My research focuses on interactive language use and the factors that affect and are affected by it. I have looked at prosody, aspects of spoken language related to melody and timing and found that it is important for language understanding. I am also interested in how people manage to quickly switch between listener and speaker roles in conversation and have investigated how important it is to take the speaker's perspective when understanding him or her. Currently I am working on a large project with multiple researchers in which we investigate how people create a 'shared cognitive space' when they are communicating and how this helps them to understand each other.
During my PhD I studied the importance of prosody for sentence comprehension and referential communication, using electro-encephalography (EEG). Following, I received an individual Rubicon grant from NWO, which I used to investigate listeners' use of the perspective of the speaker, employing a novel experimental (MEG) paradigm.
As a post-doc at the Max Planck Institute in Nijmegen, I investigated turn taking in an interactive setting, using EEG and behavioral methods. One project investigated neural signatures of processes involved in turn taking, within interactive EEG quiz-paradigms. Another project investigated the role of prosodic factors in turn taking. A third EEG project was about the meaning of pauses (and their length) before responses to questions.
Currently, I investigate using fMRI whether and how people's 'brains become more similar' because they come to view things more similarly after a conversation.