Big Question 1

The nature of the mental lexicon: How to bridge neurobiology and psycholinguistic theory by computational modelling?

The big question this project addresses is how to use computational modeling to link levels of description, from neurons to cognition and behavior, in understanding the language system. We focus on the mental lexicon and aim to characterize its structure in a way that is precise and meaningful in neurobiological and (psycho)linguistic terms.

We will take advantage of recent progress in the understanding of modelling realistic neural networks, improvements in neuroimaging techniques and data analysis, and developments in accounting for the semantic, syntactic and phonological properties of words and other items stored in the mental lexicon.
Using one common notation: high-dimensional numerical vectors, we will integrate neurobiological and computational (psycho-) linguistic models of the mental lexicon and develop methods for comparing model predictions to large-scale neuroimaging data.

Our overarching goal is to devise causal/explanatory models of the mental lexicon that can explain neural and behavioral data. This will significantly deepen our understanding of the mental lexicon, lexical access, and lexical acquisition.

People involved


Dr. Renato Duarte, Forschungszentrum, Jülich, Germany
Prof. dr. Abigail Morrison, Bernstein Center, Freiburg, Germany