Lab members

Our interdisciplinary group consists of international scientists consisting of linguists, cognitive scientists, cognitive neuroscientists, computational neuroscientists, computational modellers, computational scientists, and engineers.
Andrea E. Martin
Andrea E. Martin
Research Group Leader

Andrea E. Martin (she/her) is a Lise Meitner Research Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and a Principal Investigator at the Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging at Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Her research group, Language and Computation in Neural Systems, focuses on language processing in the mind and brain. Her work has spanned from the role of memory in sentence comprehension to the processing of structural and semantic aspects of language. Her current focus is on developing a model of language representation and processing that harnesses the computational power of neural oscillations, such that formal properties (viz., compositionality) can be realized in biological and artificial neural networks. Dr. Martin holds a BA in Cognitive Science from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and was awarded a PhD in Experimental Psychology from New York University in 2010. She was a postdoc at the Basque Centre on Cognition, Brain, and Language (2010-2012), a lecturer in Psychology at The University of Edinburgh (2012-2017), and a senior investigator in the Psychology of Language Department at the MPI (2016-2018). She is interested in how modelling can propagate theory-building in cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience, and in open science catalyzing inclusion, diversity, and decolonization in science. She has led several independent research groups; at the University of Edinburgh funded by the ESRC (2012-2019) and her current group is funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research and the Max Planck Gesellschaft. Her research has been funded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF), Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (MICINN), the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Leverhulme Trust, the Max Planck Society, and the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO). She is currently outgoing treasurer of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language, and is an editor at the journals Cognition, eLife, and PLoS Computational Biology. You can find more information at http://www.andreaemartin.com, and follow her on twitter at @andrea_e_martin.

Julia Chauvet
Julia Chauvet
PhD student

I am a PhD student at the Psychology of Language department at the MPI, supervised by Antje Meyer and Andrea Martin. I use electrophysiological methods to track neural dynamics of language and speech production, in order to inform theories of spoken language production. In the initial project of my dissertation, we investigate issues arising at the intersection between Psycholinguistics and speech motor control. Specifically, we assess whether the monitoring of speech is sensitive to the frequency of syllable-sized representations. These effects stand to inform us about the tradeoff between stored versus assembled representations for setting sensory targets in the production of speech.

Cas W. Coopmans
Cas W. Coopmans
Postdoctoral researcher

I am a postdoctoral researcher working with Andrea Martin in the Language and Computation in Neural Systems group at the DCCN. I have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Utrecht University, a master’s degree in Cognitive Neuroscience from Radboud University Nijmegen, and I did my PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics (supervised by Peter Hagoort, Andrea Martin and Helen de Hoop). My primary research interest lies at the intersection of theoretical linguistics, psycholinguistics, and cognitive neuroscience – specifically that part of the intersection that deals with our knowledge and representation of syntax. In my research, I use both behavioral and neuroscientific methods (EEG, MEG) in order to study how we infer hierarchically structured (syntactic) representations from linearly structured, word-by-word language input. My ultimate aim is to use the results of these psycholinguistic experiments to inform theoretical debates about the nature of syntactic representations, thereby helping to bridge the divide between linguistics and psycholinguistics.

Rong Ding
Rong Ding
PhD student

I'm a PhD student based at the MPI for Psycholinguistics starting from October, 2020. My goal of research is to dissect the way(s) neuronal populations communicate and coordinate in time as well as how our marvellous capacity of language is achieved by such neuronal interactions. Profoundly inspired by György Buzsáki's Rhythms of the Brain (2005), I'm keen to probe into the neuronal dynamics of language function from the perspectives of oscillation and the complex systems theory. My fascination in brain and language started with the cross-disciplinary undergraduate training I received in the B.S. Psychology and B.A. Indonesian Language and Culture programs at Peking University. To pursue such passion even further, I completed a M.Sc. in Language Sciences at University College London, wherein I learned to conduct research by incorporating methods from various subjects—that is, computational modelling, EEG, and the naturalistic experimental paradigm—and examined the neurophysiological correlates of predictive coding (word surprisal) in audiovisual speech comprehension.

Edoardo Gornetti
Edoardo Gornetti
PhD student

I am a PhD student based at the MPI for Psycholinguistics, working under the supervision of Andrea Martin and Stephanie Forkel. I have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the university of Milano-Bicocca, and a master’s degree in Neuropsychology. I have previously worked on the functional lateralisation of the reading network in the brain. My main research interest lies in how variability in behaviour and cognition is linked to variability in brain activity and structure. In my PhD project, I therefore aim at combining behavioural, functional (e.g., EEG, MEG), and structural methods (e.g., tractography) to better address the issue of individual variability, notably in spoken and written language processing.

Anna Mai
Anna Mai
Postdoctoral researcher

I am a postdoctoral researcher studying formal phonology and the neural representation of speech sounds. In the past, I have worked on the production of linguistic prosody in English and Ja'a Kumiai, the computational properties of tone and vowel harmony systems, and the formal properties of phonological theories. For my dissertation, I used intracranial EEG to investigate how speech acoustics support language-specific phonological processing, and in the LaCNS group, I hope to build off this work to study how sensory signals become language in the brain.

Sophie Slaats
Sophie Slaats
PhD student

I am a PhD student in the Psychology of Language Department at the MPI. My research focus is the interaction between levels of linguistic representation during spoken language comprehension. I am intrigued by the way our brain infers hierarchical structure and meaning from sound sequences, and how knowledge of these higher levels in turn affect lower-level perception. Previously, I obtained bachelors in Linguistics and Spanish philology, and a masters in Linguistics at the University of Utrecht, and a masters in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Language at the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language.

