About Us

Principal Investigator, Director 

Kiel Christianson, Ph.D. 

Professor & Associate Chair, Department of Educational Psychology

My research is influenced and informed by linguistic theory, as well as by cognitive psychology. My goal is to make deeper, broader connections between linguistics and various sub-fields of cognitive science. Overarching themes in my present work are (mis)interpretation in sentence processing, morphological processing during reading, and crosslinguistic research. At present I am focusing on rereading behaviors (i.e., measures related to rereading) in order to determine what, if any, relation they have to post-interpretive measures of comprehension (e.g., accuracy in responses to comprehension questions). A large proportion of my work connects to Good Enough Language Processing, a theory developed over the past 20 years with several colleagues. One recent expansion of this work is auditory perceptual simulation (APS), which describes readers’ consciously imagining a voice in their heads while reading. (Read more about APS at https://distributedmuseum.illinois.edu/exhibit/auditory-perceptual-simulation/).

Previous Graduate Student
Nayoung Kim

Currently, my research focuses on memory mechanisms underlying L1 and L2 online sentence comprehension using eye-tracking. I’m also interested in language-music relations to understand domain-general/specific mechanisms underlying linguistic structural processing.

 Graduate Student
Sarah-Elizabeth Deshaies

My research focus is on the intersection between reading behaviors and personal beliefs with an interest in second language acquisition. I am driven by the need for bilingual education settings in today’s increasingly globalized communities. I have co-authored a chapter in The Handbook of Informal Language Learning and published a few papers inside as well as outside this language learning field. I spend my free time improving my Spanish and learning Hindi.

Graduate Student
Jack Dempsey

My primary research looks at how cues like probabilistic information, frequency distributions, and preceding context influence sentence processing and, in particular, ambiguity resolution. My other interests include quantitative methods in psycholinguistics, statistical learning, reading and vision, and programming for data science.

Lab Manager & Graduate Student
Laura Valderrama

Laura Valderrama is a doctoral student in Educational Psychology, a research assistant in the Educational Psychology Psycholinguistics Lab, and a former TA for the EPSY201-Educational Psychology and CI415 Language Varieties, Culture, and Learning courses. Her research interests focus on the biliteracy practices of Latino children and in the training of future teachers on issues pertaining to language diversity.

Graduate Student
Danyi Chen

Danyi Chen is a doctoral student in the Educational Psychology department. Her research primarily focuses on bilingual language processing, second language acquisition, and reading. She also has teaching experiences of English language testing with focuses on reading and writing skill improvement. In her free time, she likes to read and cook.
Graduate Student
Victoria Susberry
Victoria Susberry is a second-year Ph.D. student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her doctoral research focuses on accents and racial linguistics within the academic setting. Her work takes a multidisciplinary approach involving educational psychology, linguistics, and critical race theory.

Former Graduate Students

Heeyoun Cho (Full-time Lecturer, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea)
Erika Hussey (Cognitive Science Team at US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center (NSRDEC)
Ji Hyon Kim (Associate Professor and Chair, School of English for Translation and Interpretation, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul, South Korea)
Sun-A Kim (Assistant Professor, Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Jung Hyun Lim (University of California, San Diego)
Kent Lee (Assistant Professor, Center for Teaching and Learning, Korea University, Seoul, South Korea)
Steven Luke (Assistant Professor, Psychology Department, Brigham Young University)
Heather Mauch
Jinhee Joo
Cassie Palmer
Jeong-Ah Shin (Associate Professor, Dongkuk University, Seoul, South Korea)
Kacey Wochna (Lecturer, Psychology Department, Ithaca College, New York)
Anastasia Stoops (Post-Doc, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center)
Nikos Vergis (Post-Doc, School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, McGill University)
Peiyun Zhou (Post-Doc, Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences, University of Washington)

Former Assistants

Michael Blasingame, Ellie Brindise, Hye Yoon Choi, Jules Dubin, Kyle Hartzell, Eric Juul, Mary Keutemeyer, Rachel Leddy, Austin Maske, Hye-min Mia Lee, Jooyun Lee, Yojin Park, Adina Raizen, Laeh Ragans, Aubrey Sumaydeng, Joy Shapley, Allie Stanko, Heather, Sulikowski, Kate Tyndall, Youjia Wang, Zongyuan Wang, Cassandra Phelps, Shaolingyun Guo, Mary Fran Donovan, Yilan Liu, Mien-Jen Wu