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Cognition and Psycholinguistics (CaP) Research Laboratory

The research conducted in the Cognition and Psycholinguistics (CaP) Research Lab explores what people say, why people say what they say, and how people understand what others have said. We currently have two primary lines of research: one focusing on the ways that people talk about death and dying and the other focusing on the processing of metaphors. Here are some examples of research questions that we are interested in answering.

Because people tend to avoid using the words "death" and "dying," what words and phrases do they actually use to talk about these topics? Are there any factors (i.e., religion, their level of anxiety related to death, etc.) that can predict the words and phrases people use to talk about these topics? Do certain words and phrases used to talk about death and dying have a positive impact on the listener, and do other words and phrases have a negative impact on the listener? Could these findings be used to improve therapeutic interactions with clients experiencing bereavement?

What are the cognitive mechanisms that allow us to understand metaphors? Are the ways in which people process metaphors similar to or different from the ways in which people process more literal language? More specifically, previous research has shown that mental simulation and motor activation are involved when people are processing or producing literal language. Under what circumstances are mental simulation and motor activation involved when people are processing or producing metaphors?

Members of the CaP Research Lab include both undergraduate and graduate students interested in areas such as cognitive psychology and linguistics. We hold weekly lab meetings, and interested students are welcome to attend these meetings as guests. Depending on your level of interest and available time, the CaP Research Lab offers a variety of different research opportunities, each requiring a different level of commitment.

Get Involved with CaP Research Lab

It’s easy to get involved: Send Dr. Brooke Breaux an email, and stop by my office in Room 222B, Girard Hall if you are interested in joining the lab or simply attending a meeting.

Undergraduate Student Presentations

Hayes, A., Talley, M., Moyer, C. L., & Breaux, B. O. (2014, November). Relational thinking. Talk presented at the 7th Annual Fall Undergraduate Research Invitational hosted by The Honors Program at the University of Louisiana Lafayette.

King, I., Dronet, D., Lanie, C., & Breaux, B. O. (2015, November). Are you on time to get on the boat, or are you in time to get in the boat? The 8th Annual Fall Undergraduate Research Invitational, Lafayette, LA.

Kylie, G., Richard, D., & Breaux, B. O. (2015, November). Talking about death: Patterns in favor of terror management theory. The 8th Annual Fall Undergraduate Research Invitational, Lafayette, LA.

Laboratory Presentations

Breaux, B. O. (2015, March). Behavior analysis and cognitive science: Distinct or overlapping perspectives? In M. Gamble (Chair) and R. Perkins (Discussant), Cognitive science and contextual behavioral science: Age-old enemies or star-crossed lovers. Symposium conducted at the 1st Annual SE ACBS Chapter Conference, Lafayette, LA.

Breaux, B. O., & King, I. (accepted for presentation 2016, April). The resolution of ambiguity: What can it tell us about prepositional metaphors and metaphoric structuring? Paper to be presented at the American Association for Applied Linguistics Conference, Orlando, FL.

Breaux, B. O., Richard, D., Robinette, L., Garber, K., LaCour, M., & Harrell, D. (accepted for presentation 2016, March). (Not) talking about death: Implications for terror management theory. Paper to be presented at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association, New Orleans, LA.

CaP lab