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Welcome to the Cognition & Language Laboratory

Founder and Director: Dr. Jeanette Altarriba

University at Albany, State University of New York

Department of Psychology

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Introduction and Overview

Welcome to the Cognition and Language Laboratory. The Laboratory has been in existence for over 25 years, at the University at Albany.

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Over the years, the interests of the Laboratory have grown and expanded from basic issues in language and information processing to their application in a broad range of settings. The Laboratory is directed by Dr. Jeanette Altarriba, Professor of Psychology. Under her direction, ten students have earned their Master's of Arts Degrees in Cognitive Psychology and nine their Doctor of Philosophy Degrees. Three students are now currently working towards their doctorates. The Laboratory houses both undergraduate and graduate research assistants, and has ample facilities and resources for the design and implementation of a variety of different experimental paradigms in the fields of memory, language, cognition, attention, emotion, and perception.


Some of the main areas of interest that have been pursued within the Laboratory include monolingual and bilingual word processing, second language acquisition, emotion word processing, code-switching and language-mixing in applied settings, and survival or adaptive memory. Some of the methods or tasks that have been used include lexical decision, pronunciation or naming, the Simon Task, Stroop interference, RSVP, n-back, and translation recognition, just to name a few.

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Current Research

Current experiments seek to understand the ways in which emotion words and emotion-laden words are coded in monolinguals as well as in the dominant vs. subordinate languages of fluent bilinguals, the differences in mental representations for concrete, abstract, and emotion words for novice and fluent bilinguals, metacognition for language learning, the influence of food priming on behavioral decisions, the adaptive function of memory, the role of associations in creativity, and many other areas of inquiry. We are a Laboratory with diverse interests, and we seek not only to provide new, original, basic research findings, but also to describe the ways in which those findings apply to important and timely issues in everyday life, such as in the fields of education and public health.

Students interested in graduate study in the Lab and/or the Cognitive/Developmental Psychology Program are invited to email Dr. Altarriba at

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Contact Us

University at Albany, State University of New York
Department of Psychology
399 Social Science Building
1400 Washington Ave, Albany NY 12222

For more information:

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