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Asli Ozyurek

WP4 Language in action

Ozyurek is PI at the Center for Language Studies, RU Nijmegen, Research Fellow at the MPI and Affiliated PI at the Donders Center for Brain, Cognition and Behavior.

Ozyurek's research in general investigates the relations between cognition (action), language and communication. More specifically  she asks to what extent our knowledge and use of bodily actions interact with or shape language structure, its processing, learning and use in communication. She  investigates this question in two domains of human communicative behavior in which visible bodily actions and language are closely related, namely in

  1. gestures that speakers use spontaneously as they speak and
  2. sign languages (established or emerging) used by deaf people.

She uses an interdisciplinary approach (linguistic and psychological) and a combination of methods and techniques such as linguistic analysis, comparative (developmental, cross-linguistic) and experimental methods as well as brain imaging (ERP, fMRI) to answer these questions. She has achieved major career grants such as ERC, VIDI, Aspasia Award and has publications in Science, PNAS, Cognition, and has achieved an H-index of 16.

In the context of the Language in Interaction project she hopes to contribute to understanding the link between our instrumental actions and communicative actions, how advanced brain imaging techniques  can shed light into how brain binds meaningful visual information and speech and the connectivity of the brain.

Furthermore how this research can be relevant in understanding the communication skills and neural infrastructure of populations with autism or with cochlear implants as well as developing multimodal brain-computer interfaces to advance multimodal communication and language learning is in the research agenda of this PI in this consortium.

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Webpage of the PI Group Gesture and Sign: