Language and Brain Research Group
The main aim of the research group is to gain a better understanding of the neural foundations of linguistic meaning making and semantic comprehension using behavioral and cognitive neuroscientific tools (EEG, eye-tracking, reaction times, etc). We employ two complementary approaches are employed. First, we investigate the neural computations underlying how we interpret abstract, hidden, indirect meanings, which could provide insight into how we construe and comprehend the deep layers of language. In fact, we seem to interpret even the most directly expressed statements via inferences, considering their broader social, communicative and cognitive contexts. The second approach is investigating the creative process of language understanding and language acquisition in infancy exactly by way of its social dimensions. How do babies use their Theory-of-Mind abilities (the feat of attributing mental states, thoughts, to others, independent of our own thoughts), to infer meaning as intended by communicative partners? How does meaning emerge in our mind, exactly in a way our social partners meant to convey it – and us to understand it?