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Cognitive Control, Communication and Perception Group


One of the central questions in cognitive science concerns the role which general systems (e.g. attention, memory) play in the acquisition, storage, and retrieval of abstract and concrete representations. On one hand, this question refers to the issue of the activation exchange, overlap or higher-order universal representations available for different knowledge domains. On the other, this question concerns the role of control and access mechanisms in regulating the interplay between different knowledge representations. Our newly organized research group pursues these two questions in a research agenda focusing on the role of domain-general (e.g. attention) and domain-specific (perceptual, sensory-motor) systems in representing abstract and concrete knowledge. We incorporate various theoretical approaches and research methodologies in order to investigate the cognitive processes and the corresponding neuroanatomical networks involved in human communication. Our main focus is on the analysis of the interplay between the domain-specific and the domain-general cognitive operations as well as the reliance of these operations on the shared neural networks. 
 

Our ongoing projects include the following:

 
Language-cognition interface in sentence production
 
This project examines the nature and the chronometric properties of the language-cognition interface with the specific focus on syntax and attention. The main methodology combines priming and eye tracking with extemporaneous visual-world language production tasks and reaction time chronometry.

Investigation of on the neural dynamics of spoken and written language comprehension (EEG, MEG)
 
We explore which types and stages of linguistic information processing in the brain are automatic and which ones depend on active attentional control. We are looking to define the time frame of lexical, semantic and syntactic processes as well as their parallel, sequentially or cascaded temporal dynamics.

Manual affordances in memory and perception
 
This project examines activation of manual affordances by linguistic, perceptual, and motor cues stored in long- and short-term memory as well as provided by the environment. A complimentary focus will be on the cross-domain interactions between affordance-related parameters of visual objects’ representations and other related domains (e.g. magnitude, size, language, etc.). Main methodology will combine priming, eye tracking, manual reaction-time chronometry, and language comprehension, and language production.

Multimodal neuroimaging of rapid language learning with the help of  EEG, MEG, fMRI and TMS
 
This project is aimed at building a theory-based model of language acquisition mechanisms. To this end, it investigates the neural networks involved in acquisition of new word forms, their meaning and their use in complex contexts, as well as the involvement of attentional cognitive control in the learning process.

Language neurotechnology 
 

This project seeks to develop techniques for assessing neurocognitive functions (e.g. attention, lexico-semantic memories) objectively and non-invasively, and on optimal protocols for non-invasive mapping of language-related neural activity in various conditions (e.g. aphasia) . This is done using patient-friendly MEG as well as fRMI and TMS in neurological patients and using healthy subjects.

Embodied representations of language, magnitude and number
 
This project examines the grounding of linguistic and non-linguistic representations of magnitude and number in domain-specific (perceptual, sensorimotor) systems. This project also addresses the issue of cross-domain priming from linguistic onto non-linguistic numerical codes in relation to the embodied and sensorimotor components of number representations. Main methodology will combine priming, eye-tracking, manual reaction-time recording, language production and language comprehension tasks, as well as a range of neuroimaging tools.

CCCP Lab is currently in the process of being established at HSE in a joint effort with our international collaborators.

 

Key personnel

Senior staff
 

Prof. Yury Shtyrov

Center of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience, Aarhus University

Visiting Professor, PI 


Dr. Andriy Myachykov

Psychology Dept, Northumbria University

Visiting Professor at HSE, co-PI


Dr. Anna Shestakova

Senior Scientist

Director of HSE Research Centre for Cognition and Decision Making


Dr. Olga Martynova

Senior Scientist

Head of the Graduate School of Psychology


Dr. Beatriz Martín-Luengo
 

Post-doctoral scientist, CAS Fellow
PhD Students



Mikhail Pokhoday, MRes

Research Assistant, PhD student, Research project: Role of attention in sentence production: beyond visual modality


Elena Kulkova


Research Assistant, PhD student, Research project: Neural Mechanisms of Figurative Language Processing

Maxim UlanovResearch Assistant, PhD student, Research project: Neural mechanisms of the post-stroke aphasia recovery and their induction using non-invasive brain stimulation and constraint-induced aphasia therapy