While working with Jenni Rodd at UCL I have been investigating the learning mechanisms involved in resolving lexical and semantic ambiguities. When we are faced with a single word (e.g. bark) that has more than one possible meaning (dog noise, outer covering of a tree), which meaning do we think of? How do we learn which meaning is intended? I investigate the factors that affect the interpretation of ambiguous words, such as recent exposure to these words in different semantic contexts, the modality of the exposures (i.e. spoken or written form), and other contextual clues to meaning.
I’m also interested in auditory-verbal short-term memory for serial order, timing, and phonological development. During my PhD, which was supervised by Dr Tom Hartley and Prof Graham Hitch, I developed a novel subvocal rehearsal-probe task as a way of measuring memory for the precise timing of spoken word sequences. I then studied how temporal precision in this task relates to memory load, capacity for serial order, and phonological skills. In addition to behavioural methods, I’ve used computational modelling and EEG to investigate this topic.