Neuroscience of Language Lab

Research at the Neuroscience of Language Lab at New York University Abu Dhabi explores how the ability to use natural language is implemented in the brain. In collaboration with UAE University, the lab seeks to answer questions as to how the brain mediates the most critical aspects of our communication system, and which properties of the mind/brain facilitate the seemingly effortless processing of language, ranging from the analysis of speech sounds to the construction of meaning.

By integrating linguistic theory and psycholinguistic models with observed neurological activity of the brain, the lab’s experiments are set up to test specific hypothesis and linguistic models, while comparing the brain’s response to stimuli on a millisecond by millisecond basis. Most of the existing research in this field has been based on English language study; therefore the lab’s location in Abu Dhabi provides researchers with access to both speakers of Arabic — a language of special importance for the study of the neural correlates of linguistic representations and computations — and many other languages, including Hindi, Bengali, and Tagalog.

The project will include use of advanced magnetoencephalography (MEG) imaging technology, a cutting-edge, non-invasive brain scanner that will be supplemented by EEG and MRI.