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Laura Speed

Contact

Erasmusplein 1
6525 HT Nijmegen
Room: E 4.01
Email

Laura joined the Meaning Culture and Cognition group in September 2014 as a postdoctoral researcher after completing a PhD in Experimental Psychology at University College London. Her PhD investigated an embodied view of language comprehension. That is, to what extent language comprehension involves sensorimotor parts of the brain, systems used to perceive and act in the world. Specifically, her thesis focused on language that describes speed of motion and explored the contributions of vision, audition and action to the comprehension of language about speed, and factors that may affect these contributions. Her interest in the psychology of language began during her undergraduate study at the University of Edinburgh, where she obtained a first class MA (Hons) in psychology and began work as a research assistant in a psycholinguistics lab.

Laura’s current work investigates the interaction between language and the perception and action systems, and the contextual factors that affect this interaction. In the Meaning Culture and Cognition group she looks at the relationship between language and olfactory perception and the other perceptual modalities (e.g. vision). One aspect of her work addresses how the perception of odours can be influenced by contextual factors, such as verbal labels and descriptions. She also explores how odour language and cognition recruit resources from other perceptual modalities to aid in meaning, for example, how odour-colour associations in synaesthesia can enhance odour naming ability.

Articles

  • Speed, L.J. & Majid, A. (in press). Superior olfactory language and cognition in odor-color synaesthesia. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
  • Speed, L. J., van Dam, W. O., Hirath, P., Vigliocco, G., & Desai, R. H. (2017). Impaired Comprehension of Speed Verbs in Parkinson’s Disease. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 23(5), 412-420. Link to source
  • van Dam, W. O., Speed, L. J., Lai, V., Vigliocco, G. & Desai, R. H. (2017). Effects of motion speed in action representations. Brain and Language 168, 47-56Link to source 
  • Speed, L. J. & Majid, A. (in press). Dutch modality exclusivity norms: Simulating perceptual modality in space. Behavior Research Methods. Link to source
  • Majid, A., Speed, L. J., Croijmans, I., & Arshamian, A. (2017). What makes a better smeller? Perception, 46, 406-430. Link to source
  • Speed, L. J. & Majid, A.(2016). Grammatical gender affects odor cognition. Proceedings of the 38 Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Philadelphia, PA: Cognitive Science Society. Link to sourceFull text (pdf)
  • Speed, L. J., Chen, J., Huettig, F., & Majid, A. (2016). Do classifier categories affect or reflect object concepts? Proceedings of the 38 Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Philadelphia, PA: Cognitive Science Society. Link to sourceFull text (pdf)
  • Speed, L. J. (2016). The knowing nose. The Psychologist, 29, 510-515. Link to article
  • Speed, L. J. & Vigliocco, G. (2014). Eye movements reveal the dynamic simulation of speed in language. Cognitive Science 38 (2), 367-382. Link to source

Book Chapters

  • Speed, L. J., Wnuk, E., & Majid, A. (in press). Studying psycholinguistics out of the lab. In A. De Groot, & P. Hagoort (Eds.), Research Methods in Psycholinguistics. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. Preprint
  • Speed, L.J. & Vigliocco, G. (2015). Space, time and speed in language and perception. In Y. Coello, & M. Fischer (Eds.), Foundations of Embodied Cognition. New York: Psychology Press.
  • Speed, L. J., Vinson, D., & Vigliocco, G (2015). Representing meaning. Ewa Dabrowska and Dagmar Divjak (eds.). Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics. London/New York: De Gruyter Mouton.

Talks

Croijmans, I., Speed, L.J., Arshamian, A., Majid, A. (2017). Experts are better than novices when imagining wines, but not odors in general. Accepted for the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Cognitive Science Society.

Speed, L. J. & Majid, A. (2017). Comparing embodiment of sound and smell words. CogLing7, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Speed, L. J. & Majid, A. (2016). Spatial Simulation of Perceptual Modalities. Presented at Embodied and Situated Language Processing (ESLP), Pucon, Chile.

Speed, L. J., Chen, J., Huettig, F., & Majid, A. (2016). Do classifier categories affect or reflect object concepts? Proceedings of the 38 Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Philadelphia, PA: Cognitive Science Society.

Speed, L. J. & Majid, A. (2016) The effect of olfactory synaesthesia on odour language and cognition. TeaP 58th Conference of Experimental Psychologists, Heidelberg, Germany.

Speed, L. J. & Majid, A. (2015) .Olfactory language and cognition in odour-colour synaesthesia. The Eleventh Annual National Conference of the American Synesthesia Association, Florida, USA

Speed, L. J. & Vigliocco, G. (2015). Comprehension of words describing speed involves speed in auditory and visual perception. International Cognitive Linguistics Conference 13, Newcastle, UK

Speed, L. J. & Vigliocco, G. (2015). Comprehension of words describing speed involves speed in auditory and visual perception. LanPercept Workshop, Norwich, UK

Speed, L. J. (2013) Simulating speed of motion in language comprehension. Presented at Hard Data Cafe, University of South Carolina, USA.

Speed, L. J. & Vigliocco, G. (2012). The Multimodal Meaning of Speed in Language. Presented at Embodied and Situated Language Processing (ESLP), Newcastle, UK.

