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The Language and Cognition Laboratory investigates human communication

Imagine that you step outside your door and you find an alien in underpants. Sure, it is unlikely. Still, just few words can get you to imagine an alien in underpants outside your front door!How can words do that?

Our research focuses on the cognitive and neurobiological basis of human communication and how through communication  humans can learn about new objects and ideas – including imaginary worlds. More specifically we are interested in how we learn and represent the meaning of words across domains of knowledge, how our semantic knowledge interfaces with perception, action and emotion and how these systems are recruited during language learning.

We use tools from psychology, cognitive neuroscience and computational modelling. We seek converging evidence from different languages and different populations: adults, children, deaf individuals using British Sign Language, as well as individuals who have developed aphasia or apraxia  after brain damage.

More about our research


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Principal investigator

Gabriella Vigliocco

Gabriella is awarded ERC Advanced Grant to study language learning and comprehension in the real world

Gabriella is awarded ESRC grant to study the role of iconicity in word learning.

Work by Gabriella Vigliocco, Courtenay Norbury and Marta Ponari uncovers basic facts about how children learn abstract concepts