Charles Perfetti

Department web site

Lab web site

Charles Perfetti

Director, Senior Scientist, Learning Research and Development Center

Distinguished University Professor, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Psychology

Co-Director, Pittsburgh Science of Learning 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.

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.

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.

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

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. (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

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.

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

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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

Fang, X., Perfetti, C. A., & Stafura, J. (2017). Learning new meanings for known words: Biphasic effects of prior knowledge. Learning Cognition and Neuroscience, 32(5), 637-649.

Chang, L-Y, Chen, Y.C., Perfetti, C.A. (2017). GraphCom: A multi-dimensional measure of grapheme complexity: A comparison of 131 written languages. Behavioral Research Methods.

Stafura, J. Z., & Perfetti, C. A. (2017). Integrating word processing with text comprehension: Theoretical frameworks and empirical examples. In K. Cain, D. Compton, & R. Parrila, (Eds.) Theories of Reading Development.

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

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

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.

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

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


LRDC Director Charles Perfetti has been honored with the 2014 Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the international Society for Text and Discourse. The "Reading Honors" column on page 5 of Pitt Magazine, winter issue, describes his research in language and reading processes, and the criteria for the award.

February 9, 2015

LRDC Director, Charles Perfetti, was mentioned in the latest issue of the Pitt Chronicle for becoming a fellow in the Society for Text and Discourse.

November 2014


A list of recent LRDC award recipients is on page 18 of the August 28 issue of the University Times. Einat Heyd-Metzuyanim, Melissa Libertus, Diane Litman, Charles Perfetti, Christian Schunn, Natasha Tokowicz, Tessa Warren, and Jingtao Wang were all mentioned.

August 2014

Reading - From Words to Multiple Texts, celebrates the impact of Charles Perfetti's research on reading and text comprehension and acknowledges his mentorship of the scholars who contribute to the increasing knowledge base about reading processes.

June 3, 2013


LRDC Director, Charles Perfetti, Served as an Invited Panelist on the Role of Advances in Education Technology in Conjunction with U.S. Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter's Visit to CMU

September 7, 2011

Pitt Chronicle

Head of the Class

Spring 2009

CMU's "The Link"


Leverhulme Fellow


Named University Professor


University of Pittsburgh

Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award


University of Pittsburgh

Fellow, Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences