The Sentence Processing Lab
Tel Aviv University
In the Sentence Processing Lab, we investigate the cognitive and neurophysiological basis of language comprehension and production. Our primary focus is the study of online sentence processing in Hebrew.
Humans are extremely good at understanding sentences, even very complex ones which they have never heard or read before. We understand thousands of sentences every day, and we do so quickly, effortlessly, and more often than not, correctly. How do we achieve this tremendous feat?
In the Sentence Processing Lab, we study the mechanisms which enable people to understand language in real time. We investigate questions such as how readers and listeners use syntactic structures to extract meaning, how they create dependencies between distant elements in the sentence and beyond, and how they use lexical and structural prediction to anticipate upcoming material. A major objective of our research is to understand the processing strategies of Hebrew comprehenders, and the ways in which they are shaped by the grammar of the language.
We use a variety of methods: self-paced reading, event-related potentials (ERPs), priming, acceptability judgements, and more.
Noisy is better than rare: Comprehenders compromise subject-verb agreement to form more probable linguistic structures. In Cognitive Psychology
During sentence reading, do we entertain ungrammatical analyses? In this paper, we show that readers sometimes prefer to assume that the sentence contained a grammatical mistake in order to accommodate a more frequent structure.