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Lara Todorova

WP4 Language in action

Lara Todorova is a PhD student at Donders Center for Cognition. She received her Bachelor in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics at Russian State University for the Humanities, and completed her Research Master in Cognitive Science at the University of Trento. During her Internship at the Donders Center for Cognitive Neuroimaging, she worked on a visual mental imagery project within Prediction and Attention lab headed by Floris de Lange. They studied the nature and the dynamics of visual mental imagery using multivariate pattern analysis with MEG.

Within the Language in Interaction Consortium, Lara will investigate how language can influence perception of colour using fMRI. Specifically, they will show whether colour words can create top-down predictions by sharpening the cortical response to expected colour in primary and/or high-order visual areas. Using Prediction Coding theory, they will reconstruct the hierarchical neural structure of the prediction propagation triggered by language. Furthermore, they will show whether idiomatic expressions can prime sensory perception. In other words, they will reveal how grey is the “grey face” and to which extend its colour can be comparable to the colour of the “grey coat”. Additionally, they might clarify if people with different linguistic colour categorization systems have their “colour brain” structured in different manner.

This project will provide new insides about how language modifies predictions in the brain and how sensory information is filtered and interpreted based on those cross-modal predictions.

More information on Lara's PhD project.