Caló, S., & Gomes, I. (2003). The interplay between phonology and orthography on rhyme judgement. Psychologica, 34,143-154.

Gomes, I., & Castro, S. L. (2003). Porlex, a lexical database in European Portuguese. Psychologica, 32, 91-108.

Castro, S. L., & Cary, L. (Eds.). (2003). Speaking and listening: Their role in learning how to read and spell [Special Issue]. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 16.

Vicente, S., Castro, S. L., & Walley, A. C. (2003). A developmental analysis of similarity neighborhoods in European Portuguese. Journal of Portuguese Linguistics, 2, 115-133.

Castro, S. L. & Gomes, I. (2000). Dificuldades de aprendizagem da língua materna [Language difficulties in children]. Lisboa: Universidade Aberta.

Castro, S. L. (1999). A linguagem escrita e o seu uso: Uma perspectiva cognitiva [Written language and its use: A cognitive perspective]. In L. G. Cabral & J. Morais (Eds.), Investigando a linguagem: Ensaios de homenagem a Leonor Scliar-Cabral. Petrópolis: Editora Mulheres.

Gomes, I., & Castro, S. L. (1998). Language processing and schooling in European Portuguese. In P. Reitsma & L. Verhoeven (Eds.), Problems and interventions in literacy development. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Castro, S. L., Vicente, S., Morais, J., Kolinsky, R & Cluytens, M. (1994). Segmental representation of Portuguese in 5- and 6-year olds: evidence from dichotic listening. In I. H. Faria & M. J. Freitas (Eds.), Studies on the acquisition of Portuguese. Lisboa: Colibri.

Morais, J., Castro, S. L., Scliar-Cabral, L., Kolinsky, R. & Content, A. (1987). The effects of literacy on the recognition of dichotic words. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 39A, 451-465.

Castro, S. L. & Morais, J. (1987). Ear differences in illiterates. Neuropsychologia, 25, 409-417.