My research focusses on two general topics, speech perception and human turn-taking:

Speech perception:

Listeners interpret a speech sound relative to the speaker that uttered that sound. They do so by taking into account the general voice characteristics and speaking rate of a speaker. These processes are thought to help listeners in solving the lack of invariance problem in speech perception, and has been referred to as speaker normalization, or more broadly as perceptual context effects. I investigate how and when this compensation mechanism works, and whether it is specific to the processing of speech sounds. A related question that has driven my research is at what cognitive level influences of context operate:

The normalization of speech cues

The role of learning in interpreting speech cues

The development on a nonnative phonology in school-age children


A second main focus of my research is centered around the allocation of cognitive resources in dialog. A central question in this research is: why does turn taking proceed relatively smoothly most of the time? I hope to uncover how participants dynamically allocate their resources during turn-taking.

The timing of speech-planning in turn-taking


Past and current affiliations:


  • ECoG (I have spent the past two years as a Marie Curie fellow in Berkeley and San Francisco, learning to work with electrocorticography)
  • EEG
  • Behavioral tasks such as categorization; discrimination and reaction time measures.
  • Eye-tracking
  • Dual-tasks (Tapping)

Collaborations in ongoing projects:

  • Keith Johnson (Phonlab UC Berkeley
  • Edward Chang (UC San Francisco; UCSF; and other Chang-lab members (Neal Fox; Liberty Hamilton; Matthew Leonard)
  • Caicai Zhang & Gang Peng (Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
  • Eva Reinisch (Institute of Phonetics and Speech Processing at Ludwig Maximilian University Munich)
  • Hans-Rutger Bosker (Nijmegen)
  • Antje Meyer (Nijmegen)
  • Svetlana Gerakaki (Nijmegen)
  • Vitoria Piai (Nijmegen)

Other collaborations:

  • James McQueen¬†(Nijmegen)
  • Holger Mitterer (University of Malta)
  • Ellen Simon

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