The Language and Cognition Laboratory is equipped with two indispensable sets of equipment for cognitive/neurocognitive research in various aspects of human cognition reflecting language capabilities (e.g., language acquisition, neurolinguistics, language comprehension and production as in speaking, reading, writing and translation), namely, a 128 Channel Geodesic EEG (GES) System 300 for recording brainwave data, and an SR Research Eyelink 1000 system for online and continuous recording of eye movement data at a high accuracy (0.25°-0.5° on average, with head supported) and sampling rate (up to 1000 Hz monocular/500 Hz binocular), without interfering with a natural reading process. The lab is committed not only to high quality interdisciplinary research but also to provision of professional training for both undergraduate and postgraduate students that allows them to get acquainted with practical operations of both systems. EEG (electroencephalography) with the GES allows application of the event-related potentials (ERP) paradigm to explore the nature of the cognitive/neurocognitive functions in various human language phenomena. Eye tracking with the Eyelink 100 permits fine-grained analysis of the time course of various visual perception activities including typical language processing such as reading. Both play a critical role in psycholinguistics, cognitive psychology and oculomotor research. Combining these two techniques, we can envision a wider horizon of research to advance our understanding of how the brain processes language.
Currently, the lab accommodates an ongoing GRF project of HK$1M to develop a large scale Chinese reading corpus of eye movements, a PhD student to research on Chinese reading using the eye tracker, a final-year undergraduate student to work on eye tracking of human translation, and several undergraduate trainees from the Department of Linguistics and Translation and the Department of Social Sciences. The trainees, most of whom are second year BA students, are preparing themselves, by means of the long- term training in the lab, to explore various research issues of their interest in linguistics, translation, and social sciences, and hence are anticipated to transform their exploration into potential DEC projects in the years to come, as their final year projects or as research activities supported by our ongoing project. Towards this goal, their training focuses on preparing and guiding them to design, build and conduct eye tracking experiments in relation to their research interests, and analyze experimental data so resulted. After adequate training, they may also have opportunities to work as student helpers or part-time research assistants for ongoing projects in our departments. This is without doubt another driving force to turn their research interest into potential DEC projects.
Dr. KIT, Chunyu, Language and Cognition Laboratory Coordinator
Ext.: (852) 3442 9310