UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


Neutral scrambling experiments

For our project investigating the phenomenon of neutral scrambling in Dutch and German we will be running four experiments: two for Dutch and two for English. The first set of two experiments is now underway and if you are a native speaker of Dutch or German, we would like to invite you to participate.

Experiment set 1: details of the study

This study forms part of a research project under the supervision of Dr Hans van de Koot in the Linguistics Department of the UCL Division of Psychology and Language Sciences which looks at how people process language. The study will record reaction times to words while listening to sentences. Specifically, it addresses the question of how adults (namely native speakers of Dutch and native speakers of German) process sentences in a given discourse. You will be asked to decide whether a word that appears briefly on a screen is a real word or not whilst listening to some sentences. For this reaction time experiment, you will need to respond as quickly and as accurately as you can.

In a separate task, you will be asked to read very short stories and you will judge whether the sentence that follows the particular story matches. For the judgement task, there are no right or wrong answers – we just want to know what you think.

Possible risks and benefits

During the reaction time experiment the word you see on the screen will appear very briefly before disappearing. As such, if you have photosensitive epilepsy you should not take part in this experiment.

The testing session will take approximately 1 hour (including breaks). Participants are free to withdraw from the experiment at any time. Once you have completed the experiment you will be paid £10 for your help.

If your mother tongue is Dutch or German and you are interested in participating in our experiment, then please contact either Dr. Renita Silva (renita.silva@ucl.ac.uk) for the Dutch experiment or Dr. Mikako Sato (mikako.sato@ucl.ac.uk) for the German experiment.

Many thanks for your interest in our work!