image: Psychology Logo
image: Psychology Logo
image: UW - Madison Logo
image: Psychology Logo

Language is a major focus of research in the Department of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The group's interests address every facet of language performance, including language acquisition, written and spoken comprehension, language production, and impairments to all these processes. Work in the area addresses the entire lifespan, from the beginnings of language acquisition in infants to changes in language abilities in old age. Research topics also range from the earliest stages of speech perception to the elaboration of models of discourse. Many faculty members and collaborate with one another, and graduate students have the opportunity to work in more than one lab.

Language research and training in the Department of Psychology is supported in part by an interdisciplinary program for Training in Language: Integrating Acquisition and Adult Performance, funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. This program aims to train predoctoral and postdoctoral students broadly in psycholinguistic research and theory, so that they are able to integrate research in areas of both child language acquisition and adult performance. The faculty listed below are the training faculty for this program. Predoctoral students admitted into the program will be supported by a combination of program training funds, University Fellowships, faculty research grant funds, and in a small number of semesters, teaching assistantships so as to allow students to gain teaching experience. Postdoctoral fellowships are typically for one year and renewable for an additional year contingent on satisfactory performance. Questions about faculty research should be directed to the individual faculty listed below, and general questions about the training program can be directed to Maryellen MacDonald.

Our colleagues in Linguistics and Communicative Disorders Departments significantly enhance our strength in the study of linguistic structure, development, and disorders. In addition, resources at the Waisman Center support researchers interested in both typical and atypical language development, as well as fMRI and PET research facilities including the new Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior.

Language Faculty and Laboratories

Martha Alibali
Cognitive Development and Communication Lab
Interests: Language and gesture, language production

Morton Ann Gernsbacher
Language Comprehension Laboratory
Interests: adult language comprehension, speech and language challenges among children and adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder

Keith Kluender
Wisconsin Speech Perception Laboratory
Interests: Speech perception in humans and animals, the role of experience in auditory perception

Maryellen C. MacDonald
Language and Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory
Interests: sentence comprehension, language production, working memory and individual differences in language, language and aging

Tim Rogers
Knowledge Laboratory
Interests: Conceptual knowledge, categorization, and language in healthy adults, children, and neuropathological populations.

Jenny Saffran
Learning Languages Lab &
Infant Learning Laboratory
Interests: Infant and child language acquisition

Mark S. Seidenberg
Language and Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory
Interests: Reading, dyslexia, morphological processing, computational modeling of acquisition and skilled performance
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