About me

I’m currently working as a post-doc in the LPL lab at Aix-Marseille University, France, with Dr. Kristof Strijkers. Before this, I carried out my PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands.

I’m interested in how humans have come to have language and how we manage to have conversations. How come humans have language when other species don’t? How do we manage this? What is happening in our brains to make this happen? How did language evolve? How do children learn? How we speak and understand each other so fast in a conversation? For that matter, how do we have conversations so quickly?

I don’t even come close to answering all of these questions, but my little part of the research landscape is looking at how we ‘do’ language in conversation. In my post-doc I am investigating similarities and differences in word production and comprehension, to understand which neural circuitry is shared between production and comprehension, and which isn’t. During my PhD, I investigated how people multitask with language tasks. It seems like people can plan what they want to say while they listen to their conversation partner. How do they do that? Hopefully some of my work can shed light on this.

Also related to my work, I am extremely enthusiastic about Open Science. I think all aspects of the research process should be freely and publicly accessible. It would be wonderful if this would include ideas about research avenues, the actual proposals people write before their studies with their hypotheses and planned tests (like pre-registration), posting scripts and data online for people to download and use, and posting pre-prints, blogging about work, posting post-prints, and making the entire process transparent. While I am very optimistic that science as a whole will get there, we aren’t there yet. I’m moving into practicing what I preach by archiving all my work so far on the OSF and starting new projects by making everything publicly accessible. See my OSF link for all projects.

Outside of work, I live a normal-person life. I have a son, and my favourite thing is to spend time with him and my husband. I love to hike. I love to travel. I like to cook. I love to eat. I love to read. I like to knit. I really love to boulder, and while I say I don’t like exercise I actually do. I also like to see my friends, and listen to music (especially rock/country/bluegrass/folk). Sometimes I watch an embarrassing amount of Netflix (having a child has not changed this). Every spare moment I listen to podcasts. I also have twitter but don’t understand how to tweet, though you can find me @amiefairs.