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State-of-the-art research equipment for the Lancaster Linguistics Research Lab
Date: 27 February 2013
State-of-the-art research equipment is being acquired for the Lancaster Linguistics Research Lab. Lancaster University is funding the acquisition of new kit to the value of £87,000.
The Phonetics Lab will shortly take delivery of a new ultrasound machine. Ultrasound is a general purpose medical technology that has become increasingly popular in speech research over the past few decades. Ultrasound permits real-time video imaging of the tongue's position and movement during speech, which is achieved by placing a small probe underneath a speaker's chin. Our high-speed ultrasound machine will be a particularly valuable resource as it allows researchers to record accurate information on sounds that involve very fast tongue movements, which is not possible using older technologies. The ultrasound machine will be used in a number of projects based in the Department of Linguistics and English Language's Phonetics Lab, such as Sam Kirkham's work on the relationship between tongue movements and the acoustics of speech. This project will be important in producing more accurate data for speech and language therapy, as well as informing research into speech recognition and synthesis.
New mobile eye tracking equipment is a non-intrusive method for collecting psycholinguistic data from both children and adults in natural settings. Dr Silke Brandt explains, "Eye movements are a window into our minds. We will visit children in their nurseries in the Lancaster area and overseas to investigate how various cues in spoken language affects their focus of attention." Dr Marije Michel furthermore states: "In classrooms we can investigate how pupils process a second language. We are also planning to collect data from dyslexic readers in order to advance our knowledge about reading disorders in children learning various languages and writing systems. Finally, we want to observe eye movements in situations rarely studied before, such as how people look at multilingual websites."
Finally, an electroencephalography device, which measures brain activity, is being bought to assist interdisciplinary research between Linguistics and Psychology.
Associated departments and research centres: Linguistics and English Language
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