Lab Dinner, December 2023

From left: Jillian Hammond, John Greene, Anthony Wickett, Ellie Deutsch, Alan Chen, Emily Peck, Tasha Taylor, Adrian Staub, Kuan-Jung Huang. Not pictured: Harper McMurray, Lee Yoder


Winter 2023 Lab News

I just realized it’s been almost four years (!) since I posted anything here. A few bits of news:

  • Our study investigating N400 effects in normal reading, and their modulation by contrast and preview validity, is finally out in LCN: Burnsky, J., Kretzschmar, F., Mayer, E., Sanders, L., & Staub, A. (in press).  The influence of predictability, visual contrast, and preview validity on eye movements and N400 amplitude:  Co-registration evidence that the N400 reflects late processes. Language, Cognition, & Neuroscience. This work was supported by my NSF Grant from 2017-21 (BCS 1732008).
  • In June 2022, Jon Burnsky successfully defended his PhD dissertation, entitled, “What did you Expect? An Investigation of Lexical Preactivation in Sentence Processing.” Jon’s committee included Brian Dillon, Shota Momma, Chuck Clifton, and Joonkoo Park, and was chaired by me (Adrian Staub). Congrats Jon, on this great work! We will miss you. Jon is now working as a Language Engineer for Amazon.
  • Kuan-Jung Huang has received the Keith Rayner Award from the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences to fund his dissertation studies on morphological processing in Chinese Reading. Congratulations Kuan-Jung!
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Spring 2019 Lab News

Three posters featuring work from our lab will be at this year’s CUNY Conference at the University of Colorado Boulder:

  • Mayer, E., Dillon, B., & Staub, A. The (non-)influence of even’s likelihood-based presupposition on lexical predictability effects.  
  • Burnsky, J., & Staub, A. Cloze completions reveal misinterpretation of noncanonical sentences.  
  • Sloggett, S., Rysling, A., & Staub, A. Linguistic focus as predictive attention allocation.  

In addition, two outstanding undergraduate honors students will be presenting their thesis work at the Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference:

  • Serene Elbach, ERPs Related to Word Skipping: An Analysis Using Coregistration of EEG and Eye Movements
  • Laurel Whitfield, Syntactic Processing in Beginning Readers:  Evidence from Eye Movements

Laurel is also the recipient of the Research Assistant Appreciation Award, which is a competitive award given each year to an outstanding senior in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences!

Finally, the lab will be very well represented in June at Psycholinguistics in Iceland: Parsing and Prediction, where Jon Burnsky, Erika Mayer, and Bojana Ristic are all giving talks, and where Adrian is a keynote speaker.

It’s been a busy spring!

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Summer 2018 Lab News

Some new folks are joining the lab this Fall:  Kuan-Jung Huang, a new PhD student, and Bojana Ristic, a visiting grad student from BCBL.  Welcome, Kuan-Jung and Bojana!

Several new papers from the lab, on a disparate set of topics, are now in press. Requests for reprints are welcome.

One presents data from Lap-Ching Keung’s Masters Thesis on agreement with coordinate subjects:

  • Keung, L., & Staub, A. (2018).  Variable agreement with coordinate subjects is not a form of agreement attraction.  Journal of Memory and Language, 103, 1-18.

Another reports an experiment carried out by Sophia Dodge as part of an independent study, where we find that readers often fail to report a ‘the the’ sequence even when they directly fixate both instances of ‘the’!

  • Staub, A., Dodge, S., & Cohen. A. (in press).  Failure to notice function word repetitions and omissions in reading:  Are eye movements to blame?  Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.

A third reports experiments showing that invalid parafoveal preview eliminates the standard predictability effect on early reading time measures.  I’ve talked about this work at the CUNY conference, Psychonomics, and elsewhere.

  • Staub, A., & Goddard, K. (in press).  The role of preview validity in predictability and frequency effects on eye movements in reading.  Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Learning, Memory, and Cognition.



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Summer 2017 Lab News

We’re saying goodbye this summer to a crew of excellent undergraduate RAs.  Sophia Dodge will be entering the PhD program in School Psychology at the University of Wisconsin Madison.  Kirk Goddard will be entering the Masters program in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Language at the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language in San Sebastian, Spain.  Congratulations, Sophia and Kirk!

This Fall we’ll also be welcoming back some fantastic continuing undergrad RAs (Audrey O’Neill and Laurel Whitfield) and welcoming some new ones (Serene Elbach and Marcos Coli).