Speed, L. J. & Vigliocco, G. (2011). Understanding Speed in Language. Presented at Psycholinguistics in Flanders (PIF), Antwerp, Belgium.

Posters

Speed, L. J., & Majid, A. (2016). Rosemary and rain: Embodiment of odor and sound words. Presented at Embodied and Situated Language Processing (ESLP), Pucon, Chile.

Speed, L. J. & Majid, A.(2016). Grammatical gender affects odor cognition. Proceedings of the 38 Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Philadelphia, PA: Cognitive Science Society.

Speed, L. J. & Majid, A. (2015) Grammatical gender affects odour perception and memory. Presented at European Society for Cognitive Psychology (ESCOP), Cyprus

Speed, L. J. & Majid, A. (2015) Grammatical gender affects odour perception and memory. Presented at Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing (AMLaP), Malta
Speed, L. J., van Dam, W. O., Brzorad, C.,  Vigliocco, G. & Desai, R. (2014) Parkinson’s disease disrupts comprehension of speed language. Presented at Embodied and Situated Language Processing (ESLP), Rotterdam, Netherlands

Speed, L. J. & Vigliocco, G. (2014) Action-specific auditory simulation in speed sentences. Presented at Embodied and Situated Language Processing (ESLP), Rotterdam, Netherlands

Speed, L. J. Bruno, A. & Vigliocco, G. (2013). Do speed verbs affect low-level visual speed discrimination? Presented at Language in Mind, Birmingham, UK

Speed, L. J. Bruno, A. & Vigliocco, G. (2013). Do speed verbs affect low-level speed discrimination processes? Presented at Embodied and Situated Language Processing (ESLP), Potsdam, Germany

Speed, L. J. & Vigliocco, G. (2012). The Multimodal Meaning of Speed in Language. Presented at Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing (AMLaP), Riva del Garda, Italy.

Speed, L. J. & Vigliocco, G. (2011). Simulating Speed in Language. Presented at Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing (AMLaP), Paris, France.

Speed, L. J. & Vigliocco, G. (2011). Simulating Speed in Language. Presented at European Society for Cognitive Psychology (ESCOP), San Sebastian, Spain.

Education

 

2010-2014 University College London. PhD in Cognitive Perceptual and Brain Sciences
2006-2010 University of Edinburgh. MA (Hons) First Class in Psychology
2008-2009 University of California Berkeley. International Exchange Programme
1999-2006 Connah’s Quay High School. GCSEs and A levels.
 

Employment & Research Experience

 

2014 – 2017 Meaning, Culture and Cognition group, Centre for Language Studies, Radboud University, Netherlands: Postdoctoral researcher (PI: Professor Asifa Majid)
2013 Department of Psychology, University of South Carolina: research visit with Dr Rutvik Desai with UCL Bogue fellowship
2010 – 2014 Language and Cognition lab, UCL, UK: PhD student (supervisor: Professor Gabriella Vigliocco)
2007 – 2010 Psycholinguistics and Visual Cognition Lab, Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh: Research Assistant (PIs: Professor Fernanda Ferreira and Professor John Henderson)
2008 – 2009 Cognition and Action lab, University of California Berkeley: Research assistant (PI: Professor Richard Ivry)
 

Awards

 

2013 UCL Bogue Fellowship: Visit to University of South Carolina to conduct research investigating speed language comprehension in Parkinson’s disease with Dr Rutvik Desai
2011 – 2014 UCL Statistics Demonstratorship
2010 British Psychological Society Undergraduate Award: For highest overall score in psychology degree programme at the University of Edinburgh
 

Teaching and Supervising

 

2016

 

Co-supervisor of PhD student Ilja Croijmans and masters student Marijn Petersrit
2015 Guest lecturer in Donders Cognitive Neuroscience summer school
2015 Co-supervisor of masters student Hannah Atkinson
2014 1st year lab class. Lectured first year undergraduates explaining research findings from the Language & Cognition lab
2011 – 2014 UCL Statistics Demonstrator: Assisting second and third year undergraduates with statistical analysis in class and for their dissertations
2010 – 2014 Supervisor for various undergraduate “mini-projects”
2010 – 2011 2nd year undergraduate tutoring. Supervised and advised small groups of students in methods of experiment design, data collection and analysis
2010 1st year lab class. Lectured first year undergraduates explaining research findings from the Language & Cognition lab
 

Positions of Responsibility

 

2014 – present Co-organizer of Radboud Colloquium series “Categories, diversity and contact”
2011 – 2012 UCL Postgraduate Peer Group Committee member
2010 – 2011 UCL Cognitive Perceptual and Brain Sciences Seminar Committee member

 

Reviewing

Ad-hoc reviewer for Cognitive Science, Chemical Senses, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human, Perception, Performance, American Journal of Psychology, Memory & Cognition

 

Public Engagement

 

2016 Lecture “Odour cognition in odour-colour synaesthesia” at Odorama “Do you smell blue?” Mediamatic, Amsterdam
2015 Winner of “Science Live” award at Drongo science festival, Utrecht, Netherlands.
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