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Psycholinguistics and Cognitive Neuroscience of Language

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The Experimental Psycholinguistics Lab

The Experimental Psycholinguistics laboratory examines the millisecond-by-millisecond incremental representation building that the mind/brain performs in response to language stimuli. Questions include:

  • What are the components of the human language processing system?
  • What is the relative timing of these components' activity during linguistic representation building?
  • What can parsing tell us about grammar?
  • How do the language processing mechanisms develop in children?
  • How does this development interact with children's induction of grammatical rules?
  • Do language impaired children process language differently and is this the source of their acquisition impairment?

The research uses behavioral (reaction time and categorical data) and electrophysiological measures of brain activity (EEG and event-related brain potentials) to address these questions.

BOLD Lab: Brain Organization for Language and Literacy Development

The BOLD Lab, directed by Dr. Kaja Jasińska, studies the development of neural systems that support language (monolingual or bilingual, signed or spoken), reading, and cognition across the lifespan. We ask questions such as how does early life experience change the brain’s capacity for language and learning? How does experience interact with biological development? One of our main research areas focuses on global child literacy and understanding child development in environments with high risk of illiteracy and poor developmental outcomes (e.g. rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa). The lab uses s/fMRI and functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) neuroimaging (including field neuroimaging) technology in combination with genetic and behavioral analyses.

The Language Acquisition and Brain Lab (QLAB)

The QLAB directed by Dr. Zhenghan Qi, is dedicated to studying the brain organization of language development. We ask: how the neural organization for language processing changes from childhood through adulthood; how differently the language networks function in neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder, dyslexia, language impairment, and schizophrenia; how knowledge of our brain might enhance language learning and language intervention. We use a variety of behavioral and neuroimaging techniques , including eye-tracking, EEG, MRI, and functional MRI.

Faculty Contact: 

Arild Hestvik

Kaja Jasinska

Zhenghan Qi
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Psycholinguistics and Cognitive Neuroscience of Language
  • Department of Linguistics and Cognitive Science
  • 125 E. Main Street
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-6806
  • Fax: 302-831-6896
  • linguistics@udel.edu