UCL Psychology and Language Sciences



Our interdisciplinary group includes psychologists, philosophers, computer scientists, speech therapists and linguists.

Principal investigator
Gabriella Vigliocco

Gabriella Vigliocco profile picture
I am Professor of the Psychology of Language in the Department of Experimental Psychology at University College London. I received my PhD from University of Trieste in 1995, was a post-doc at University of Arizona, and after being at University of Wisconsin as Assistant Professor and the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics as a visiting scientist (1999-2000) I moved to UCL.

I lead a team composed of psychologists, linguists, computer scientists and cognitive neuroscientists sharing the vision that understanding language and cognition requires integration of multiple levels of analysis and methodological approaches. The overarching goal of our work is understanding how language and other aspects of cognitive functioning relate to each other.

The main research focus of my research at present is on understanding natural language. This is funded by grants from ERC and ESRC.

I am also the Director for the Leverhulme Doctoral Training Programme in the Ecological Study of the Brain. The DTP is a 4-year PhD programme providing cutting-edge interdisciplinary training in the study of brain and behaviour in the real-world.

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Other lab members

Profile Antonia Jordan Barros
Antonia Jordan Barros

Research Assistant

Antonia Jordan Barros works as a Research Assistant on the Ecolang project in the Language and Cognition Group. Antonia's research interests are the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying language processing and language development. Prior to her work at UCL, Antonia obtained a M.Sc. degree in Cognitive Neuroscience from the Donders Institute and the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands as well as a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Manchester. From October 2023 onwards, Antonia will pursue a PhD in Neuropsychology at the ToddlerLab at Birkbeck, University of London funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) while continuing to work in the lab part-time. 

Profile Fancesco Cabiddu
Francesco Cabiddu


Francesco is a research data analyst in the Language and Cognition Lab under Professor Gabriella Vigliocco. He assists in designing analytic procedures to address key questions related to language development and comprehension using data from the ECOLANG corpus of multimodal communication.

Francesco's background is in developmental psychology and language acquisition. His research has focused on studying the domain-general cognitive processes (e.g., learning from associations; drawing analogies) that may underlie infants and children's vocabulary processing and learning in naturalistic settings. Francesco has combined different methodological approaches, including corpus analyses, behavioural evidence from adults and children, and computational modelling.

Profile Isobel Chick
Isobel Chick

PhD student

Isobel is a PhD student in the Language and Cognition Lab with a background in speech and language therapy. Her research explores whether gestures support language recovery in aphasia, a communication disorder commonly caused by stroke, with the eventual goal of developing individualised language rehabilitation pathways for people with aphasia. 

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Profile Chris Edwards
Chris Edwards

PhD student

Chris is a PhD student interested in how visual information and social interaction influence adults’ learning of new words and their associated conceptual meanings. He previously studied English Literature at the University of Oxford and Psychological Sciences at UCL.

Profile Harriet Hill-Payne
Harriet Hill-Payne

Research Assistant

Harriet joined the Language and Cognition Lab in 2023, while completing the MSc in Psychological Sciences at UCL.

Previously, Harriet worked in the museum sector, most recently as Programmes Manager at The Ruskin – Museum & Research Centre at Lancaster University. Here, her interest shifted from literature, visual and material culture as the object of study, to the cognitive mechanisms or ‘mindsets’ that these help to shape.

Harriet studied English Literature at the University of Manchester, with her MA funded by UoM.

Profile Viktor Kewenig
Viktor Kewenig

PhD student

Viktor is a PhD student in the Leverhulme Ecological Brain DTP. He is mainly interested in the effects of multimodal context on natural language comprehension in humans and computers.

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Gal Rozic

PhD student

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Profile Dora Szegedi
Dora Szegedi

Research Assistant

I'm Dora Szegedi, I am a postgraduate student at UCL, and I work as a research assistant at ECOLANG. Here to assist with anything!

Profile Miguel Oliveira
Miguel Oliveira

Miguel Oliveira Jr is a guest researcher at the Language and Cognition Lab. He also works as an associate professor at the Federal University of Alagoas, Brazil, where he leads the fonUFAL research group (fale.ufal.br/grupopesquisa/fonufal/) and the Lapelc² laboratory (fale.ufal.br/laboratorio/lapelc/),. His main research interests are prosody, speech perception and phonetics.

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Ximing Shao