Faculty Experts

Iris Berent

Iris Berent

Professor of Psychology



Related Articles

Take 5: What makes human language so special?

In the 52nd annual Robert D. Klein Lec­ture on Tuesday, psy­chology pro­fessor Iris Berent argued that human lan­guage is a product of a spe­cial­ized bio­log­ical system, that we are are innately equipped with a lan­guage instinct.

03/22/16 - BOSTON, MA. - Iris Berent, Professor of Psychology, gives the 52nd Annual Robert D. Klein Lecture held in the Raytheon Amphitheater at Northeastern University on March 22, 2016. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Language study offers new twist on mind-​​body connection

Research from North­eastern pro­fessor of psy­chology Iris Berent and her col­leagues finds that spoken lan­guage and motor sys­tems are intri­cately linked—though not in the way that has been widely believed.

Iris Berent

A biological engine for human language

New research out of North­eastern psy­chology pro­fessor Iris Berent’s lab sug­gests that humans’ capacity for cre­ating lan­guage is encoded in our brains as a uni­versal set of rules.

Iris Berent

What makes human language special?

All ani­mals com­mu­ni­cate, but human lan­guage is uniquely struc­tured. In her new book, The Phono­log­ical Mind, psy­chology pro­fessor Iris Berent asks why that is.

Iris Berent

The building blocks of dyslexia

New research from psy­chology pro­fessor Iris Berent shows that dyslexia may stem from a dif­fi­culty pro­cessing the basic units of language.

Iris Berent

The innate ability to learn language

Psy­chology pro­fessor Iris Berent is using both behav­ioral and neu­roimaging tech­niques to inves­ti­gate whether our ability to learn lan­guage is present at birth.

The phonology lab

Examining the sound-​​patterns of world languages

Lin­guis­tics pro­fessor on quest to advance theory that humans have spe­cial instinct for language

Selected Publications

For a complete list of faculty citations, please visit iRis, Northeastern’s digital archive.


Dyslexia Impairs Speech Recognition but Can Spare Phonological Competence

(with V. Vaknin-Nusbaum, E. Balaban, and A. M. Galaburda) PLoS ONE, 7(9): p. e44875. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044875.


On the role of variables in phonology: Remarks on Hayes and Wilson

(with C. Wilson, G. Marcus, and D. Bemis) Linguistic Inquiry, 43.


How linguistic chickens help spot spoken-eggs: phonological constraints on speech identification

(with E. Balaban, and V. Vaknin-Nusbaum)Frontiers in Language Sciences, 2, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00182.

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