My current research interests are in word recognition and reading; hemispheric interaction; philosophical issues in cognitive modelling and theory construction; synaesthesia; and artificial grammar learning. I’m happy to take on PhD students – or advise on Edinburgh PhD applications – in any of these areas, or to supervise related undergraduate or MSc projects.

The work on word recognition and reading is based partly on our Edinburgh 5-Language corpus of text-reading, in which representative numbers (30+) of native-speakers read 5000 words of multi-line text in English, Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew, and Spanish. We also employ techniques involving isolated word recognition, using eye-tracking and haploscopic (i.e. stereoscopic) presentation. The implications of binocularity are currently the main focus.

The work on hemispheric interaction is now chiefly based on the data from word recognition and reading, and involves differences in hemispheric processing styles, sex differences, ageing, and the implications of the vertical division of the human fovea.

The work on philosophical issues in cognitive modelling and theory construction involves developing a consistent materialist approach. This is based on the concept of the “concrete universal”, from Hegel and Marx and articulated more recently by Ilyenkov. Within this approach, I have constructed a materialist position on the methodology of cognitive computational modelling and on the psychology of language use. I’m interested to hear from anyone working in a similar vein.

My interests in synaesthesia and in artificial grammar learning are by way of collaboration with Jools Simner and Wan-Yu Hung, and Morten Christiansen, respectively.

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