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


Key publications

Sophie M Hardy, Ole Jensen, Linda Wheeldon, Ali Mazaheri, Katrien Segaert, Modulation in alpha band activity reflects syntax composition: an MEG study of minimal syntactic binding, Cerebral Cortex, 2022;, bhac080, https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhac080

Heyselaar, E., & Segaert, K. (2022). Structural priming persists for (at least) one month in young adults, but not in healthy older adults. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 48(8), 1219–1234. https://doi.org/10.1037/xlm0001123

Poulisse, C., Wheeldon, L., Segaert, K. (2019). Evidence against preserved syntactic comprehension in healthy aging. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 45(12), 2290–2308. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xlm0000707

Segaert, K., Lucas, S.J.E., Burley, C.V. et al. Higher physical fitness levels are associated with less language decline in healthy ageing. Sci Rep 8, 6715 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-24972-1

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

Katrien Segaert, Laura Menenti, Kirsten Weber, Karl Magnus Petersson, Peter Hagoort, Shared Syntax in Language Production and Language Comprehension—An fMRI Study, Cerebral Cortex, Volume 22, Issue 7, July 2012, Pages 1662–1670, https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhr249


For a list of Dr Segaert's publications visit: 


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