Dr Katrien Segaert MA, PhD

Dr Katrien Segaert

School of Psychology

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

My research focuses on sentence level language processing, mostly syntactic and semantic processing. I am especially interested in how these core language processes work, how the workings change throughout the lifespan, and how they are instantiated in the brain.



MA in Psychology (University of Leuven, Belgium)

PhD in Social Sciences (University of Nijmgen, Netherlands)


Before taking up a position as lecturer at Birmingham, I was a staff researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands. I received my PhD from the Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands and my MA in Psychology from the University of Leuven, Belgium.

Postgraduate supervision

I am supervising or co-supervising the following PhD candidates: Evelien Heyselaar, Lotte Schoot, Anna Belavina.

I am always happy to hear from current undergraduates and recent graduates who are considering PhD study. Please have a look at my research interests and publications for an indication of potential areas of interest (www.katriensegaert.com).


Research interests

  • How is syntactic and semantic processing instantiated in the brain?
  • What is the effect of ageing on language processing?
  • What are the mechanisms of syntactic priming?
  • Does social context influence core language processing?


Heyselaar, E., Segaert, K., S. Walvoort, R. P. C. Kessels, Hagoort, P. (in press) The role of procedural memory in the skill for language: Evidence from syntactic priming in patients with amnesia. Neuropsychologia. 

Heyselaar, E., Hagoort, P., & Segaert, K. (2017) How social opinion influences syntactic processing - an investigation using Virtual Reality. PLoS One, 12(4): e0174405. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal 

Nieuwland M., Politzer-Ahles S., Heyselaar, E., Segaert, K., Darley, E., Kazanina, N., Von Grebmer Zu Wolfsthurn, S., Bartolozzi, F., Kogan, V., Ito, A., Mézière, D., Barr, D.J., Rousselet, G., Ferguson, H.J., Busch-Moreno, S., Fu, X., Tuomainen, J., Kulakova, E., Husband, E.M., Donaldson, D.L., Kohút, Z., Rueschemeyer, S.-A., Huettig, F. (2017) Limits on prediction in language comprehension: A multi-lab failure to replicate evidence for probabilistic pre-activation of phonology. bioRxiv. doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/111807 

Heyselaar, E., Hagoort, P., & Segaert, K. (2017). In dialogue with an avatar, language behaviour is identical compared to dialogue with a human partner. Behavior Research Methods, 49: 46. doi:10.3758/s13428-015-0688-7 

Segaert, K., Wheeldon, L. & Hagoort, P. (2016) Unifying structural priming effects on syntactic choices and timing of sentence generation. Journal of Memory and Language, 91, 59–80. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2016.03.011 

Schoot, L., Hagoort, P., Segaert K. (2016) What can we learn from a two-brain approach to verbal interaction? Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 68, 454–459. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.06.009 

Schoot, L., Heyselaar, E., Hagoort, P., & Segaert, K. (2016) Does syntactic alignment effectively influence how speakers are perceived by their conversation partner? PLoS One, 11(4): e015352. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0153521. 

Heyselaar, E., Hagoort, P., & Segaert, K. (2014). In dialogue with an avatar, syntax production is identical compared to dialogue with a human partner. In P. Bello, M. Guarini, M. McShane, & B. Scassellati (Eds.), Proceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2014) (pp. 2351-2356). Austin, Tx: Cognitive Science Society.

Schoot, L., Menenti, L., Hagoort, P., & Segaert, K. (2014). A little more conversation - The influence of communicative context on syntactic priming in brain and behavior. Frontiers in Psychology, 5: 208. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00208.

Segaert, K., Weber, K., Cladder-Micus, M., & Hagoort, P. (2014). The influence of verb-bound syntactic preferences on the processing of syntactic structures.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 40(5), 1448-1460. doi:10.1037/a0036796.

Segaert, K., Kempen, G., Petersson, K. M., & Hagoort, P. (2013). Syntactic priming and the lexical boost effect during sentence production and sentence comprehension: An fMRI study. Brain and Language, 124, 174-183. doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2012.12.003.

Segaert, K., Weber, K., De Lange, F., Petersson, K. M., & Hagoort, P. (2013).The suppression of repetition enhancement: A review of fMRI studies.Neuropsychologia, 51, 59-66. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2012.11.006. 

Menenti, L., Segaert, K., & Hagoort, P. (2012). The neuronal infrastructure of speaking. Brain and Language, 122, 71-80. doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2012.04.012.

Segaert, K. (2012). Structuring language: Contributions to the neurocognition of syntax. PhD Thesis, Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Segaert, K., Menenti, L., Weber, K., Petersson, K. M., & Hagoort, P. (2012).Shared syntax in language production and language comprehension — An fMRI study. Cerebral Cortex, 22, 1662-1670. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhr249. 

Menenti, L., Gierhan, S., Segaert, K., & Hagoort, P. (2011). Shared language: Overlap and segregation of the neuronal infrastructure for speaking and listening revealed by functional MRI. Psychological Science, 22, 1173-1182. doi:10.1177/0956797611418347.

Segaert, K., Menenti, L., Weber, K., & Hagoort, P. (2011). A paradox of syntactic priming: Why response tendencies show priming for passives, and response latencies show priming for actives. PLoS One, 6(10), e24209. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0024209.

Segaert, K., Nygård, G. E., & Wagemans, J. (2009). Identification of everyday objects on the basis of kinetic contours. Vision Research, 49(4), 417-428. doi:10.1016/j.visres.2008.11.012.