The members of the Psycholinguistics sub-grouping investigate various aspects of language processing in healthy and brain-damaged adults and in children.
Steven Frisson’s main research area is semantic processing. He studies, among other things, how language users arrive at an interpretation of words in context. To this end, he has looked at figurative language processing, meaning extensions, and the processing of polysemous and homonymous words. Other research areas include the syntax-semantics interface, morphology, spelling, and psychological essentialism. His preferred methodology is eye-tracking during reading.
Sotaro Kita's research areas are gestures that spontaneously accompany speech and language development in children. The research on gestures investigates both adults and children and uses both behavioural and neuroscientific methods. The research on language development investigates word acquisition, using experimental methods.
Andrea Krott’s main area of research is morphology, i.e. the processing of complex words such as “bookshelf” or “happiness”. Many of her studies, carried out in various languages, have focused on how adults and children (aged 2-5 years) understand and produce compound words (e.g. “baby bottle”). Her current research concerns children’s word learning and language-related brain responses (EEG) in adults.
Andrew Olson’s current research asks how language is represented for speaking and writing, and how these representations change when a person is deaf, dyslexic, or has brain damage. He is interested in what makes it hard for special populations, like those who are deaf or dyslexic, to master literacy. This work involves collaborations with Andrea Krott, Helen Breadmore and Cristina Romani (from Aston University). A second focus of his work is developing mathematical models to test theories that explain aphasia. These use techniques for model building and model selection that are new to this area. We are modelling patient results from jargonaphasia, phonological buffer deficits and letter-by-letter reading.
Linda Wheeldon studies the production of rhythm and intonation in sentence production, often in collaboration of Aditi Lahiri of Oxford University. In addition, Linda Wheeldon works on the generation of syntactic structure, both in English and in Japanese, using reaction time and eye-tracking paradigms.