Language, Interaction and Social Cognition

Our theme  brings together researchers investigating high level cognitive and social processes, including language. 

We use diverse methodologies including behavioural studies, observational methods, eyetracking,  EEG, fMRI, MEG, brain stimulation, neuropsychology, and genetics. Our overarching goal is to understand how humans communicate and interact.  

We study humans across the full lifespan from infancy, through childhood and adolescence and adults in young-, middle-, and older- age. We use experimental methods alongside large-scale cross-sectional and longitudinal designs that let us examine individual differences and developmental pathways. We look at cognitive and social processes cross-culturally, and compare mono- and bilinguals, and users of spoken and signed languages. We seek to understand the social and cognitive difficulties experienced by people with conditions such as autism/ASD. We also compare the abilities of humans with those of other species, such as great apes, parrots, and bees. We investigate the neurobiological infrastructure that supports our language and cognitive behaviours.

Our group has a diverse range of interests including: mindreading, executive function and self regulation, motor cognition, peer and family relationships, multimodal processing, language development, language decline, disorders of language, bilingualism, temporal cognition, problem solving, interpersonal communication.

Outside of the University we work with a variety of organisations to enable our work and to establish its impact. For example:

  • We have excellent relationships with local schools.
  • We work with Thinktank Science Museum to run studies with young children and to advance the understanding of children’s learning about science through their interactions in the museum.
  • We work with the NHS to study language acquisition in children with language delays and to develop new interventions for these children. 

Affiliated groups and labs

Autism, social cognition and bodily movement (Dr. Jennifer Cook)

Imaginative thinking (Dr. Sarah Beck)

Mindreading (Prof. Ian Apperly)

Neural oscillations in multisensory communication (Dr. Hyojin Park)

Neuroscience of Language (Dr. Katrien Segaert)

Language learning and bilingualism (Dr. Andrea Krott)