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Nicola Gillen

BSc (Hons), PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Biography and Research Interests

I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Oxford University BabyLab led by Professor Kim Plunkett. I am employed on a project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) investigating the development and interaction of the emerging lexicons in bilingual toddlers. This project is in collaboration with the Baby Lab at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain. We are interested in how the similarity of languages (i.e. cognates; words sharing the same etymological origin and similar phonology) impact early lexical processing in bilingual infants.

I completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology in 2014, followed by my PhD in 2019 both at Queen's University Belfast. I completed my PhD under the supervision of Dr Tim Fosker and Dr Trevor Agus. My doctoral work investigated the measurement of auditory discrimination thresholds in preschool children.

Prior to joining the BabyLab in January 2020, I worked in the Auditory Neuroscience Group led by Professor Andrew King at the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford (Sept 2018 to Dec 2019). Here, I investigated the human brain's plasticity for adapting auditory spatial cues for sound localisation under conditions of unilateral hearing loss.

Throughout my research experience to date, I have employed a range of methods including head-motion and eye- tracking, electrophysiology (EEG and EMG), as well as computational modelling. I am generally interested in auditory processing and its relation to speech and language development in monolingual and bilingual children. Furthermore, I am interested in studying the cognitive processes involved in these areas.

Recent publications

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