Charles Perfetti

Department web site

Lab web site

Charles Perfetti

Co-Director, Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center

Distinguished University Professor, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Psychology

Director, Senior Scientist, Learning Research and Development Center

Research Interests

My central research interest is in the cognitive science of reading and language processes. The research spans lower and higher level processes and the nature of reading ability and second language processes. My approach involves multiple research methods in behavioral, ERP and fMRI labs. The general goal is to achieve a richer view of language processes by the combination of methods.

Verhoeven, L. & Perfetti, C. (2021). Universals in learning to read across languages and writing systems. Scientific Studies of Reading.

Chang, L.Y., Tseng, C.C., Perfetti, C.A.,& Chen, H.C. (2021). Development and validation of a Chinese pseudo-character/non-character producing system. Behavior Research Methods.

Zhou, L., &  Perfetti, C. (2021) Consistency and regularity effects in character identification: A greater role for global than local mapping congruence. Brain and Language,Volume 22.

Guan, C. Q., Fraundorf, S. H., & Perfetti, C, A. (2020). Character and child factors contribute to character recognition development among good and poor Chinese readers from grade 1 to 6. Annals of Dyslexia.

Bhide, A., Ortega-Llebaria, M., Fraundorf, S.H., & Perfetti, C.A. (2020). The contribution of orthographic input, phonological skills, and rise time discrimination to the learning of non-native phonemic contrasts. Applied Psycholinguistics.

Hirshorn, E.A., Simcox, T., Durisko, C., Perfetti, C.A., &  Fiez JA. (2020). Unmasking individual differences in adult reading procedures by disrupting holistic orthographic perception. PLoS One, 15(5), e0233041.

Chen, L., Perfetti, C. A., Fang, X., & Chang, L.-Y. (2020). Activation of L1 orthography in L2 word reading: Constraints from language and writing system. Second Language Research.

Epps, C. D., Phirangee, K., Hewitt, J. & Perfetti, C. P. (2020). Learning management system and course influences on student actions and learning experiences. Educational Technology Research and Development.

Helder, A., Perfetti, C. A., & van den Broek, P. (2020). Thematic influences on word-to-text integration across a sentence boundary. Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience.

Perfetti, C. A., & Helder, A. (2020). Incremental comprehension examined in event-related potentials: Word-to-text integration and structure building. Discourse Processes.

Perfetti, C. A. (2019). Lexical quality revisited. In E. Segers & P. van den Broek (Eds.), Developmental Perspectives in Written Language and Literacy. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Ben-Yehudah G., Hirshorn E. A., Simcox T., Perfetti C. A., & Fiez J. A. (2019). Chinese-English bilinguals transfer L1 lexical reading procedures and holistic orthographic coding to L2 English. Journal of Neurolinguistics. 50:136-148

Bhide, A., Luo, W., Vijay, N. Perfetti, C. Wang, J. Maries, A. & Nag, S. (2019). Spelling Challenges in Hindi. Reading and Writing.

Fang, X., & Perfetti, C. (2019). Learning new meanings for known words: Perturbation of original meanings and retention of new meanings. Memory & Cognition, 47(1): 130-144.

Chen, L., Perfetti, C. A., Fang, X., Chang, L., & Fraundorf, S. (2019). Reading Pinyin activates sublexcial character orthography for skilled Chinese readers. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience.

Chang, L-Y, & Perfetti, C. A. (2018). Visual factors in writing system variation: Measurement and implications for reading. In H. K. Pae (Ed.), Writing systems, reading processes, and cross-linguistic influences: Reflections from the Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Helder, A., Perfetti, C. A., van den Broek, P., Stafura, J. Z., & Calloway, R. C. (2018). ERP indicators of local and global text influences on word-to-text integration. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 33(8).

Yang, C. L., Perfetti, C. A., Tan, L.-H., & Jiang, Y. (2018). ERP Indicators of L2 proficiency in word-to-text integration processes. Neuropsychologia, 117, 287-301.

Chen, L., Perfetti, C. A., Leng, Y., & Li, Y. (2018). Word superiority effect for native Chinese readers and low proficiency Chinese learners. Applied Psycholinguistics, 1-19.

Chen, L., Perfetti, C.A., & Leng, Y. (2017). Reading pinyin activates character orthography for highly experienced learners of Chinese. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 1-9.

Verhoeven, L., & Perfetti, C. (2017). Learning to read across languages and writing systems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Fang, X., & Perfetti, C. A. (2017). Perturbation of old knowledge precedes integration of new knowledge. Neuropsychologia, 90, 270-278.

Chen, L., Fang, X., & Perfetti, C. A. (2017). Word-to-text integration: ERP evidence for semantic and orthographic effects in Chinese. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 42, 83-92.

Cao, F., & Perfetti, C. A. (2017). Neural signatures of the reading-writing connection: Greater involvement of writing in Chinese reading. PlosOne 11(12): e0168414.

Calloway, R., & Perfetti, C. A. (2017). Integrative and predictive processes in text reading: The N400 across a sentence boundary. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience.

BBC on-line news interviewed LRDC Director Charles Perfetti for "Dubs or Subs? Parasite Renews Debate on How to Watch Foreign Films."

February 23, 2020


Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and LRDC Director Charles Perfetti has been elected to the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences (FABBS) "In Honor Of...” program. The “In Honor of..." program recognizes eminent, senior scientists who have made important and lasting contributions to the sciences of mind, brain, and behavior. Only two other University of Pittsburgh faculty members have been honored in this program, Robert Glaser and Lauren Resnick, making a trifecta of LRDC directors honored by FABBS.

July 31, 2017


Charles Perfetti was awarded the Distinguished Scholar award by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Special Interest Group (SIG): Research in Reading and Literacy for his outstanding contributions to research in reading and literacy.

May 1, 2017

LRDC Director Charles Perfetti is among the top ten Highest Cited American Scholars in the field of Education. Chuck is the most influential in the area of reading. Former LRDC faculty member Micki Chi is also a member of this distinguished group for her work in instructional design.

June 20, 2016