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.
Gabriella is awarded ESRC grant to study the role of iconicity in word learning.
The FORGE project, investigating the relationship between object exploration, gestures and word learning, has started
New paper: Ostarek, M., & Vigliocco, G. (in press). Reading "sky" and seeing a cloud: On the relevance of events for perceptual simulation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition.