I am a Programme Leader Track scientist in the Speech and Language Group at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, U.K.
The goal of my research is to understand what is going on in your brain right now – whilst you are understanding language. My colleagues and I run behavioural experiments and use brain imaging (fMRI, MEG/EEG) to study what brain processes are involved in processing spoken and written language, how we perceive speech sounds, recognise words and access meaning.
If you're not convinced that studying speech is interesting, have a listen to this. This is an example of perceptual pop-out that we've explored using vocoded speech, and sine-wave speech.
Key research topics:
· Speech perception in challenging listening situations
· Word recognition and repetition priming
· Learning new words and their meanings
· Resolution of ambiguity in spoken language
· Recognising morphologically complex words
· Phonological processing and short-term memory
You can view a full list of publications here.
You can also listen to some example stimuli from our experiments on speech intelligibility, vocoded speech, and sine-wave speech.
You can read about research using brain imaging to detect speech comprehension and awareness during sedation and in vegetative state patients.
Or you can read about some of the tools that I use in my research.
Thanks to Berger & Wyse, and the Guardian Weekend for a summary of recent research on speech comprehension at reduced levels of awareness:
I have supervised some excellent PhD students over the last few years: Mike Ford and Eleni Orfanidou (with William Marslen-Wilson), Stuart Bell (with Kate Plaistead) and Alexis Hervais-Adelman (with Bob Carlyon).
Current collaborators at the CBU:
Tristan Beckinstein - Neural responses to ambiguous and unambiguous jokes (with Adrian Owen, Jenni Rodd)
Yuanyuan Chen, Pierre Gagnepain - Learning and consolidation of novel words (with Rik Henson, Gareth Gaskell)
Olaf Hauk - Parameters affecting neural responses to written words (with Yuanyuan Chen, Friedemann Pulvermuller)
Kristjan Kalm - Grouping effects in auditory-verbal short term memory (with Dennis Norris)
Jonathan Peelle - fMRI and MEG studies of sentence comprehension (with Joachim Gross, Glasgow)
Jack Rogers – Phonological and semantic ambiguity in spoken word recognition (with William Marslen-Wilson)
Gayaneh Szenkovits – Phonological processing and short term memory (with Dennis Norris)
Current collaborators elsewhere:
Gareth Gaskell, Department of Psychology, York, UK
Learning and consolidation of novel spoken words
Alexis Hervais-Adelman, Centre for the Neural Basis of Hearing, Department of Physiology, Cambridge, UK
Perception of noise-vocoded speech
Ingrid Johnsrude, Department of Psychology, Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Speech perception and comprehension in adverse listening situations
Marjolein Merkx, Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
Learning new morphemes
Lotte Meteyard, Human Communication Sciences, University College, London, UK
Items analysis in functional imaging (with Rik Henson, Ian Nimmo-Smith)
Kathy Rastle, Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, Univerity of London, UK
Morphological processing of written words
Jenni Rodd, Department of Psychology, UCL, London, UK
fMRI studies of semantic ambiguity resolution
Former collaborators at the CBU:
Mike Ford - Morphological structure in visual word recognition (with William Marslen-Wilson)
Antje Heinrich - The continuity illusion and vowel perception (with Bob Carlyon and Ingrid Johnsrude)
Ferath Kherif – Multivariate analysis of responses to spoken and written words (with Matthew Brett)
Catherine-Marie Longtin – Understanding morphologically-complex pseudowords
Eleni Orfanidou - Repetition priming of spoken words and pseudowords (with William Marslen-Wilson)
Beth Parkin – Stimulus- and task-based repetition priming of spoken words
Psycholinguistic "research" from the internet:
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
Here's an old page that I wrote on can learn about the problems of reading jumbled texts. (Apologies for the broken link. This will be back online as soon as possible).