Language and Cognition

Areas of Research

In our research, we are investigating various topics related to cognition and language psychology. Currently, our research is focused on the following topics:

Grounded cognition

What is the connection between linguistic and non-linguistic cognitive faculties (such as perception and action)? For example, are we automatically activating color-related information while reading words such as "cucumber"? Are we preparing upwards-directed eye movements while reading "sun"?


How are we processing negated statements? Are there processing differences between expressions such as "left" and "not right"? If we read in a text that a dress is not pink, is this information less available later on as compared to a scenario where the dress is pink? Under which circumstances are we actually using negated statements?

Linguistic knowledge vs. world knowledge

Some statements are false with respect to the world we know (chocolate ice cream is green), while other statements are nonsense on a purely linguistic level (chocolate ice cream is bankrupt). Are there fundamental processing differences between incorrect and nonsensible statements?

Distributional semantics

Can we measure the meaning similarity between words by analyzing how they are used in large collections of texts? If so, does this allow us to construct a model for the human semantic memory?