The distinct biological basis of sign language results in a unique interaction between vision and language and between action systems and language production. This project investigates the possible effects of experience with a visual-spatial language and the effects of auditory deprivation from birth on non-language visual perception and on spatial cognition. Specifically, we are addressing the following questions using behavioral methods and neuroimaging:
- How does knowing a visual-spatial language affect visual-spatial cognition?
- Do visual perspective taking abilities differ between deaf signers and hearing speakers?
- Why does short term memory span differ between speech and sign?
- Are theories of action perception and production relevant to sign language?
This research is supported by the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (R01 DC101977) and by the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development (R01 HD13249).
- Iverson, J., Patel, A., Nicodemus, B., & Emmorey, K. (2015). Synchronization to auditory and visual rhythms in hearing and deaf individuals. Cognition, 134, 232-244.
- Pyers, J.E., Perniss, P., & Emmorey, K. (2015). Viewpoint in the visual-spatial modality: The coordination of spatial perspective in sign languages. Spatial Cognition and Computation, 15(3), 1–28. Click to request PDF
- Emmorey, K. (2013). The neurobiology of sign language and the mirror system hypothesis. Language and Cognition, 5(2–3), 205-210.
- Baus, C., Carreiras, M., & Emmorey, K. (2013). When does iconicity in sign language matter? Language and Cognitive Processes, 28(3), 261-71.
- Pyers, J., Shusterman, A., Senghas, A., Spelke, E., & Emmorey, K. (2010). Evidence from an emerging sign language reveals that language supports spatial cognition. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(27), 12116-12120.
- Wilson, M., Lancaster, J., & Emmorey, K. (2010). Representational momentum for the human body: biomechanical knowledge matters, but learned movement patterns may not. Cognition, 116, 242-250.
- Wilson, M. & Emmorey, K. (2006). Comparing sign language and speech reveals a universal limit on short-term memory capacity. Psychological Science, 17(8), 682-83. Click to request PDF
- Emmorey, K., & Wilson, M. (2004). The puzzle of working memory for sign language. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 8(12), 521-523. Click to request PDF
- Wilson, M., & Emmorey, K. (2003). The effect of irrelevant visual input on working memory for sign language. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 8(2), 97-103. Click to request PDF
- Wilson, M. & Emmorey, K. (2001). Functional consequences of modality: Spatial coding in working memory for signs. In V. Dively, M. Metzger, S. Taub, & A. M. Baer (Eds.), Sign Languages: Discoveries from international research, pp. 91-99, Gallaudet University Press: Washington, D.C.
- Emmorey, K. (2014). What sign languages reveal about the face. Invited instructor for the Summer school on “What faces can reveal about social and cognitive processes”, Bicocca University, June, Milan, Italy.