According to complementary learning systems accounts of memory, the hippocampus is critically involved in the early representation of newly learned information. After a period of offline memory consolidation in which sleep appears to play a key role, the information becomes predominantly represented by neocortical structures which also enable the involvement of higher level cognitive processes, such as extraction of statistical regularities and generalisation. In this project we train participants on novel words (such as “sleepnule”) designed in such a way that we expect participants to be able to extract linguistic principles encoded in the morphological structure of the words (e.g. that any words ending in the novel affix “-nule” can only refer to a specific semantic category). In the scanner we expose participants to words learned on the day of scanning and to words learned a week earlier, and contrast these to better understand how the brain represents unconsolidated and consolidated information.
The acquisition of print-to-sound and print-to-meaning links in reading: Investigations using novel writing systems and fMRI.
In a series of training studies, English speaking adults learn to read new words written in unfamiliar alphabets. Neural activity is measured using fMRI as people read the new words at both early and late stages of learning. We are investigating how neural activity and reading performance are influenced by the nature of the script […]
We are investigating the neural, articulatory and acoustic correlates of imitating unfamiliar speech. Using fMRI and real-time imaging of the vocal tract, combined with in-scanner acoustic recordings, we are measuring training outcomes related to producing native and non-native vowels. We are using univariate fMRI analyses and segmentation of vocal tract boundaries to address these questions. […]