In our lab, we use the tools of cognitive neuroscience to learn
more about the cognitive and neural underpinnings of human language. Our primary
method involves recording event-related brain potentials (ERPs) from the
scalp while people read or listen to language. Unlike other brain-based
methods such as fMRI, ERPs provide a continuous,
millisecond-by-millisecond record of the brain's electrical activity. We have learned,
that the brain responds differently to anomalies involving sentence
structure (syntax) and sentence meaning (semantics). We have
used these language-sensitive ERP effects to investigate a wide
range of language-related phenomena, including the real-time
comprehension of words and sentences, changes in brain activity that
occur during the earliest stages of second-language learning, and
even linguistically encoded social stereotypes.
Our lab is supported by generous funding from the
Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health.