Universiteit Leiden

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Research facilities

EEG Lab

Application
Psycholinguistic research
Availability
Staff, PhDs, students and guest researchers
Location
Lipsius
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

In the EEG Lab, which was opened in 2013, researchers can test language processing in the most direct way: by measuring exactly when the brain responds to specific stimuli. The EEG Lab is comprised of three set-ups with BioSemi Active Two system (64 + 8 channels) with Actiview, and two workstations for data analysis with Brain Vision Analyzer software.

Electrical activity in the brain

Electroencephalography (EEG) is a way to record the electrical activity of the brain. In the EEG Lab, researchers study how the brain responds to spoken, signed, or written language. EEG can tell us a great deal about the time-course of language processing. While the brain is constantly producing low-frequency electrical activity, researchers are interested in the electrical activity produced as a response to some specific stimuli. This phenomenon can be used to study many types of linguistic research questions.  

These changes in frequency and polarity of electrical brain activity are called event-related potentials (ERP). There are several well-known and predictable event-related potentials called ERP “components” that researchers look for in the presence of specific linguistic manipulations. In this way, researchers are able to measure, for example, the brain’s electrical activity in response to an unexpected word, an ungrammatical sentence, an infrequent word, or changes in prosody.

The Phonetics Lab is situated in the Lipsius Building room 1.04.

For more info on recent reseach or about using the lab, please contact the Lab Manager

  • Understanding the neural basis of individual differences in production of a second language
  • Investigating the interplay between two languages in the brain and measuring the effects on language comprehension and language production
  • Investigating whether reading a code-switch requires cognitive control in Dutch native speakers (L1) with English as their second language (L2)
  • Examining the predictive role of prosody in comprehending in-situ wh-questions in Mandarin Chinese and French in ongoing speech
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