ProfessorUniversity of California, Davis
Office: 268J Young Hall
Language is a central part of our everyday life. Yet comprehending spoken and written language is extremely complex, being subserved by complex mental processes and supported by myriad areas in the brain. The main goal of Dr. Swaab's research program is to study the cognitive and neural architectures of normal language comprehension. In this context, she has focused her research on a number of topics, including: 1) the processing of sentences and discourse 2) the representation of words and their meaning. In order to investigate these topics she has made use of behavioral methods, Event-Related Potentials (ERPs), and functional neuroimaging (fMRI). She has tested neurologically normal adults, neurological patients with brain damage who are impaired in normal language comprehension (aphasic patients), and patients with schziophrenia. The combination of these approaches can provide information on language comprehension processes as they unfold in real time, but also hold the obvious possibility of identifying areas in the brain that are crucial to normal language understanding.