In this research area we study the psychological basis of cognitive domains such as language, memory, spatial and numerical processing.
Studying language and communication is central to our understanding of how humans successfully navigate and survive in a broad range of complex social and physical environments. Our research interests are diverse; however many of our individual interests revolve around understanding how language processing interacts with other perceptual and cognitive domains (e.g., vision, social environment), how the semantic representations underlying words are stored and processed in the brain, and how words and meaning are learned. For a list of some of our more specific research projects, please see the box below.
Language and meaning in aphasia and dementia (Jefferies)
Evolutionary origins and comparative studies of language and communication (Slocombe)
Understanding how we attend to, learn, and remember information is central to understanding human cognition. We are constantly navigating complex social and physical environments, yet we are surprisingly good at extracting those bits of information from these environments that are relevant for whatever task is at hand. In much of our research, we investigate how specific features in the environment drive attention, and what the effects of attending to these features are on subsequent perception and action. In addition we are interested in how information that has been attended to is stored in the brain to inform actions/decisions in the future. We therefore focus not only on the effects of on-line attention, but also on what factors influence learning and memory, and how different sorts of information are stored and retrieved over time. For a list of specific projects, please see the box below.