donderdag 10 september 2009

Monique Lamers: nieuwe postdoc

Hi, I am Monique Lamers. I am a psycholinguist. Following the psycholinguistic tradition, my research focuses on language as a product and the so-called human-language faculty. From the beginning of my studies as an undergraduate in Speech and Language Pathology have been interested in how language is organised in the brain. I am especially fascinated by our capability to produce and understand sentences and larger pieces of text we have never heard before, a phenomenon that is often referred to as one of the major puzzles of our communicative system. I couldn't resist the challenge to try to solve at least a small part of this puzzle.

In several projects I have been investigating the production and comprehension of case, animacy, and word order in argument structure using different research methods (e.g., corpus studies, reaction times, ERPs and eye tracking). Although the puzzle of how we are able to produce and understand an infinite number of different sentences is far from solved, the focus of my research changed over the years from single sentences to larger text fragments.

In my current research project “In search of the referent” I try to disentangle the complex dynamic mechanisms that are involved in discourse comprehension (… as if sentence comprehension is not complex enough). The project focuses on the resolution of anaphoric expressions (i.e., anaphoric noun phrases such as the man, the book, the purchase) in different types of texts, including hypertext. Following the eye movements and fixation durations of native speakers of Dutch with high and low working memory while reading different types of texts will tell us whether different reading strategies interact with individual differences, as well as which factors facilitate or disrupt the comprehension process.

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