My research in general investigates the relations between cognition (action, space), language, communication and development. More specifically I ask to what extent our knowledge and use of bodily actions interact with or shape language, its processing and learning. I investigate this question in two domains of human communicative behavior in which body and language are closely related:
• gestures that speakers use spontaneously
• sign languages (established or emerging) used by deaf people
I use an interdisciplinary approach (linguistic and psychological) and a combination of methods and techniques such as linguistic analysis, comparative (developmental, cross-linguistic) and experimental methods as well as brain imaging (ERP, fMRI).
My research is funded by the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO). I recently received a NWO-VICI Grant (http://www.nwo.nl/[…]/nwo-kent-36-prestigieuze-vici-beurzen-toe.html) for a research proposal entitled "Giving cognition a hand: Linking spatial cognition to linguistic expression in native and late learners of sign language and bimodal bilinguals".
More information about this project can be found on the Multimodal Language and Cognition (MLC) website http://www.ru.nl/mlc/
With dr. Judith Holler I coordinate the Nijmegen Gesture Center. More information about this can be found on http://www.mpi.nl/[…]/nijmegen-gesture-centre-1
I am also a PI at the NWO Gravitation Language in Interaction Consortium. I am coordinator of the work package Language and Action in collaboration with Prof. Harold Bekkering. More information about this can be found on https://www.languageininteraction.nl/