Welcome to the homepage of L. Robert Slevc and the Language and Music Cognition Lab. Research in the LMCL focuses on the cognitive mechanisms underlying the processing of language and of music. Current work falls within two themes:
How does our impressive ability to access words and to combine them into sentences rely on our other cognitive abilities? Current work is investigating the role that short-term and working memory play in aspects of sentence production. Other kinds of "executive control" processes are likely to be involved as well, for example the ability to flexibly control attention and to inhibit competing information and errors. This research involves both behavioral studies of typical language users (i.e., college undergraduates) and neuropsychological studies of language use in patients with brain damage.
The relationship between the processing of language and music can help us better understand our impressive ability to make sense out of sound. One line of research looks at the relationship between musical ability/training and linguistic abilities. For example, current work is investigating the role of musical ability in aspects of second language acquisition and in perceptual and categorical learning in speech. Another approach is to investigate whether language and music rely on shared cognitive mechanisms, for example in work investigating simultaneous syntactic processing in language and music.
Language & Music Cognition Lab
Biology-Psychology Building 3150
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742