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Dr Jennifer Rodd
26 Bedford Way
Tel: 020 7679 1096
Fax: 020 7436 4276
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Experimental Psychology
  • Div of Psychology & Lang Sciences
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences
1993 – 1996 BA Hons in Natural Sciences, First Class Honours. University of Cambridge

1996 – 1997 MSc in Cognitive Science and Natural Language, Distinction. University of Edinburgh

1997 – 2000 PhD, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge.

2000 – 2003 Research Fellow, Dept of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge. Funded by Peterhouse, Cambridge

2003 – 2006 Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow, University College London
Research Themes
Research Summary
I am currently involved in the following research projects

1) fMRI studies of Semantic and Syntactic Ambiguity

The phenomena of semantic ambiguity (e.g., "bark of a tree/dog") and syntactic ambiguity (e.g., "landing planes is/are dangerous") are used to study the network of inferior frontal and posterior temporal brain regions involved in computing the meanings of sentences and to explore the organising principles of the language comprehension system.

2) Speech Comprehension in Patients with a Diagnosis of Persistent Vegetative State

A new hierarchical method is used to assess these severely brain injured patients, and in some cases indicated that their spoken language is far better preserved than might have been thought from their clinical diagnoses.

3) How are the Meanings of Words Represented?

Psycholinguistic and computational modelling methods are used to explore how the meanings of words are represented in the mind. In particular, explore how ambiguity in word meaning and the relationship between these different meanings can influence on how words are stored and processed.

4) Visual Word Recognition: A Cascaded or Discrete Process?

Evidence from a semantic classification decision demonstrates that when we encounter a written word (e.g., "leotard") we partially activate the meanings of visually similar words (e.g., "leopard"). This demonstrates that visual word recognition is a cascaded process such that semantic processing begins before visual processing is complete.
Teaching Summary
1) MSc Research Methods for Psychology: Course Director
In 2010 I became the course Director for this MSc. I also convene three of this course’s modules (Special Research Methods Option in Cognitive Psychology; Special Research Methods Option in Cognitive Neuroscience; Core Skills). I provide a substantial proportion of the teaching on these modules, and also teach on the Special Research Methods Option in Developmental Psychology. I also chair the exam board for this course

2) BSc Psychology: PSYC2208 Cognition and Language, Course Convenor
I have taught on this course since 2006 and took over as convenor in 2010. I have introduced the ‘personal response system’ technology to this course

3) Additional teaching activity
• BSc Psychology Exam Review Committee (MCQs) (2010-Present)
• BSc Psychology PSYC1105: Concepts and Methods (2 lectures, 2008-Present)
• BSc Psychology PSYC2203: I offer a four-week lab class in which the whole year group design, conduct and analyse experiments on language comprehension2011)
• BSc Psychology PSYC2203: I offer a significant number of mini projects each year (e.g., 2011: 8 students supervised)
• BSc PsychologyUndergraduate Seminars (2003–Present)
• Study Skills Seminar: Offered to all non-UK MSc students within PaLS (2011-Present)
• Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology: Seminar on Language Development (2010-Present)
Academic Background
2000 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Cognitive Neuroscience University of Cambridge
1997 MSc Master of Science – Cognitive Science University of Edinburgh
1996 BA Hons Bachelor of Arts (Honours) – Psychology University of Cambridge
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