Linguistics and Phonetics Research Experience Scheme

Eye tracking whilst speaking

How do people coordinate their eye movements and speech production processes? This study investigates how people look at objects on a screen whilst instructing an addressee to find objects on another screen. We’re interested in monitoring individual differences in the way that speakers refer to objects and how this might be related to their eye movements. Experimental participants will also be given a set of standardised tests in order to further investigate individual differences.

This first phase of the research will collect and examine data from adults in order to form a comparison group with a sample of 5- and 7-year-old children, as we then move to examining the way that children refer to and look at objects. The primary task of the RES students is to help with the adult data collection and preparation. Training will be given for all tasks.

As the project progresses, and with the agreement of the RES student and supervisor, there may be the opportunity to help collect and analyse data from schoolchildren.

Relevant fields of Linguistics:IMG_3202

  • First Language Acquisition
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Experimental Pragmatics

Start Date: 27 Oct 2014
End Date: 12 Dec 2014 (negotiable)

Hours per Week: 6 (negotiable)

Possible activities to be undertaken by RES Student:

  • Transcribing speech
  • Calculating simple patterns in the speech data
  • Recruiting experimental participants using online scheduling tools
  • Collecting data in the lab using the Tobii X120 eye tracker
  • Recording adults’ responses to standardised tests.

Number of Possible Students: 1

Likely outcomes:

  • Experience in running eye tracking experiments.
  • Experience in psycholinguistic testing procedures, e.g. gaining informed consent, giving instructions, data collection, transcription and preparation, troubleshooting problems, and debriefing participants.
  • An insight into the data collection phase of the research process.
  • Expertise in the use of IT packages: Doodle, Tobii Studio, and Excel.

Students who have questions about this project should contact Cat Davies on

If you would like to work on this project, please submit an RES application form by 20/10/14.

If your application is successful, the supervisor will be in touch in due course.


This entry was posted in Completed Projects, First Language Acquisition, Pragmatics, Psycholinguistics, Quantitative methods.

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