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Lai-Sang Iao

Lai-Sang Iao

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)
Academic Division Admissions Psychology


Lai-Sang is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology. She is the Course Leader for MSc Applied Child Psychology. She is also the admission tutor in the Department of Psychology, organising NTU Open Days. She is a module leader of modules on developmental psychology and disorders at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She also teaches undergraduate tutorials, research methods and critical thinking in Educational and Developmental Psychology. She is also a project supervisor supervising research projects at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, including BSc, MSc and PhD. Lai-Sang is currently accepting applications from prospective PhD students.

Career overview

Research areas

Lai-Sang is interested in social and cognitive development in typically developing individuals and individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders, particularly Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). Lai-Sang aims to understand the basic mechanism of different kinds of social and cognitive processing and how neurodevelopmental disorders deviate from the typical developmental pathways so as to provide theoretical and practical implications. She also aims to understand learning and its application in education to create positive change and better outcomes for individuals with and without special educational needs. Currently, she works on statistical learning and collaborative online international learning. She also does research on the clinical aspects of ASD, including early screening and maternal mental health. Lai-Sang is accepting applications from prospective PhD students with relevant research interests.

Current PhD student:

John Levick (Statistical Learning in Autism Spectrum Disorders)

External activity

Lai-Sang engages in a range of external activities, she is currently a:

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Peer reviewer for a number of journals
  • Right to Read Volunteer

Sponsors and collaborators

Lai-Sang is contributing to the TKCOM project (, led by Dr Lucy Betts in the Department of Psychology at NTU, funded by the Erasmus+ scheme led by Dr Elena Cano (University of Barcelona, Spain). This project involves international collaborations led by:

  • Dr Maria Pessoa (University of Coimbra, Portugal)
  • Dr Jianping Xu (Beijing University, China)
  • Professor Aibao Zhou (Northwest Normal University, China)
  • Professor Yule Jin (Southwest Normal University, China)

Lai-Sang has also worked with a number of schools in the UK on various research projects.


Jones, G., Justice, L., Cabiddu, F., Lee, B. J., Iao, L.-S., Harrison, N., & Macken, B. (in press). Does short-term memory develop? Cognition.

Iao, L.-S., Yu, W.-H., & Wu, C.-C. (2020). Early Screening for Autism Spectrum Disorder in Young Children with Developmental Problems Using the Chinese Version of the Child Behavior Checklist. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 70, 101477.

Betts, L., Huntington, B., Iao, L.-S., Dillon, G., Baguley, T., & Banyard P. (2019). Developing a competency-based education training programme for university tutors. Journal of Competency-Based Education, e01200.

Hou, Y.-U., Stewart, L., Iao, L.-S., & Wu, C.-C. (2018). Parenting stress and depressive symptoms in Taiwanese mothers of young children with autism spectrum disorder: Association with children’s behavioral problems. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 31, 1113-1121.

Wong, Y. S., Yang, C.-C., Stewart, L., Chiang, C.-H., Wu, C.-C., & Iao, L.-S. (2018). Use of the Chinese Version Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers in a High-risk Sample in Taiwan. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 49, 56-64.

Iao, L.-S., Wippich, A., & Lam, Y. H. (2018). Discrimination of foreign speech pitch and autistic traits in non-clinical population. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 48, 284-289.

Iao, L.-S., Ng, L. Y., Wong, M. Y., & Lee, O. T. (2017). Non-adjacent dependency learning in Cantonese-speaking children with and without a history of specific language impairment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 60, 694-700.

Iao, L.-S., Tsang, Y. T., Wong, M. Y., & Ho, Y. H. (2015). Talking while thinking about another’s mind in preschoolers: Evidence of getting Vygotskian about social cognition. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 31, 1-8.

To, K. S., Yim, F. Y., Lam, Y. H., & Iao, L.-S. (2014). Persuasion in Chinese school-age children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorders. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 31, 231-240.

Iao, L.-S., & Leekam, S. (2014). Non-Specificity and theory of mind: New evidence from a non-verbal false sign task and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 122, 1-20.

Iao, L.-S. (2014). Understanding of False Beliefs, Photos and Signs: What we Learn From Typical Development, Autism, and the Brain. In O. N. Saracho (Ed.), Contemporary Perspectives on Research in Theory of Mind in Early Childhood Education (pp. 175-191). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Wong, W., Weekes, B., Iao, L.-S., To, K., & Su, I. (2014). Is reading aloud semantically mediated in Chinese Hyperlexia? Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Iao, L.-S., Leekam, S., Perner, J., & McConachie, H. (2011). Further evidence for non-specificity of theory of mind in preschoolers: Training and transferability in the understanding of false beliefs and false signs. Journal of Cognition and Development, 12, 56-79.

Lee, Y., Iao, L.-S., & Lin, C. (2007). False Memory and schizophrenia: Evidence for gist memory impairment. Psychological Medicine, 37, 559-567.

Iao, L.-S., Tseng, C., & Soong, W. (2006). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for a preschooler with Asperger’s Disorder. Archives of Clinical Psychology, 3, 46-55. (ISSN: 1813-6419)

See all of Lai-Sang Iao's publications...