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Centre for Speech, Language, and the Brain (CSLB)

Department of Psychology

Department A-Z

About Us

The Centre for Speech, Language and the Brain, headed by Professor Lorraine K Tyler, is part of the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge. Our interdisciplinary research covers a wide range of issues in the cognitive neuroscience of language, object processing, semantics, the ageing brain and cognition. We integrate behavioural experimental and neuroimaging studies on healthy people across the lifespan, together with similar research on brain-damaged patients.

The lab was funded from 2010-15 by an ERC Advanced Investigator grant to LKT on the topic of "Object recognition: from perception to conception". This research aims to address the central issue of how the brain processes visual objects as meaningful entities; how perception becomes conception. It does so by combining a cognitive theory of semantic representations – the Conceptual Structure Account - with a neural account of hierarchical object processing in the ventral stream to generate predictions about how perceptual and conceptual processes are constructed. This combination of cognitive and neural theories, together with the use of multi-modal imaging methods, provides the basis for understanding how the brain transforms visual inputs into meaningful object representations. In fMRI and MEG studies, we directly test for differential effects of conceptual and perceptual variables along the ventral stream, examining specific cognitive claims for how conceptual structure guides and structures these fundamental processes of object recognition. The lab is currently funded by a second ERC Advanced Investigator grant to study: "Language dynamics: a neurocognitive approach to incremental interpretation".


The Cambridge Centre for Ageing and Neuroscience (Cam-CAN) is a large-scale collaborative research project, launched in October 2010, with substantial funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). The Cam-CAN project is using epidemiological, behavioural, and neuroimaging data to understand how individuals can best retain cognitive abilities into old age.

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Language, Cognition and Neuroscience

Editor-in-chief: Lorraine K. Tyler