Language, cognition, and communication

We are internationally recognized for our cutting-edge work on the psychology of language

Our interests include all aspects of linguistic and non-linguistic communication, and the relationship between the psychology of language and other areas of social and cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience.  We have wide expertise in spoken and written comprehension, production and dialogue, from sub-lexical processes to the discourse level, as well as in related fields from computational modelling to discourse analysis. 

The research paradigms we use include psychophysical, electrophysiological, perceptual, neuropsychological and cognitive experimentation, computational modelling, and social approaches.

Edinburgh has one of the largest and most varied communities of natural language researchers in the world, bringing together psychologists, computer scientists, linguists, and philosophers.  The language, cognition, and communication group forms a large component of this community and participates in research, research training, and teaching at all levels.

We have strong links to the Institute for Language, Cognition, and Computation, based in informatics, and also work closely with colleagues in linguistics.

Institute for Language, Cognition, and Computation

Linguistics research at Edinburgh


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


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 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.

Postgraduate study

Meetings and events

Psycholinguistics research at Edinburgh is part of a lively research community with regular opportunities to discuss relevant work or hear from invited speakers.

Psycholinguistics coffee is the group's core meeting series, presenting work from internal and external speakers.

Psycholinguistics coffee workshop (external website)

There are regular events organised by the Institute for Language, Cognition and Computation, and monthly poster sessions as part of the Language at Edinburgh lunch series. You may also be interested in some of the seminars and reading groups organised by colleagues in Linguistics.