Gwijde Maegherman

About me: I grew up in Belgium and Hungary and made my way to the UK for my BA in Linguistics. I felt the need for a more hands-on scientific approach to language, so I went through the MRes in Speech, Language and Cognition programme. This is where I learned about various different experimental techniques and became interested in the neurological basis of language and more specifically speech.

My research: My research focuses on mental imagery of speech, and the difference between overt and covert speech actions. Using transcranial magnetic stimulation and functional magnetic resonance imaging, I am trying to better understand the similarities and dissimilarities between covert and overt speech. How are the two processes related in terms of neural mechanisms? Can one be said to be an extension of the other, or should one be considered a subprocess of the other? What can we learn from the way the two processes perform tasks?

The difference my research makes: A large number of people are affected by auditory verbal hallucinations, a.k.a. ‘hearing voices’. This is often considered to be due to misinterpretation of inner speech as ‘alien’ speech. I hope that my research will yield the experimental evidence to support this theory, which can help in coping with this problem. Additionally, there is interest in understanding covert speech from a technological point of view, given the recent introduction of voice-driven applications and hardware. My research may be able to pinpoint how these applications can be improved by using inner, rather than overt speech.

Supervisor: Dr Patti Adank and Dr Joe Devlin

Selected publications:

Pathway: Linguistics

Location: UCL Division of Psychology and Language Sciences


Twitter: @Gwijde

Website: The Speech on the Brain Lab