Dr Katrien Segaert MA, PhD

Dr Katrien Segaert

School of Psychology
Associate Professor

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr. Katrien Segaert's research focuses on the neurobiology of language processing, with a special focus on how sentence-level processes and interactive communication are supported by the brain. She also studies how the neurobiological infrastructure of language processing changes throughout the lifespan and researches lifestyle factors (such as regular physical exercise) that can mitigate language decline.

For more information: www.katriensegaert.com


  • Bsc (cum laude) and MA (magna cum laude) in Psychology - University of Leuven, Belgium
  • PhD in Social Sciences - Radboud University, Netherlands
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (distinction) - University of Birmingham, UK


Before taking up a position as Lecturer at the University of Birmingham, Dr. Katrien Segaert was a staff researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands. She received my PhD from the Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands and her Bsc and MA in Psychology from the University of Leuven, Belgium.


Dr. Segaert is teaching on the following modules:
Language and Communication 
Brain Health across the Lifespan
Cognitive Neuroscience Methods and Applications
Lifespan Psychology

Postgraduate supervision

I am supervising or co-supervising the following PhD candidates: Roksana Markiewicz and Emma Sutton. 

I am supervising or co-supervising the following postdoctoral students: Foyzul Rahman and Felix Carter.


  • Evelien Heyselaar (PhD obtained 2017)
  • Lotte Schoot (PhD obtained 2017)
  • Anna Belavina (PhD obtained 2017)
  • Kristian Suen (PhD obtained 2019)
  • Sophie Hardy (PhD obtained 2020)
  • Charlotte Poulisse (PhD obtained 2020)
  • Vincent DeLuca (ESRC-funded postdoc)

I am always happy to hear from current undergraduates looking for research experience, or 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).


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

For more information please see: www.katriensegaert.com


Highlight publications

Hardy, SM, Jensen, O, Wheeldon, L, Mazaheri, A & Segaert, K 2022, 'Modulation in alpha band activity reflects syntax composition: an MEG study of minimal syntactic binding', Cerebral Cortex. https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhac080

Poulisse, C, Wheeldon, L, Limachya, R, Mazaheri, A & Segaert, K 2020, 'The oscillatory mechanisms associated with syntactic binding in healthy ageing', Neuropsychologia.

Poulisse, C, Wheeldon, L & Segaert, K 2019, 'Evidence against preserved syntactic comprehension in healthy aging', Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. https://doi.org/10.1037/xlm0000707

Segaert, K, Lucas, S, Burley, C, Segaert, P, Milner, A, Ryan, M & Wheeldon, L 2018, 'Higher physical fitness levels are associated with less language decline in healthy ageing', Scientific Reports, vol. 8, 6715. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-24972-1

DeLuca, V, Segaert, K, Mazaheri, A & Krott, A 2020, 'Understanding bilingual brain function and structure changes? U bet! A unified bilingual experience trajectory model', Journal of Neurolinguistics, vol. 56, 100930. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneuroling.2020.100930

Recent publications


Markiewicz, R, Rahman, F, Fernandes, EG, Limachya, R, Wetterlin, A, Wheeldon, L & Segaert, K 2024, 'Effects of healthy ageing and bilingualism on attention networks', Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, pp. 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728924000154

DeLuca, V, Voits, T, Ni, J, Carter, F, Foyzul, R, Mazaheri, A, Krott, A & Segaert, K 2024, 'Mapping individual aspects of bilingual experience to adaptations in brain structure', Cerebral Cortex, vol. 34, no. 2, bhae029. https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhae029

Carrol, G & Segaert, K 2023, 'As easy as cake or a piece of pie? Processing idiom variation and the contribution of individual cognitive differences', Memory and Cognition. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13421-023-01463-x

Carter, F, DeLuca, V, Segaert, K, Mazaheri, A & Krott, A 2023, 'Functional neural architecture of cognitive control mediates the relationship between individual differences in bilingual experience and behaviour', NeuroImage, vol. 273, 120085. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2023.120085

Markiewicz, R, Rahman, F, Apperly, I, Mazaheri, A & Segaert, K 2023, 'It is not all about you: Communicative cooperation is determined by your partner's theory of mind abilities as well as your own', Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. https://doi.org/10.1037/xlm0001268

Sutton, E, Catling, J, Segaert, K & Veldhuijzen Van Zanten, J 2022, 'Cognitive Health Worries, Reduced Physical Activity and Fewer Social Interactions Negatively Impact Psychological Wellbeing in Older Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic', Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 13, 823089. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.823089

Murphy, E, Woolnough, O, Rollo, PS, Roccaforte, Z, Segaert, K, Hagoort, P & Tandon, N 2022, 'Minimal phrase composition revealed by intracranial recordings', The Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 42, no. 15, pp. 3216-3227. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1575-21.2022

Hardy, S, Segaert, K & Wheeldon, L 2021, 'Age-related effects on lexical, but not syntactic, processes during sentence production', Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 120-134. https://doi.org/10.1080/23273798.2021.1948081

Segaert, K, Poulisse, C, Markiewicz, R, Wheeldon, L, Marchment, D, Zoe, A, Howett, D, Chan, D & Mazaheri, A 2021, 'Detecting impaired language processing in MCI patients using around-the-ear cEEgrid electrodes', Psychophysiology. https://doi.org/10.1111/psyp.13964

Markiewicz, R, Segaert, K & Mazaheri, A 2021, 'How the healthy ageing brain supports semantic binding during language comprehension', European Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 54, no. 11, pp. 7899-7917. https://doi.org/10.1111/ejn.15525

Nieuwland, M, Barr, D, Bartolozzi, Busch-Moreno, Darley, Donaldson, Ferguson, Heyselaar, Huettig, Husband, Ito, Kazanina, Kogan, Kohut, Kulakova, Meziere, Politzer-Ahles, Rousselet, Rueschemeyer, , Segaert, K, Tuomainen & Von Grebmer Zu Wolfsthurn 2020, 'Dissociable effects of prediction and integration during language comprehension: evidence from a large-scale study using brain potentials', Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol. 375, no. 1791, 20180522. https://doi.org/10.1101/267815, https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2018.0522

Xia, J, Mazaheri, A, Segaert, K, Salmon, D, Harvey, D, Shapiro, K, Kutas, M & Olichney, J 2020, 'Event-related potential and EEG oscillatory predictors of verbal memory in mild cognitive impairment', Brain Communications.

Hardy, SM, Segaert, K & Wheeldon, L 2020, 'Healthy Aging and Sentence Production: Disrupted Lexical Access in the Context of Intact Syntactic Planning', Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 11, 257. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00257

Heyselaar, E, Wheeldon, L & Segaert, K 2020, 'Structural priming is supported by different components of non-declarative memory: Evidence from priming across the lifespan', Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. https://doi.org/10.1037/xlm0000955

Sharoh, D, van Mourik, T, Bains, L, Segaert, K, Weber, K, Hagoort, P & Norris, DG 2019, 'Laminar specific fMRI reveals directed interactions in distributed networks during language processing', National Academy of Sciences. Proceedings, vol. 116, no. 42, pp. 21185-21190. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1907858116

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