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Maria Pinango

Associate Professor of Linguistics

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Maria Pinango


Piñango's Language and Brain Lab investigates the architecture of the neurocognitive system that supports the building of meaning through language use. We ask the questions: What are word meanings? How can they be in the mind and brain and yet also about the world? What mechanisms allow us to combine word meanings to create other meanings, and in real-time, as we speak? What structures of the mind and mechanisms of the brain support this constant process of meaning generation?

To answer these questions her lab studies the system of linguistic meaning and of linguistic meaning comprehension including the conceptual and memory systems that support it in neurotypical adults and children, and using a variety of approaches; from strictly behavioral (questionnaires, self-paced reading, eye-tracking) to electrophysiological (ERP), and to neuroimaging (fMRI) and focal lesions (Aphasia).

The research domain of Piñango's Language and Brain lab thus lies at the crossroads of linguistics, psychology, neurology and neuroscience.


  • Spanish Language
    Venezuela 2008
    Professor Pinango is conducting a research project on the structure of the Spanish language.
  • Linguistics Collaboration
    Germany 2003
    Professor Pinango has a collaborative research project grant with Humboldt University. In general her research interests examine the process of integration of different linguistic information during comprehension in real-time occurs (focusing on the integration of semantic and syntactic information), and whether differences in the process of integration (i.e., differences in time-course of activation) find parallels in cortical realization and distribution. Further she is interested in the characterization of language deficits that result from brain damage, and in the interaction between linguistic processes and other cognitive capacities such as memory.

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