Neuroscience of language lab
Sophie Hardy is a PhD candidate in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham. Her research focuses on changes in language production with age. She is specifically interested in the effect of age on syntactic choices and sentence planning. For more information on Sophie's research, publications and outreach activities, visit: sophiehardy.co.uk. Sophie is funded by an ESRC DTC studentship.
Roksana Markiewicz is a PhD candidate in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham. Her project focuses on examining the nature of the neurobiological processes involved in cooperative success and how these processes are modulated by empathy. Roksana is using EEG hyper-scanning to map the information flow from one brain to another (i.e. brain-to-brain synchrony) during verbal and non-verbal cooperative tasks. Roksana is funded by a Hillary Green PhD studentship.
Vincent DeLuca is an ESRC-funded postdoctoral researcher working on bilingualism and individual differences. The ESRC project is led by Andrea Krott, with Ali Mazaheri and myself as collaborators. Vincent is specifically interested in how aspects of bilingual experience (e.g. age of acquisition, frequency of use, etc.) impact on brain function and structure. Before starting his postdoc in Birmingham, Vincent published some work on these topics, for example: here and here.
Emma Sutton is a PhD candidate in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham. Her project focuses on health in the elderly. Emma will investigate whether cognitive training can improve immune function, and will look at whether physical exercise, social support and inflammatory markers can predict declines in physical, mental and cognitive health over time
I supervised Evelien Heyselaar's PhD project while at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands (2013-2016). During her PhD, Evelien investigated how syntactic processing is modulated by attention and by social characteristics, using Virtual Reality, EEG and behavioral experiments. She also researched the memory system underlying syntactic processing in a study on patients with Korsakov's syndrome (paper). In 2016, Evelien worked as a post-doc in my lab at the University of Birmingham, on a project investigating how implicit memory, sentence- and word-level language processing change throughout the lifespan (described here). For publications, see here and here and here. Currently, Evelien holds an Assistant Professor position at the Behavioural Science Institute of the Radboud University Nijmegen.
I supervised Lotte Schoot's PhD project while at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands (2013-2016). In her PhD-project, Lotte created naturalistic language experiments with a speaker as well as a listener in the same experiment. Lotte's overall aim was to study the effect of being in a social, communicative situation on processing language. Theories have proposed that speakers do not randomly pick out syntactic structures, but that they adapt their choice towards what they think the listener expects, i.e. syntactic alignment. In this paper, Lotte answered the question whether syntactic alignment influences how speakers are perceived by their conversation partner. In a different study, Lotte found that the neural correlates of core linguistic processes (e.g. syntactic processing) were not influenced by being in a communicative context (more information). In a recent review paper, Lotte argues for a two-brain approach to studying verbal interaction (more information). After finishing her PhD in 2016, Lotte worked as a postdoc at Tufts University with Prof. Gina Kuperberg. In 2018, Lotte took up a position as researcher with the Central Bureau of Statistics in The Hague.
Charlotte Poulisse completed her PhD in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham. Her project focused on compensatory neural mechanisms for preserved language functioning in the ageing brain, and the breakdown of these processes in patients suffering from mild cognitive impairment. In her first publication, she demonstrated that syntactic comprehension is affected by healthy ageing. More publications soon to follow!
Anna Belavina Kuerten completed her PhD dissertation in 2017 on "Investigating syntactic priming during sentence comprehension in developmental dyslexia: Evidence for behavioral and neuronal effects" at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC). I co-supervised her PhD project with Prof. Mailce Mota. Anna’s project focused on syntactic processing in children and young adults with dyslexia. Anna is currently working on publishing her results.
Kristian Suen completed his PhD in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham. I co-supervised his project with Prof. Linda Wheeldon. Kristian's project focused on the acquisition of Chinese characters. Unlike alphabetic languages, the learning of Chinese Characters requires the integration of the form (orthography), the meaning (semantics) and the pronunciation (phonology) of the character as a whole. Kirstian investigated the early stages of Chinese character learning.