Mi Tang
Mi Tang
PhD student

I am a 3rd-year PhD student based at the University of Groningen (RUG). I will be in the Language and Computation in Neural Systems group as a visiting student to work with Andrea Martin. My PhD project looks at lexical tone representation and is co-supervised by Jennifer Spenader and Stephen Jones in RUG. I'm especially interested in the questions of to what extent the brain represents lexical tones hierarchically and the possibility to reconstruct the EEG signals elicited by tonal stimuli using the method of Temporal Response Function.

Filiz Tezcan Semerci
Filiz Tezcan Semerci
PhD student

I am a Ph.D. student in the Language and Computation in Neural Systems Research Group at the MPI for Psycholinguistics. My research interest is the computational mechanisms of language comprehension; how sound patterns are transformed into complex meanings and what is the role of neural oscillations. I got my MA degree in Cognitive Science at Yeditepe University, Istanbul where I studied the recognition of harmonic sound sequences and the effect of temporal ordering in understanding the perception of sound events with electrophysiological and behavioral experiments.

Hugo Weissbart
Hugo Weissbart
Postdoctoral researcher

I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Language and Computation in Neural System group at the DCCN. My interest for language processing grew during my PhD at Imperial College London and from a general interest in information processing in dynamical systems. My research focused primarily in the predictive aspect of language processing, and how we could extract robust measures underpinning speech comprehension from continuous EEG recordings. Currently, building on this previous work, I am developing analysis methods to assess how composition of structures and meaning arose during naturalistic comprehension. Departing from MEG and EEG activity, a focus on oscillatory and spectro-temporal dynamics will foster the development of computational models to discover putative mechanisms for composition in the brain.

Jinbiao Yang
Jinbiao Yang
Postdoctoral researcher

I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Language and Computation in Neural Systems Group at MPI. I am interested in the general language ability of human, and I studies this ability through any possible methods. I focus on the topic of cognitive units in language and how people process these units. In my previous research, I discovered a two-stage processing for cognitive units and developed a computational model, Less-is-Better, to segment the cognitive units in linguistic materials unsupervisedly. During my postdoctoral work, I will continue to study cognitive units and investigate the relationship between cognitive units and brain oscillations. In addition, I want to discover how human language emerges by modeling it in complex systems.

Ioanna Zioga
Ioanna Zioga
Postdoctoral researcher

I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging co-mentored by Andrea E. Martin and Saskia Haegens, under the Language in Interaction project. I am interested to investigate lower-level brain mechanisms on higher-level functions, such as creativity, using MEG. My PhD research at Queen Mary University of London with Caroline Di Bernardi Luft focused on the neural correlates of learning and creativity in the domains of language semantics and artificial music grammars. Previously I completed my first postdoctoral position at Queen Mary University investigating brain-to-brain synchronization during EEG hyperscanning and eye-tracking.

Noémie te Rietmolen
Noémie te Rietmolen
Project coordinator

I am the new research coordinator working with Andrea Martin in the Language and Computation in Neural Systems (LaCNS) group. I am most interested in the neural mechanism underlying hierarchical and rhythmic cognition and the roles rhythmic/metrical structures play in the perception and processing of speech. I have a background in Cognitive Sciences from the University of Amsterdam and a Ph.D. (entitled Neural signature of metrical stress processing in French) in Linguistics at the University of Toulouse under the supervision of Corine Astésano and Simon Thorpe. After the Ph.D., I joined the Institut de Neuroscience des Systèmes (INS) in Marseille, where, with Daniele Schön and Benjamin Morillon, we explored the neural mechanisms underlying speech and music processing with intracranial (sEEG) data, and, where, with Kristof Strijkers (Laboratoire Parole Langage; LPL) and Benjamin Morillon, I worked on a project that set out to examine the different roles the motor system plays in sensorimotor integration for speech comprehension (funding ILCB).

Alumni

Thu Ngân Dặng
Thu Ngân Dặng
BSc student

Karthikeya Kaushik
Karthikeya Kaushik
Research assistant

PhD student Berkeley Psychology

Aline-Priscillia Messi
Aline-Priscillia Messi
Research assistant

PhD student at New York University

Yangyi Shao
Yangyi Shao
MSc student, 2022

Junyuan Zhao
Junyuan Zhao
MSc student, 2022

PhD student UMich Linguistics

Bob van Tiel
Bob van Tiel
Postdoctoral researcher

Assistant professor at Radboud University

Sanne Ten Oever
Sanne Ten Oever
Postdoctoral researcher

Assistant professor, psychology department, Maastricht

Ryan Law
Ryan Law
Lab manager

PhD student at Cambridge and Gates Scholar

Olivia Guest
Olivia Guest
Postdoctoral researcher

Assistant professor at Radboud University

Lorenzo Titone
Lorenzo Titone
MSc student, 2021

PhD student at MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences

Sara Carta
Sara Carta
MSc student, 2021

Marieke Woensdregt
Marieke Woensdregt
Postdoctoral researcher

Assistant professor at Radboud University

Leonardo Zeine
Leonardo Zeine
MSc student, 2023

PhD student at MPI for Empirical Aesthetics

Fan Bai
Fan Bai
Postdoctoral researcher

Renee He
Renee He
Intern

Greta Kaufeld
Greta Kaufeld
PhD, 2021

Swiss National Science Foundation