Mental Lexicon 2020 is coming!

Save the date! The 12th International Conference on the Mental Lexicon will be held in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada from October 6 – 9, 2020 at the lovely Queen’s Landing hotel ( The conference brings together psycholinguistic, neurolinguistic, and computational research on the representation and processing of words in the mind/brain.

The call for papers will be posted in January, 2020. 

Upcoming Talk: There is a big gap in our understanding of reading fluency and the study of serial naming can help address it

On Monday July 22, 2019, Dr. Athanassios Protopapas (University of Oslo) will be giving a talk on word reading fluency at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. This invited talk is hosted by The Reading Lab and the Centre for Advanced Research in Experimental and Applied Linguistics at McMaster. See the abstract below for more information.

All are welcome to attend!


Date: July 22, 2019

Time: 12 – 2pm

Location: LRW 4018 (through ARiEAL entrance at LRW 4020), McMaster University


Word list reading fluency is theoretically expected to depend mainly on single word reading speed. Yet the correlation between the two diminishes with increasing fluency, while fluency remains strongly correlated to serial digit naming. This suggests that multi-element sequence processing is an important component of fluency. When multiple stimuli to be named are presented simultaneously, the total naming time is shorter than when they are presented individually (termed “serial advantage”). Presumably, this occurs because one or more stimuli can be processed simultaneously, for example by one stimulus being mapped to its phonological representation while the previous one is articulated and the next one is visually perceived. This temporal overlap, termed “cascaded” processing, amounts to the parallel processing of multiple sequential stimuli along a serial pipeline.

I will present data from serial and discrete naming and reading tasks in different orthographies supporting the hypotheses that (a) these tasks pattern along distinct dimensions of performance concerning sequential vs. single-entity processing; (b) stimuli are amenable to cascaded processing to the extent they are individually processed as unmediated single chunks; and (c) the serial advantage is limited by the slowest processing component. The first hypothesis suggests that a distinct skill domain, beyond single word processing, underlies efficient processing of word sequences (i.e., fluency). The second hypothesis distinguishes between alphanumeric and nonalphanumeric naming and sets the context for the study of word reading fluency development. The third hypothesis suggests that as long as articulation is faster than the preceding cognitive steps then the serial advantage is largely determined by the duration of the spoken words, but articulation goes on to become the rate-limiting factor as word recognition speeds up during reading development.

Serial word reading aligns increasingly with the serial naming factor at higher grades, suggesting that word reading fluency is gradually dominated by skill in simultaneously processing multiple successive items (“cascading”), beyond automatization of individual words. This explains why discrete word reading is decreasingly correlated with word reading fluency as reading skill increases and why serial digit naming (i.e., RAN) is such a strong concurrent and longitudinal predictor of word reading fluency.

ICYMI: EEG Analysis Workshop & STEP@CCP 2019 Registration Competitions

May 2019 is a busy month for Words in the World co-sponsored events!

The Brock & SHARCNet EEG Analysis Workshop (May 6 – 10), held in St. Catharines, ON, and Spring Training in Experimental Psycholinguistics at the Centre for Comparative Psycholinguistics (May 13 – 18), held in Edmonton, AB, are both coming up fast.

We are pleased to once again be offering registration competitions for both events to eligible trainees. If you are a trainee of a Words in the World partner or collaborator, you are eligible to participate. Up to five (5) trainees will have their registration costs covered for each competition.

Please note, there are two separate competitions, one for each event. Eligible trainees can apply to both competitions.

The deadline to apply for both competitions is April 30, 2019. For competition rules and submission details, follow the links below:

2019 ERP Workshop Registration Competition

2019 STEP Registration Competition


Upcoming Workshop: STEP@CCP 2019: May 13-18, 2019

The programme for the Centre for Comparative Psycholinguistics’ Spring Training in Experimental Psycholinguistics 2019 has been announced!

This year’s STEP@CCP will be held from May 13 – 18 in Edmonton, Alberta, at the University of Alberta.

The Spring School is directed at postdoctoral fellows, graduate and advanced undergraduate students, and anyone else interested in learning how to turn their research ideas into concrete steps towards experimental designs, data collection and analysis using advanced experimental and statistical methods.

The registration deadline is April 29, 2019. Course fees are set at $390, and include workshop attendance and materials, tea/coffee, light snacks, and 6 days of lunches.

Students and postdoctoral researchers working with Words in the World partners and collaborators are eligible to apply for the STEP@CCP 2019 Registration Competition, which covers the cost of student registration at the event. For more information about the registration competition and its requirements, read more here: 2019 STEP Registration Competition

For more information, and to register, visit the STEP@CCP site at

Upcoming workshop: Brock University & SHARCNet: EEG Analysis Workshop

Brock University & SHARCNet’s annual EEG Analysis Workshop will be held at Brock University from May 6 – May 10, 2019. Words in the World is a proud co-sponsor of this event.

