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Meaning Lab

As part of UCL’s Institute for Multimodal Communication, we are particularly interested in studying how language works. How do “nonlinguistic” factors influence language processing, and what does this tell us about the underlying nature of the relationship between language and other aspects of cognition? There is now plenty of evidence favouring some degree of interplay between traditional levels of linguistic representation; and between various aspects of language and “nonlinguistic” communication and cognition; what consequences does this have for the nature of the underlying systems involved?

We use behavioural experimentation and methods from cognitive neuroscience (TMS, fMRI), investigating spoken and signed languages.  Current work focuses especially on

– how differences in modality affect language production
– the role of “secondary” information in language comprehension, such as co-speech gestures and mouth movements in signed languages
– the role of emotion in representation and processing of words
– “what do words mean?”

Principal investigator


020 7679 5311