Welcome! I am a PhD Candidate studying the pragmatics, communication and Theory of Mind in the neurotypical and autistic brain. Currently, I am doing my PhD at the Donders Institute at the Mutual Understanding lab with Jana Bašnáková and Arjen Stolk, and the Neurobiology of Language lab with Peter Hagoort.
My current research can be divided into two research areas. First, I am interested in how the meaning of words and utterances is dependent on the context they appear in. If, for example, someone says the word ‘plant’, it will be interpreted differently in a conversation about nature than a conversation about nuclear reactors. Additionally, the meaning of a word also depends on the person you are talking to, and whether you have used this word in previous conversations. In my research, I use behavioral, eye-tracking and fMRI methods to find out how people solve this ambiguity of word meaning, what kinds of parts of the given context people use, and which underlying brain networks are involved in this process. Secondly, I study the way in which people think about and represent the minds and thoughts of other people when observing communication. Specifically, I am looking into which aspects of communication are effortful for people to focus on and how this varies between individuals. To answer these questions, I use pupillometry and fMRI methods. In both of these lines of research, I am also comparing the cognitive mechanisms and performance of autistic and neurotypical people.