The cognitive program has a rich tradition of research into language and reading. Topics studied in this area include: word processing, word learning (in both native and second languages), reading, effects of writing systems on reading, sentence processing (in both native and second languages, and in individuals with aphasia), syntactic adaptation, prosody, disfluencies, text comprehension, second language learning, and bilingual processing. Some of the methods used in this research include: ERPs, eye tracking, fMRI, MEG, behavioral experiments, and surveys.
Language and reading research in the cognitive program forms the core of a broad web of language research at Pitt. Bi-weekly Reading and Language Group meetings bring together students and faculty from the cognitive program who are interested in language to hear about on-going research projects; these meetings are also often attended by researchers from the School of Education, LRDC, CNBC, Communication Science and Disorders department and the Linguistics department. Our students and faculty routinely collaborate with researchers from these other divisions and departments, broadening the range of questions asked and expertise available.
Because the cognitive program is housed in the Learning Research and Development Center, which has a focus on education, there is a strong tradition of work investigating applied questions in reading, reading instruction, and second language learning.