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”.