Bio

I am Sasha (you might find me as Alexandra in other places, but I prefer Sasha) -- a PhD candidate and lecturer interested in using computational, behavioural, and electrophysiological methods to investigate language meaning representations. The intersection of computational linguistics and psycholinguistics is a spot that really sparks my curiosity: interdisciplinarity, I think, is necessary to uncover the complexities of language. I am particularly excited to explore how our linguistic and multimodal experiences contribute to shaping meaning representations, which is the PhD project I am starting to develop under supervision of dr. Alishahi, dr. Cassani and dr. Venhuizen. The plan is to devise a series of experiments that will focus on testing how language meaning representations come to be, and what exactly they might be made of. Other than doing research, I love playing violin, doing art, listening to music and talking to people, be it my close ones or someone I've just met. 

Expertise

I have been trained to conduct interdisciplinary research at the crossroads of cognitive psychology and neuroscience, computational linguistics and psycholinguistics. Thus, I have experience in these fields both through my education and my research activity. My most recent project (with dr. Crepaldi, SISSA, Italy) focuses on the effect of semantic diversity (the variability of contexts in which a word appears) on word processing: by using a distributional model of semantics in Python on big datasets and R to do Principal Component Analysis, we found that words with vaguer and wider meanings are more difficult to process. 

Teaching

I teach two modules within the Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence Bachelor's program: the R practical sessions for Statistics for CSAI II and the practicals for Introduction to Cognitive Science. I also lead the practicals for Language & AI in the Data Science BSc offered jointly by Tilburg University and Eindhoven University of Technology.

Collaboration

Please get in touch if you are interested in collaborating on investigating multimodality in language meaning representation. Specifically, I am interested in working together to uncover how various modal experiences come together to form representations, so if you have experience/an interest in using large language models with multimodal augmentation and/or conducting behavioural/neuroimaging experiments to test this, I'd love to work together.

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