UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


Language and Cognition Lab

Part of Experimental Psychology

The Language and Cognition Laboratory investigates human communication.

Imagine that you step outside your door and you find an alien in underpants. Sure, it is unlikely. Still, just few words can get you to imagine an alien in underpants outside your front door! How can words do that?

Our research focuses on the cognitive and neurobiological basis of human communication and how through communication  humans can learn about new objects and ideas – including imaginary worlds. More specifically we are interested in how we learn and process language in real-word settings, how our semantic knowledge interfaces with perception, action and emotion and how these systems are recruited during language learning.

We use tools from psychology, cognitive neuroscience and computational modelling. We seek converging evidence from different languages and different populations: adults, children, deaf individuals using British Sign Language, as well as individuals who have developed aphasia or apraxia  after brain damage.


"Ecological Brain: Reframing the Study of Human Behaviour and Cognition".

This paper has been written with colleagues from engineering, architecture, computer science and education and brilliant Ecobrain PhD students. It presents our view on how to conceptualise and carry out real-world research.

Go to the paper

Opinion piece:

Learning from others is good, with others is better:

The role of social interaction in human acquisition of new knowledge

Go to the paper

Theoretical paper (and commentaries) on our take on multimodal communication:

Murgiano, Motamedi & Vigliocco (2021).

Situating language in the real-world. Journal of Cognition

Go to the paper