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Dr. Kara D. Federmeier

Division: Cognitive

Professor of Psychology

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Research Description

Certain sensory stimuli -- words, pictures, faces, environmental sounds -- seem to immediately and effortlessly bring to mind a rich array of knowledge that we experience as the "meaning" of those cues. My research examines the neurobiological basis of such meaning, asking how world knowledge derived from multiple modalities comes to be organized in the brain and how such information is integrated and made available for use in varied contexts and often in only hundreds of milliseconds. I use human electrophysiological techniques in combination with behavioral, eye movement, and other brain imaging methods to examine how semantic information is structured as a function of modality and stimulus type, how it is brought to bear during language comprehension by younger and older adults, and how it is differentially accessed and used by the two hemispheres of the brain.

Education

  • Ph.D. from the University of California at San Diego

Courses

  • Psych 224: Introduction to Cognitive Psychology
  • Psych 450: Cognitive Psychophysiology

Recent Publications

Evans, K M. and Federmeier, K. D. (2007). The memory that's right and the memory that's left: Event-related potentials reveal hemispheric asymmetries in the encoding and retention of verbal information. Neuropsychologia, 45, 1777-1790.

Federmeier, K. D. (2007). Thinking ahead: The role and roots of prediction in language comprehension. Psychophysiology, 44, 491-505.

Huang, H., Lee, C., and Federmeier, K. D. (2010). Imagine that! ERPs provide evidence for distinct hemispheric contributions to the processing of concrete and abstract concepts. Neuroimage, 49, 1116-1123.

Laszlo, S. and Federmeier, K. D. (2009). A beautiful day in the neighborhood: An event-related potential study of lexical relationships and prediction in context. Journal of Memory and Language, 61, 326-338.

Lee, C. and Federmeier, K. D. (2009). Wave-ering: An ERP study of syntactic and semantic context effects on ambiguity resolution for noun/verb homographs. Journal of Memory and Language, 61, 538-555.