Dimitri Brunelle Awarded Psi Chi Undergraduate Research Grant!

Congratulations to Dimitri on receiving the Psi Chi Undergraduate Research Grant (Spring 2020) to fund his honors thesis project! He applied to travel to the Language and Memory Aging (LaMA) Lab under Dr. Brennan Payne at the University of Utah to collect EEG data alongside the behavioral data from the EMaC Lab. His project investigates prediction violations in music and language, and whether musicians have higher predictive capabilities compared to non-musicians.

Here’s a video of our “boundless bull”, Anna Marie!

A lifelong artist, Anna Marie Fennell knows the transformative power art can have in someone’s life. That’s why the USF psychology major plans to work as a mental health counselor, using expressive arts therapy to help those in need. And while she’s been focused on research and her academic success, Anna Marie has maintained her involvement in and passion for the arts – a reminder that USF Bulls are made of more than just their majors.

Alex Sciuto Awarded Psi Chi Undergraduate Research Grant

Congratulations to Alex on receiving the Psi Chi Undergraduate Research Grant (Fall 2019 round) to fund his honors thesis project! His project investigates how visual clarity and sentence constraint influence readers’ reliance on top-down and bottom-up processing. He is using a combination of RSVP and an eccentricity manipulation of a target word, and asking participants what a letter in the last word of sentence is to probe whether people are more influenced by visual input (bottom-up processing) or inferences based on sentence context (top-down processing).


2019 PsychExpo

Congratulations to Anna Marie for winning the Best Poster Award at the USF Psychology Department’s Annual Research Exposition in 2019. Her poster was on her honors thesis, and was titled “Musicians experience less working memory interference than non-musicians by utilizing syntactic structure”.

Alex also presented a poster on his honors thesis studying top-down versus bottom-up processing, and Dimitri presented a poster on oral reading.

5th Annual Florida Psycholinguistics Conference in Miami

The EMaC Lab attended and presented at the 5th Annual Florida Psycholinguistics Meeting at the University of Miami. Psycholinguists and scholars from related fields around the state came together to share research and gain new perspectives on various topics and research techniques. Many of our undergraduates and our graduate students, Sara and Martin, presented fabulous posters at the conference.

Some logistical difficulties with our AirBnB led to us spending some lab bonding time at a local 24-hour laundromat… see below

Cassie presented about the word superiority effect (WSE).

Dimitri presented on oral and silent reading.

Alex presented on his honors thesis investigated top-down versus bottom-up processing while reading.

Our visiting graduate student, Martin, presented ERP data on individual difference in the perceptual and visual attention span during reading.

Jamie Newland presents at the Preeminent Undergraduate Research Experience at USF

Early this month, several undergraduate research assistants from EMaC Lab presented at the Spring 2019 PURE hosted by the Office of Undergraduate Research at USF. Jamie presented preliminary results from her undergraduate honors thesis titled “Semantic Priming: Individual Differences in Automaticity”. Replicating earlier semantic priming studies and investigating the effects of individuals’ reading/language abilities. She found that readers with better comprehension (as assessed using the PIAT-R) showed less dual-task interference during a semantic categorization task, suggesting they identify the meanings of words more automatically.


EMaC Lab at CUNY 2019: The 32nd Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing


Emily and Sara presented research posters at CUNY this year at University of Colorado Boulder. Find their posters and others from the session online at https://osf.io/view/CUNY2019/

Sara’s project titled “Frequency, predictability & lexical quality effects: individual differences in reading & proofreading” showed a reanalysis (Schotter et al., 2014) seeking to elucidate the patterns of individual differences within commonly seen effects like word frequency and sentence context. She further explored individuals sensitivity to orthotactic and phonotactic patterns of the English language.


Emily’s poster entitled “Enhanced peripheral lexical processing in deaf individuals: perceptually or linguistically driven?” is a collaboration with Dr. Amy Lieberman of Boston University. She presented preliminary results from three experiments of deaf signers’ peripheral processing abilities, demonstrating a sign superiority effect, whereby deaf signers are able to utilize lexical knowledge to facilitate processing of information under difficult tasks demands (i.e. when information is briefly presented at an extreme eccentricity in the periphery).