image: Psychology Logo
image: Psychology Logo
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image: Psychology Logo

The Department of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has one of the largest and most active research programs in the US investigating the cognitive and brain processes underlying language use. The group's interests address every facet of language performance, including language acquisition, written and spoken comprehension, language production, and impairments to all these processes. Work in the area addresses the entire lifespan, from the beginnings of language acquisition in infants to changes in language abilities in old age. Research topics also range from the earliest stages of speech perception to the elaboration of models of discourse. Many faculty members collaborate with one another, and graduate students have the opportunity to work in more than one lab.  The Psychology faculty with interests in language are listed below.

Language research and training in the Department of Psychology is supported in part by an interdisciplinary program for Training in Language: Acquisition and Adult Performance, funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. This program aims to train predoctoral and postdoctoral students broadly in psycholinguistic research and theory, so that they are able to integrate research in areas of both child language acquisition and adult performance. Predoctoral students admitted into the program will be supported by a combination of program training funds, University Fellowships, faculty research grant funds, and in a small number of semesters, teaching assistantships so as to allow students to gain teaching experience. Postdoctoral fellowships are typically for one year and renewable for an additional year contingent on satisfactory performance. Questions about faculty research and whether faculty are considering graduate students for the next academic year should be directed to the individual faculty listed below.  General questions about the training program can be directed to the director, Maryellen MacDonald.

Our colleagues in Linguistics and Communicative Disorders Departments significantly enhance our strength in the study of linguistic structure, development, and disorders. In addition, resources at the Waisman Center support researchers interested in both typical and atypical language development, as well as fMRI and PET research facilities including the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior.

Language Faculty and Laboratories

Martha Alibali
Cognitive Development and Communication Lab
Interests: Language and gesture, language production

Morton Ann Gernsbacher
Language Comprehension Laboratory
Interests: adult language comprehension, speech and language challenges among children and adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder

Keith Kluender
Wisconsin Speech Perception Laboratory
Interests: Speech perception in humans and animals, the role of experience in auditory perception

Gary Lupyan
Interests: Effects of language on perception and thought, the neural basis of linguistic effects on cognition/perception, evolution of language, contextual effects on mental representations.

Maryellen C. MacDonald
Language and Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory
Interests: language comprehension, language production, working memory and individual differences in language.

Tim Rogers
Knowledge Laboratory
Interests: Conceptual knowledge, categorization, and language in healthy adults, children, and neuropathological populations.

Jenny Saffran
Infant Learning Laboratory
Interests: Infant and child language acquisition

Mark S. Seidenberg
Language and Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory
Interests: Reading, dyslexia, morphological processing, computational modeling of acquisition and skilled performance
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