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Language and Communication

The Language and Communication sub-group brings together researchers interested in aspects of human communication and discourse, psycholinguistic theory, language development and learning, reading, and embodied approaches to language and cognition. The group’s members are also actively involved in state-of-the-art replication research. The researchers use behavioural, eye-tracking, and neuroimaging methods in their work. Language and Communication staff have been actively involved in international collaborations and they have played a major role in organising international language research conferences including AMLAP and ESLP. 

Current projects


Andriy Myachykov and Larry Taylor lead on a European Commission Erasmus+ grant worth of £43,000 in annual income to Northumbria. This grant unites seven universities from the UK, Europe, Russian Federation, and India in a powerful I-BRAIN consortium. The project’s main goal is to develop research and training within a unique international MRes-PhD Cognitive Neuroscience track, which is being developed by the experts from the seven participating institutions. Please visit the I-BRAIN website to find out more. 

Trust in experts

Attention grabbing headlines and social media posts frequently claim that ‘Scientists believe…’ or ‘Experts agree…’ but how do readers interpret such generic claims? Do they understand ‘Experts agree…’ to mean all experts agree, most experts or just some experts? A current project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust and led by Dr Matthew Haigh, aims to find out what people infer from statements such as ‘Scientists believe…’ and how these inferences affect personal beliefs, behaviours and trust in experts. 

Reading development

Dr Hazel Blythe and Dr Ascension Pagan are interested in how reading is acquired and developed across the lifespan from childhood right through to older adulthood. Reading is a complex cognitive skill that involves a number of coordinated psychological processes in order to comprehend written text. We use different methodologies (e.g., computer tasks, eye tracking, EEG/ERP) to understand the time course and the neural basis of these psychological processes.

Embodied cognition

Dr Larry Taylor is primarily interested in embodied cognition, emotion, and finding fun ways to improve education – particularly for difficult topics like mathematics and economics. His primary contribution to the field has involved fleshing out the functional contribution of one's own action experience to understanding language.



More events

Upcoming events

DynaSun 2024
TaPRA Conference 2024
Offence to Sentence: A Sexual Violence Victim’s Journey

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