Photo of Emil Holmer

Emil Holmer

Associate Professor, Head of Division, Docent

In my research, I study language and communication across groups with different sensory impairments and social opportunities. I want to describe the developmental psychological basis for effective communication and language processing.. 

Sign language-based reading intervention

In my dissertation, I examined reading skills of deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) children who use sign language for communication. Learning to read is a big challenge for all children, but even more difficult for children from this group. In my work, I evaluated the effects of a sign language-based reading intervention on reading development and investigated the relationship between sign language skills, Theory of mind, working memory and reading skills. In line with earlier empirical findings and theoretical ideas,
I observed a connection between sign language skills and reading. Thus, it seems like DHH signing children can use their knowledge of sign language in order to learn to read. My results also suggest that language processes overlap between different language forms.


Thinking and language in individuals with deafblindness

Recently, I have become interested in the link between thinking and language in individuals with deafblindness. The literature on this is population is limited and we have inadequate knowledge of their communication skills. In an ongoing project, we want to investigate the relationship between communication skills, linguistic sensitivity and short-term memory in individuals with congenital deafblindness.


Non-linguistic social information

Within the scope of my current post-doc project, I will study short-term memory for social information in groups with or without sensory loss. Being able to efficiently track non-linguistic social information is important in communication. How we manage to do this with increasing levels of memory load can thus be critical for how well we understand other people, in particular if we have a sensory loss.



My recurring teaching assignments are on the Psychologist programme, Cognitive science programme and courses in Disability studies (with a focus on psychology). I mainly supervise student groups in active listening (Psychologist programme) and in designing experiments (Cognitive sciences programme).



Erik Marsja, Emil Holmer, Henrik Danielsson (2024) Interplay between working memory and speech recognition declines over time


Lisa Palmqvist, Monica Reichenberg, Jenny Samuelsson, Emil Holmer, Mats Lundälv, Gunilla Thunberg, Mikael Heimann (2023) Kan en app-baserad läsintervention öka elevers läsförmåga och lärares self-efficacy? Läs- och Skrivsvårigheter & Dyslexi
Monica Reichenberg, Gunilla Thunberg, Emil Holmer, Lisa Palmqvist, Jenny Samuelsson, Mats Lundälv, Katarina Mühlenbock, Mikael Heimann (2023) Will an app-based reading intervention change how teachers rate their teaching self-efficacy beliefs?: A test of social cognitive theory in Swedish special educational settings Frontiers in Education, Vol. 8, Article 1184719 Continue to DOI
Jenny Samuelsson, Jakob Åsberg Johnels, Gunilla Thunberg, Lisa Palmqvist, Mikael Heimann, Monica Reichenberg, Emil Holmer (2023) The relationship between early literacy skills and speech-sound production in students with intellectual disability and communication difficulties: a cross-sectional study International Journal of Developmental Disabilities, p. 1-11 Continue to DOI
Jemaine E Stacey, Henrik Danielsson, Antje Heinrich, Lucija Batinović, Emil Holmer, Elisabeth Ingo, Helen Henshaw (2023) Relationship between self-reported listening and communication difficulties and executive function: a protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis BMJ Open, Vol. 13, Article e071225 Continue to DOI