Research in the Blumstein Lab is concerned with delineating the neural basis of language and the processes and mechanisms involved in speaking and understanding. Major research questions include: how the continuous acoustic signal of speech is transformed by perceptual and neural mechanisms into the sound structure of language; how the sound structure of language maps to the lexicon (mental dictionary); and how the mental dictionary is organized for the purposes of language comprehension and production. Research methodologies used include behavioral measures of aphasic patients correlated with structural measures of neuropathology, functional neuroimaging of normal subjects, and behavioral studies of normal individuals using eyetracking, psychophysical measures, and other psycholinguistic experimental paradigms.
More specific questions:
- How does competition in the linguistic grammar influence language processing?
- How do listeners perceive a stable phonetic percept despite the many sources of variability, e.g. acoustic-phonetic context, speaker?
- Is lexical access abstract or exemplar-based?
- Effects of top-down sentence and syntactic processing influences phonetic categorization?
- To what extent do lexical and phonological factors influence access to words and their articulatory implementation in spoken word production?