Join Sid Segalowitz, James Desjardins, and Stefon van Noordt for a week of lectures and hands-on experience with both traditional and cutting-edge EEG analysis. Time will also be available to discuss individual research projects.

The cost of registration is $150 for students and postdoctoral researchers, and $250 for faculty and professionals. The deadline to register is May 2, 2019, so don’t delay!

Students and postdoctoral researchers who are working with Words in the World partners and collaborators are eligible to participate in the EEG Analysis Registration Competition, which covers registration costs. For more information, view the competition information here: 2019 ERP Workshop Registration Competition.

For more information and to register for the event, visit the event page at

Upcoming workshop: An introduction to Bayesian modeling using JAGS

The Centre for Advanced Research in Experimental & Applied Linguistics (ARiEAL) at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, is hosting a workshop on Bayesian modelling on the morning of January 15th, 2019.

In recent years, Bayesian inference is gaining increasing popularity. This workshop will serve as a brief introduction to this exciting alternative analytical approach, focusing on do-it-yourself modeling techniques, which allow for maximal flexibility and transparency in data analysis. In a nutshell, such techniques are based on the specification of a generative model that presumably gives rise to the observed data. To do so, one specifies the relevant latent parameters, prior distributions regarding these parameters (reflecting researchers’ a-priori knowledge), and relations between the various parameters as well as between parameters and observed data. Dr. Noam Siegelman (Haskins Labs) will go over basic concepts such as prior and posterior distributions, learn how to specify and interpret graphical models, and practice the implementation of such models using R and JAGS. He will also discuss the difference between Bayesian modeling and Bayesian statistics and the relation between Bayesian parameter estimation and Bayesian model selection via Bayes Factors.

Presenter: Dr. Noam Siegelman
Date: Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Time: 9:30 am to 11:30 am
Location: TSH 203
RSVP:  If you are interested, please email  by Monday, January 14, 2019.

Space is limited. Basic knowledge and experience with R is required. Basic knowledge of Bayesian statistics is recommended, but not required. Please note you will need to bring your own laptop with R installed. Prior to the workshop, please follow the instructions to install JAGS.

ARiEAL welcomes Hamilton-area high school students

The Centre for Advanced Research in Experimental & Applied Linguistics at McMaster University (ARiEAL) welcomed more than 30 students from Hamilton District Christian High School on November 21 to learn about the science behind second language acquisition. The students are studying French, and have an interest in understanding how people learn languages.

Students toured three on-site laboratories, including co-applicant Dr. Victor Kuperman’s Reading Lab, and met with five faculty members as part of their introduction to second language research.

The event was co-sponsored by Words in the World.

Upcoming Workshop: How to gain insight into reading processes

Dr. Victor Kuperman and The Centre for Advanced Research in Experimental and Applied Linguistics will be hosting a one-day workshop on “How to gain insight into reading processes – recreating (or improving) eye-tracking studies from the Turku eye-movement lab” on May 9, 2018. The workshop is offered by noted expert Dr. Raymond Bertram of the University of Turku, and will run from 10am – 4pm at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario (Room TBA).

For more information about the workshop, visit the official ARiEAL announcement here: If you are interested in attending, please contact ARiEAL as soon as possible, preferably by Friday May 4th, at

Call for Applications: Postdoctoral positions (2) in Psychology at the University of Alberta

Applications are solicited for up to two, one-year postdoctoral fellowships, with the potential for renewal, in the Department of Psychology at the University of Alberta, supervised by Christina Gagné and Thomas Spalding. This project is supported by SSHRC and NSERC funding to the supervisors.

The supervisory team is looking for postdoctoral researchers who have demonstrated expertise in psycholinguistics, computational linguistics, or cognitive psychology. Experience in and knowledge of the literature on compound processing is particularly sought. Experience with databases, corpora, and programming in various languages is a benefit.

The successful candidate(s) will be expected to contribute to the following:
1) Design, programming, and analysis of psycholinguistic experiments.
2) Preparation of publications and presentations.
3) Supervision of undergraduate and graduate students and general lab management.
4) Management and programming for a large-scale database.

Candidates should begin with an introductory email to Drs. Gagné ( and Spalding ( Formal applications will include a CV, publication list, brief statement of research interests, and three letters of reference. Applications will be assessed as they arrive. Position open until filled, however, a start date no later than August 30, 2018 is expected.