Psychology of language

The Psycholinguistic Research community in Edinburgh is internationally recognised as one of the foremost groups working on the psychology of language

Students in the group are able to work on a wide variety of topics: studying the representation of language in the brain, analysing communicative processes in dialogue, and researching the earliest stages of language development in infants and young children. Our methodological expertise is diverse, ranging from traditional reaction-time studies, through experiments with EEG/ERPs and fMRI, to eye movement studies of adults, children and babies. We also have particular expertise analysing big data sets to investigate statistical regularities in language (in English and a range of languages), and in developing experimental games to analyse hard-to-study processes such as dialogue.


Staff working in this area include:

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Research interests
Dr Neil Bramley Causal cognition, active learning, hypothesis generation, control, judgment and decision making, resource rationality, game theory, optimal teaching, iterated learning, rational analysis, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science.
Professor Holly Branigan Language production, dialogue, language development, bilingualism.
Professor Martin Corley Production and comprehension of natural language, speech production.
Dr Leonidas Doumas Analogy, relational reasoning, mental representation, cognitive development, computational modelling, neural networks.
Dr Paul Hoffman Behavioural and neuroimaging studies of semantic knowledge and its role in language. Effects of healthy ageing, stroke and dementia on semantic memory.
Dr Peter Lamont The history and psychology of magic and the paranormal, wider history and theory of psychology (Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology).
Dr Billy Lee Personal experience, communication, and identity.
Dr Daniel Mirman Neuroanatomy of spoken language processing; organization of semantic knowledge; the role of cognitive control in spoken language; developing new statistical methods and data sharing.
Professor Martin Pickering Language and communication, including language production, comprehension, dialogue, and bilingualism, with a focus on syntax and semantics.
Dr Hugh Rabagliati Language development and processing, with a focus on meaning, cognitive development, psycholinguistics in neurodevelopmental disorders.
Dr Patrick Sturt Syntactic processing in language comprehension, computational models of incremental parsing, anaphor resolution, eye movements in reading.
Dr Sue Widdicombe Identity, the self, culture, qualitative methods.

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Fees, funding and how to apply

Labs and facilities at the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences