Language

The study of various areas of language, including

  • reading
  • spoken and written language production
  • speech comprehension
  • sentence processing
  • embodied cognition
  • relational reasoning and higher-level perception
  • bilingualism
  • computational modelling of language processes
  • cognitive neuroscience of language, via EEG

Recent research highlights of the group include the following:

  • A masked priming megastudy: The results of this study provide us with incredibly precise estimates of the magnitude of priming associated with different prime conditions, which is helping to understand how readers recognise printed words.
  • Phonology contributes to writing: Handwriting is influenced by sound-based properties of the output. The results of this work also allow important insight into the Chinese orthographic system.
  • Many of us learn a foreign language when we are young, but in some cases, exposure to that language is brief and we never get to hear or practice it subsequently: Work by the group show that a "forgotten" language may be more deeply engraved in our minds than we realise and suggest that exposing young children to foreign languages, even if they do not continue to speak them, can have a lasting impact on speech perception.
  • Theoretical work highlighting an alternative approach to phonics for early reading instruction called Structured Word Inquiry.  On this approach, children are taught that English spelling system encodes not only phonology but also meaning.

A selection of recent funding grants:

  • Leverhulme Foundation (2019-2022) Does being bilingual work wonders for your brain?, Markus Damian
  • CNRS (France) prematuration scheme (2018-2020) Children’s Development of Logical Language and Mathematical Concepts (CHILL Serious Games), Nina Kazanina (UK partner). PI: Hamida Demirdache, U Nantes
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