Jacolien van Rij

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Between January 2013 and December 2015 I worked as a postdoc at the Quantitative Linguistics group of Harald Baayen at the University of Tübingen, Germany. From January 2016 I'm working on my own project 'Learning language from expectations' (funded by NWO Veni grant) at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands.

I'm interested in the underlying mechanisms of on-line sentence processing, more specifically how language processing can be explained by more general cognitive mechansims and principles. To investigate language processing I combine cognitive (computational) modeling with experimental studies (e.g. EEG, gaze data, pupil dilation, or behavioral responses) to test the predictons of these models. 

My PhD research focused on the cognive factors that influence pronoun processing, such as working memory and processing speed. I implemented cognitive ACT-R models that simulate pronoun processing to generate new precise and testable predictions how discourse, grammar, and more general cognitive principles interact. These predictions were investigated with different experimental measures: EEG, gaze data, pupil dilation, (self-paced) reading times, and behavioral responses (more info | thesis).

In the current project I will use different experimental methods including EEG and eye tracking to study lexical processing and sentence processing. In addition, I work on cognitive ACT-R models and NDL simulations to generate new predictions about language phenomena, and to contribute to the development of the theory of naieve discrimination learning.

Summary research interests:

  • Processing of referring expressions
  • Language acquisition and learning
  • Influence of cognitive factors and context on sentence processing


Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

Seminar für Sprachwissenschaft Quantitative Linguistik
Wilhelmstraße 19
D-72074 Tübingen, Germany
(room 1.11)

vanrij.jacolien 'AT'
gmail 'dot' com