OMSI Science Pub Eugene: Science of Language

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Thursday, January 9, 2020



$5 Suggested Donation

This Event is All Ages

Talk to Me: What the Science of Language Tells Us About Communication

With Melissa Baese-Berk, PhD, Associate Professor of Linguistics, University of Oregon

Doors open @ 5PM | $5 Suggested Donation

Imagine a world in which you could send a message from one brain to another through the air. While this sounds like science fiction, this is in fact how we communicate through language. The processes of understanding and producing speech are fast and effortless in most circumstances. However, these processes are hugely complex, and our understanding of them is still developing. Further, circumstances that do challenge the speaker or listener (e.g., noisy environments or communication between individuals with different language backgrounds) can inform our understanding of more effortless language processing.

In this talk, Professor Melissa Baese-Berk will discuss the science that underlies communication through language. Specifically, she will address issues of how individuals understand and produce speech, with a special emphasis on how adults learn new languages. She will conclude with discussions of how individuals with different language backgrounds communicate across language barriers.

Melissa is an Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Oregon where she directs the Speech Perception and Production Laboratory. She earned her BA in Linguistics from Boston University and then her PhD in Linguistics with a specialization in Cognitive Science from Northwestern University. She completed postdoctoral research fellowships at the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain, and Language, and Michigan State University. Her research examines psycholinguistic aspects of second language acquisition and native/non-native communication. She also enjoys teaching a variety of courses and was awarded the AJ Ersted Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Tykeson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Melissa is also a Nationally Certified Pilates Teacher and enjoys cooking, knitting and crocheting and cheering for the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs.

Science Pub Eugene is a monthly event that is open to anyone and everyone. No RSVP or scientific background required. Just bring your curiosity, sense of humor, and appetite for food, drinks, and knowledge! For more information or to sign up for our mailing list, email: