I am a researcher at the Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging at the Radboud University Nijmegen, working in the Neurobiology of Language Department. Over the past years I have held positions at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, and a combined position at UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco, where I have been working on a Marie Curie Grant from the European Union.
My research focusses on two general themes:
The first theme focusses on speech sound processing and its neural underpinnings. Although we are mostly unaware of this, perceiving speech, is a tremendously complex task, partly because different speakers produce speech sounds in very different ways. One of the questions I have been investigating is how listeners use context and learning to resolve such variability. This applies to a range of speech cues such as the perception of formants, speech sound durations and (lexical-) tone in Cantonese. For this line of research I have relied on methods such as behavioral tasks, ECoG, eye-tracking and EEG.
The second theme focusses on the distribution of load between perception and production in turn-taking. In typical turn-taking situations, listeners and speakers alternate very quickly. In fact, the gaps between the turns are often so short, that participants must, sometimes, be listening and planning their speech at the same time. This raises the question how people manage to these things at once, and whether that affects their speaking and listening quality. For this line of research I have relied on methods such as behavioral tasks, eye-tracking and a newly developed dual-task (based on tapping).