Our lab investigates the cognitive and neural bases of language. The underlying questions we seek to address are: What makes human language special? Despite the seemingly intractable learnability problem posed by language acquisition, why do most children acquire language with ease? And despite the daunting computational problem posed by language processing, why do people process most sentences with ease?
Our research tackles these and other questions using a wide range of different approaches, including:
- Cross-linguistic studies of typical and atypical language development, to tease apart those aspects of language that must be learned from those aspects of language that appear to be – on some level – innate. Projects may involve mobile eye-trackers to study how children understand spoken language, testing preschool- and school-aged children, transcript studies and transcribing and acoustically analyzing children’s speech
- Genetic studies of language to investigate the role that innate cognitive and neural predispositions and structures play in language acquisition and processing
- Studies of children with perinatal risk factors to investigate how early biological environmental factors affect linguistic and nonlinguistic development.
- Studies of sentence processing to investigate child and adult sentence processing — both spoken and written — using computer-based and eye-tracking experiments.
Students who are native speakers of English, Hebrew, Korean, or Turkish are particularly welcome to participate.