Welcome to The Language and Cognition Program.
The Program in Language and Cognition focuses on those aspects of language that make it a uniquely versatile vehicle for communication and thought. There is thus a strong focus on the dynamical aspects of language, including experimental studies of language processing, learning, and change at the phoneme, word, and sentence level, modeling of language processes using artificial neural (connectionist) networks and symbolic computational models, and mathematical analysis using dynamical systems theory and statistics. There is particular interest in an ecological approach which emphasizes continual interaction between speaker/hearers and their environments. There is much interest in the biological basis of language, both in pursuit of innate endowment questions and in studies of neural mechanisms using state-of-the-art neuroimaging tools. The group has long conducted basic research on the reading process; some members of the group are also engaged in the translation of research findings to the classroom. The Program has close ties to the Center for the Ecological Study of Perception and Action (CESPA), the Developmental and Behavioral Neuroscience Divisions in the Department of Psychology, the Linguistics Department, and the Cognitive Science Focus at the University of Connecticut. In addition, Haskins Laboratories, an internationally renowned interdisciplinary research facility located nearby in New Haven, provides a stimulating environment for research and training. The Program prepares students for careers in research and teaching. A student’s research activity begins immediately on entry to the program. In addition, three courses are typically taken each semester (see offerings on the back of this brochure). A student’s schedule also includes attendance at colloquia and informal weekly group meetings for discussion of problems in theory and research. Course work for the Ph.D. degree is typically completed in two-and-a-half to three years. Another year or two is needed to complete the dissertation. Student support is a combination of teaching and research assistantships as well as fellowships; accompanied by a tuition waiver and health benefits. Students can expect to be supported for 5 years, with annual increases reflecting their progress through the program. Applicants should have an excellent academic record. Research experience is helpful but not necessary. Applicants may have an undergraduate major in psychology, linguistics, computer science, mathematics, cognitive science, or other related fields of study.