Vicky T. Lai

Assistant Professor
Psychology Department | Cognitive Science Program
University of Arizona, Tucson, United States
Lab website as of October 2016:

Research interests: Cognitive Neuroscience of Language, Semantics, Metaphor, Language and Thought in Bilinguals, Emotion and Language 


My research investigates the cognitive processes and the neural basis of language in context. My primary work examines higher-level language meaning, including figurative language, combinatorial semantics, sentence processing, and social-affective factors in language. I am also interested in language and thought issues especially in bilinguals whose two languages are typologically different. I use behavioral, electrophysiological (EEG), and imaging (fMRI) methods.  

Brief bio: I received my Master training in Psycholinguistics at the National Taiwan University, and then my joint Ph.D. in Linguistics and Cognitive Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. I then worked in the Neurobiology of Language Department at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen. I was also affiliated with the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour in Nijmegen. In Fall 2013, I joined Dr. Rutvik Desai's lab "Language, Concepts, and the Brain" at the McCausland Center for Brain Imaging, Department of Psychology, at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. In Fall 2016, I joined the Psychology Department and the Cognitive Science program at the University of Arizona.