About me

I’m Espe (she/her), a post-doctoral research assistant at the Department of Experimental Psychology at Ghent University where I conduct research on psycholinguistics while providing support to researchers using eye-tracking. My main interests lie in paralinguistic cues in communication and the role of social cognition in speech comprehension. My current projects involve looking at the processing of the discourse marker ‘er’ in Dutch (with Rob Hartsuiker, Martin Corley and Stef Grondelaers), and the feeling of anothers’ knowing in first- and second-language speakers (again, with Rob Hartsuiker and Martin Corley)1. Among the other things that do not let me sleep at night are the differences between written and spoken disfluencies, the inferences we make about the speaker when processing speech, lexical choices, the effects of accent on comprehension and interpretation; basically, how we manage to comprehend one another (especially when speaking!) with all this information. I’m always happy to talk about these and other ideas, so drop me a line if they also keep you awake at night.

I did my PhD in Psycholinguistics at the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences (UoE, UK). In my thesis, I explored (with the great help of my supervisors, Martin Corley and Hannah Rohde) the biases elicited by filled pauses (uh or um, for example) at the lexical and pragmatic level, with a focus on the timecourse of the integration of these biases. What makes someone expect me (or not) to say accordion (but not train) when I am disfluent? Would they also use my hesitation to infer that I am lying?

I enjoy coding, teaching, and their intersection. I usually work on Python and R for my research, and share my materials, code and results on OSF for transparency. Likewise, I really like talking and learning about stats, and I usually fall down these rabbit holes when doing research.

  1. I still work with Greta Gandolfi a lot (just following the joke that used to be here because 40% of my bio was ‘I do this with Greta’). I also still believe that to do science is to be a social actor engaged, whether one likes it or not, in political activity (Lewontin, 1985)