We’re also excited to welcome Jon Burnsky, who will be starting in the lab this Fall as a new PhD student.  Jon comes from the University of Maryland, where he worked as a Research Assistant with Colin Phillips and Ellen Lau.

We also thank the National Science Foundation Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences for a new grant that will support our work over the next three years.  This grant, entitled “Effects of lexical predictability on foveal and parafoveal processing in reading” (Adrian Staub, PI; Lisa Sanders Co-PI), funds a series of eyetracking experiments using the boundary paradigm that we hope will help us better understand how predictability influences lexical processing.  Some of these experiments involve co-registration of eye movements and EEG.

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Lap-Ching Keung wins Katz Award at CUNY

Lap-Ching Keung was just awarded the Jerrold J. Katz Young Scholar Award at the 2017 CUNY Conference at MIT.  The award “recognizes the paper or poster presented at the Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing that best exhibits the qualities of intellectual rigor, creativity, and independence of thought exemplified in Professor Katz’s life and work.”

Lap received the award for his paper, co-authored with Adrian Staub, “Closest conjunct agreement in English: A comparison with number attraction,” presented at the 2016 CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing at the University of Florida.  The paper presents evidence from both production studies and eyetracking during reading that agreement with a conjoined subject (e.g., The dog and the cat…) is not reliably plural when the second conjunct is singular.

Congratulations Lap!!

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Fall 2016 Lab News

Forthcoming papers from the lab this fall are on an unusually wide range of topics.  Starns, Chen, and Staub (in press) use eye movements to investigate the forced choice recognition memory paradigm; Staub, Dillon, and Clifton (in press) find that readers do have difficulty with the matrix verb following an object relative clause; and Kingston, Levy, Rysling, and Staub (in press) learn more about the timing of the classic Ganong effect on speech perception by recording participants’ eye movements.

  • Starns, J. J., Chen, T., & Staub, A. (in press). Eye movements in forced-choice recognition: Absolute judgments can preclude relative judgments. Journal of Memory and Language.
  • Staub, A., Dillon, B., and Clifton, C., Jr. (in press). The matrix verb as a source of comprehension difficulty in object relative sentences. Cognitive Science.
  • Kingston, J., Levy, J., Rysling, A., & Staub, A. (in press). Eye movement evidence for an immediate Ganong effect. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance

The lab meeting time this Fall will be Friday at 2:00.  We will not meet every week.

Visitor news:  Francesca Foppolo was here again this summer; we worked on understanding agreement with disjunctive subjects.  We welcome Noemi Farina Diaz this semester, a visiting PhD student from the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain, and Language.


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Fall 2016 Openings for Undergraduate Research Assistants

I expect to take on a couple of new undergraduate Research Assistants in the Eyetracking Lab in Fall 2016.  Interested students should contact me (Adrian Staub) by email.  Research Assistants receive course credit through Psych 398B.  Background in cognitive psychology and/or linguistics is helpful, but not required.  However, an interest in these topics is required!

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Fall 2015 Lab Meetings

We will have lab meetings at 4:00 on the following Tuesdays:  9/29, 10/6, 10/27, 11/17, 12/1, and 12/8.

On 9/29, Amanda Rysling will lead a discussion of Berhard Angele and Titus von der Malsburg’s manuscript on correcting Type I error rate in eyetracking experiments.

On 10/27, Lap Keung will give a practice talk for the agreement workshop.

The other topics are still TBD.

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Fall 2015 Lab News

After a sabbatical semester in the spring, and a summer spent working away from the lab, I plan to be taking on at least a few new undergrad RAs in Fall 2015.  If you’re interested in working in the lab, please contact me (Adrian Staub).

In other news….some new publications on their way to print include:

Cohen, A. L., & Staub, A. (in press). Within-subject consistency and between-subject variability in Bayesian reasoning strategies. Cognitive Psychology.

Abbott, M. J., & Staub, A. (in press). The effect of plausibility on eye movements in reading:  Testing E-Z Reader’s null predictions. Journal of Memory and Language.

Kretzschmar, F., Schlesewsky, M., & Staub, A. (in press). Dissociating word frequency and predictability effects in reading: Evidence from co-registration of eye movements and EEG. Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Learning, Memory, and Cognition.

This summer we had a research visit from Francesca Foppolo, of the University of Milan Bicocca, who was here to plan some experiments on processing of complement clause ambiguities in English, and processing of agreement with disjunctive subjects in both English and Italian.

Not sure yet what lab meeting schedule will look like for this Fall.  Stay tuned.