The continuing training program in language processing seeks to train scientists who can advance our understanding of the cognitive basis of human communication. For predoctoral trainees, the program offers a coherent set of formal courses, advanced-topics research seminars, and research training in experimental and developmental psycholinguistics, linguistics, and computational modeling. For postdoctoral trainees, the program offers opportunities for broadening knowledge and skills, especially in preparation for careers in linguistics or cognitive neuroscience. For students at all levels, the program offers broad and balanced training as scaffolding for the development of outstanding researchers. The research of the program faculty spans language acquisition, language production, language comprehension, and linguistics. This breadth fosters abilities in conceptual analysis and theoretical development across the full range of core components of human language use. The methodological expertise of the program faculty encompasses eye- movement monitoring, computational modeling, event-related-potential recording, optical and functional-magnetic imaging, articulatory tracking, corpus analysis, speech analysis, and the basic techniques of cognitive and developmental research. This range gives trainees the opportunity to attain high levels of skill in designing, implementing, and interpreting experiments using state-of-the-art methods for probing the workings of language. Funds are requested to support four predoctoral and two postdoctoral trainees per year. The predoctoral training program demands four years beyond the bachelor's degree. It fulfills the basic requirements for the doctoral degree within the cognitive or developmental divisions of the Department of Psychology, using division options to create doctoral-program plans with a major emphasis on the experimental study of language processing and acquisition and minor emphases on linguistics, cognitive neuroscience, and speech processing. The postdoctoral program offers training in language processing and acquisition as a supplement for doctoral training in linguistics or cognitive neuroscience. The proposed training will take place within a strong institutional matrix formed by the Cognitive and Developmental Divisions of the Department of Psychology and the Cognitive Science Group at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. Both settings offer exceptional physical and intellectual resources fueled by a rich tradition of graduate training in psycholinguistics.

Public Health Relevance

The program develops expertise in basic research on human communication. This research addresses the emergence of communicative abilities in infants and children, problems of human communication, methods for enhancing human communication, and disorders of human communication.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Pediatrics Subcommittee (CHHD)
Program Officer
Mccardle, Peggy D
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
Zip Code
Pajak, Bozena; Fine, Alex B; Kleinschmidt, Dave F et al. (2016) Learning Additional Languages as Hierarchical Probabilistic Inference: Insights From First Language Processing. Lang Learn 66:900-944
Payne, Brennan R; Stine-Morrow, Elizabeth A L (2016) Risk for Mild Cognitive Impairment Is Associated With Semantic Integration Deficits in Sentence Processing and Memory. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 71:243-53
Fraundorf, Scott H; Benjamin, Aaron S (2016) Conflict and metacognitive control: the mismatch-monitoring hypothesis of how others' knowledge states affect recall. Memory 24:1108-22
Stites, Mallory C; Federmeier, Kara D (2015) Subsequent to suppression: Downstream comprehension consequences of noun/verb ambiguity in natural reading. J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 41:1497-515
Hussey, Erika K; Ward, Nathan; Christianson, Kiel et al. (2015) Language and Memory Improvements following tDCS of Left Lateral Prefrontal Cortex. PLoS One 10:e0141417
Fraundorf, Scott H; Watson, Duane G; Benjamin, Aaron S (2015) Reduction in Prosodic Prominence Predicts Speakers' Recall: Implications for Theories of Prosody. Lang Cogn Neurosci 30:606-619
Payne, Brennan R; Grison, Sarah; Gao, Xuefei et al. (2014) Aging and individual differences in binding during sentence understanding: evidence from temporary and global syntactic attachment ambiguities. Cognition 130:157-73
Gillespie, Maureen; James, Ariel N; Federmeier, Kara D et al. (2014) Verbal working memory predicts co-speech gesture: evidence from individual differences. Cognition 132:174-80
Lam, Tuan Q; Watson, Duane G (2014) Repetition reduction: lexical repetition in the absence of referent repetition. J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 40:829-43
Payne, Brennan R; Gross, Alden L; Parisi, Jeanine M et al. (2014) Modelling longitudinal changes in older adults' memory for spoken discourse: findings from the ACTIVE cohort. Memory 22:990-1001

Showing the most recent 10 out of 23 publications