People

Prof Jennifer Rodd

Jenni is Professor of Cognitive Psychology in the Department of Experimental Psychology, UCL.

She is currently Director of the BSc Psychology Programme

Her research aims to discover how we learn and process word meanings. She has a particular interest in how we use our recent and long-term experience with language to improve the efficiency of language processing.

Email: j.rodd(at)ucl.ac.uk. Twitter: @jennirodd

Google Scholar

Dr Lena Blott

Lena is an ESRC-funded Postdoctoral Research Fellow working on a project that aims to understand individual differences in language comprehension ability.

Her PhD research investigated how we determine the meanings of words when we read or listen to sentences. When we encounter a sentence such as “The coach is full”, how do we know whether “coach” refers to a vehicle that is full of people or a person that is full of food? And, crucially, what happens if we get it wrong?

A major focus of her work is to find out more about mistakes in interpretation, and how the language system recovers from them. She uses behavioural, eye-tracking and functional neuroimaging methods to investigate these questions. Currently, she is developing browser-based tasks to measure people’s ability to use context to select the appropriate meanings of words like “coach”.

Email: lena.blott.12(at)ucl.ac.uk Twitter: @LenaMBlott

Dr Rachael Hulme

Rachael is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow working with Professor Jenni Rodd on an ESRC-funded project investigating the causal factors that lead to high-quality lexical-semantic knowledge.

Before joining UCL she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Psychology at Aston University (2018-2021). Prior to this she gained her PhD in Experimental Psychology from UCL (2014-2018). She completed my MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of York (2013-2014), and her MA (joint Hons) in Psychology and French at the University of Glasgow (2007-2012).

Her previous research investigated how we learn new vocabulary through reading, and the different factors that can affect this process, such as the amount of exposure, spelling-to-sound mappings, and previous language experience. Her PhD research examined incidental learning of new meanings for familiar words using web-based language learning experiments.

whether overnight consolidation during sleep plays an important role in learning new word meanings, as has previously been shown for the learning of new word forms.

Email: rachael.hulme.14(at)ucl.ac.uk Twitter @Rach_Hulme

César Gutiérrez

César is from Chile specifically from Santiago de Chile the capital.

He studied Psychology at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. He completed a master’s degree in Neuroscience at King`s College London, and now is doing his PhD at UCL under the supervision of Jenni Rodd and Jo Taylor.

The focus of his work is to understand how adults can improve their disambiguation skills. For example, when people read or listen an ambiguous word like “crane”, how do they know if this word refers to the machine for lifting or to the bird? And how can they improve the access and processing of these different meanings? He uses web-based behavioural experiments to find answers to these questions.

His PhD work investigates how reading and listening natural language sentences can improve the access and processing of subordinate meanings of ambiguous words like “crane”.

Email: ucjucag(at)ucl.ac.uk Twitter: @CesarAntonioGS

Sidharth Prabhu-Naik

Sid is a PhD student supervised by Jenni Rodd and Courtenay Norbury, and co-funded by the ESRC and Cauldron. With Cauldron he will be creating a suite of fun games to collect research data to better understand some of the cognitive mechanisms behind language development. He is also looking at how aspects of gamification itself can contribute to more motivated, attentive, and ultimately successful learning strategies.

Before starting my PhD he completed an undergraduate degree in Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Cambridge and subsequently a Masters in Cognitive and Decision Sciences at UCL.

Anna Gowenlock

Anna is a Research Assistant working with Professor Jenni Rodd on projects funded by an ESRC grant. Her role involves assisting on multiple projects exploring the different factors that can impact disambiguation skills and meaning comprehension.

She studied Linguistics at the University of Cambridge before joining UCL in 2020 to complete an MSc in Language Sciences. Here she developed an interest in running behavioural experiments online and using these tools to understand more about how we process language. Her masters project explored how we make use of visual cues to enhance auditory perception of speech.

Email: anna.gowenlock.20@ucl.ac.uk

Collaborators

The Word Lab is high collaborative and we work with a number of researchers both within the UK and overseas including:

Dr Jo Taylor (University College London)

Prof Kate Nation (University of Oxford)

Prof Gareth Gaskell (University of York)

Prof Courtenay Norbury (University College London)

Dr Matt Davis (MRC CBU, Cambridge)

Prof Rogier Kievit (Radbaud University)

Dr Lucy MacGregor (MRC CBU, Cambridge)

 

Other Past Members

Dr Eva Poort (Max Planck Institute, Nijmegen)

Dr Becky Gilbert (MRC CBU, Cambridge UK)

Dr Greg Maciejewski (University of the West of Scotland)

Dr Zhenguang (Garry) Cai (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Dr Jane Warren (University College London) 

Dr Sylvia Vitello (Cambridge Assessment)