Research Group
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About me

I am Professor of Psychology at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili. For many years, I have tried to combine a special concern with theoretical issues on the foundations of psychology as a natural science and a broad involvement in the empirical research on language processing, from speech perception up to speech production. At present, my psycholinguistic research is distributed into three main topics: bilingual lexical-semantic processing, recursive mechanisms in syntactic processing, and the relations between language comprehension and theory of mind deficits in schizophrenia.

Research Interests

Philosophy of Cognitive Science
The philosophy of cognitive science takes human thinking as an object of enquiry and seeks to address issues about its nature. Examples include: What is psychological explanation? How does psychology relate to other sciences –such as neurobiology and evolutionary biology? It also attemps to clarify its core notions, such as mental representation, function, innateness, etc.
Syntactic processing and ambiguity resolution
An important part of our research involves the investigation of how people process the syntactic structure of sentences. The research on syntactic processing has investigated the different types of linguistic information that people use when resolving ambiguities.
The prosody-syntax relationship in sentence processing
The attachment of relative clauses with two antecedent nouns as potential hosts is a widely studied research topic in psycholinguistics. Previous research in Spanish shows a preference for high attachment in sentences of this kind. We are currently examining the contribution of prosody to the processing of ambiguous and unambiguous sentences of this type.
Lexical-semantic representation and processing
We are currently investigating the role of different semantic variables (e.g., lexical ambiguity, concreteness, number of translation, meaning similarity, etc.), in order to determine how semantic information is represented in bilingual memory. We used behavioural measures and we are now including the brain´s electrical activity (ERPs) and eye movement recordings.
Theory of Mind and language comprehension in schizophrenia
The aim of this study is to explore how deficits in mental states attribution could be reflected on language comprehension along its range of processing levels. We have found that, primarily, theory-of-mind correlates with language comprehension at the semantic-pragmatic level, as when the hearer needs the pragmatic ability to extract the figurative meaning of utterances such as metaphors, ironies, or proverbs. The consistent correlation found between both abilities appears to be genuine, in the sense that it doesn’t seem altered once we control for potential concurrent factors, such as general intelligence and/or some of the more representative executive functions.


  • Lobina, D. J., Demestre, J., & García-Albea, J. E. (2017, Jul). Disentangling perceptual and psycholinguistic factors in syntactic processing: Tone monitoring via ERPs. Behavior Research Methods. Advance online publication. 10.3758/s13428-017-0932-4
  • Gavilán, J. M., Rivera, D., Guasch, M., Demestre, J., & García-Albea, J. E. (2017, Aug). Exploring the Effects of Visual Frame and Matching Direction on the Vertical-Horizontal Illusion. Perception. Advance online publication. 10.1177/0301006617724979
  • Gavilán, J. M., & García-Albea, J. E. (2015). La función ejecutiva en la esquizofrenia y su asociación con las habilidades cognitivas sociales (mentalistas). Revista de Psiquiatría y Salud Mental, 8(3), 119-129. 10.1016/j.rpsm.2014.01.008
  • Boada, R., Sánchez-Casas, R., Gavilán, J. M., García-Albea, J. E., & Tokowicz, N. (2013). Effect of multiple translations and cognate status on translation recognition performance of balanced bilinguals. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 16, 183-197.
  • Gavilán, J. M., & García-Albea, J. E. (2013). Theory of mind and language comprehension in schizophrenia. Psicothema, 25, 440-445.
  • Sánchez-Casas, R., Ferré, P., Demestre, J., García-Chico, T., & García-Albea, J. E. (2012). Masked and Unmasked Priming Effects as a Function of Semantic Relatedness and Associative Strength. Spanish Journal of Psychology, 15, 891-900.
  • García-Albea, J.E. (2011). Usos y abusos de lo "neuro". Revista de Neurología, 52, 577-580.
  • Gavilán, J. M., García-Albea, J. E. (2011). Theory of mind and language comprehension in schizophrenia: Poor mindreading affects figurative language comprehension beyond intelligence deficits. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 24, 54-69.
  • Guasch, M.; Sánchez-Casas, R.; Ferré, P.; García-Albea, J. E. (2011). Effects of the degree of meaning similarity on crosslanguage semantic priming in highly proficient bilinguals. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 23, 942-961. 10.1080/20445911.2011.589382
  • Davis, C.; Sánchez-Casas, R.; García-Albea, J. E.; Guasch, M.; Molero, M.; Ferré, P. (2010). Masked translation priming: Varying language experience and word type with Spanish-English bilinguals. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 13, 137-155. 10.1017/S1366728909990393
  • Lobina, D. J., & García-Albea, J. E. (2009). Recursion and cognitive science: data structures and mechanisms. In N. A. Taatgen & H. van Rijn (Eds.), Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1347-1352). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
  • Guasch, M.; Sánchez-Casas, R.; Ferré, P.; García-Albea, J. E. (2008). Translation performance of Beginning, Intermediate and Proficient Spanish-Catalan Bilinguals: Effects of Form and Semantic Relations. The Mental Lexicon, 3, 289-308. 10.1075/ml.3.3.03gua
  • Demestre, J.; García-Albea, J. E. (2007). ERP evidence for the rapid assignment of an (appropriate) antecedent to PRO. Cognitive Science, 31, 343-354.
  • Demestre, J.; García-Albea, J. E. (2007). Sobre la interpretación del sujeto nulo de los complementos de infinitivo. Anuario de Psicología, 38, 71-92.
  • García-Albea, J. E.; Rosner, B. S.; Grabe, E.; Zhou, X. (2007). Cross-language effects in the perception of intonation. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 10.
  • García-Albea, J. E. (2006). Sobre la unidad de la psicología y los problemas del método. Anuario de Psicología, 37, 53-63.
  • Sánchez-Casas, R.; Ferré, P.; García-Albea, J. E.; Guasch, M. (2006). The nature of semantic priming: Effects of the degree of semantic similarity between primes and targets in Spanish. The European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 18 (2), 161-184. 10.1080/09541440500183830
  • Almagro, Y.; Sánchez-Casas, R.; García-Albea, J.E. (2005). El agramatismo y su sintomatología. Revista de Neurologia, 40, 369-380.
  • Sánchez-Casas, R. García-Albea, J. E. (2005). The representation of cognate and noncognate words on bilingual memory: Can cognate status be characterized as a special kind of morphological relation? In J. F. Kroll y A. M. B. De Groot (Eds.), Handbook of Bilingualism: Psycholinguistic Approaches (pp. 226-250). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Demestre, J.; García Albea, J. E. (2004). The on-line resolution of the sentence complement/relative clause ambiguity: Evidence from Spanish. Experimental Psychology, 51, 59-71.
  • García-Albea, J.E. (2004). La Neurociencia Cognitiva: ¿Algo más que una cuestión de marketing? Cognitiva, 16, 187-195.
  • Almagro, Y.; Sánchez-Casas, R.; & García-Albea, J. E. (2003). Estudio de un caso de anomia: efectos de la categoría gramatical en la producción de un afásico bilingüe. Cognitiva, 15(1), 33-51.
  • García-Albea, J.E. (2003). Cognitive science, mental architecture, and control mechanisms in vision: Interview with Zenon Pylyshyn. Cognitiva, 15, 83-104.
  • García-Albea, J.E. (2003). Fodor y la modularidad de la mente (veinte años después). Anuario de Psicología, 34, 506-516.
  • Sánchez-Casas, R.; Igoa, J.M.; García-Albea, J.E. (2003). On the Representation of Inflections and Derivations: Data from Spanish. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 32, 621-668.
  • García-Albea, J.E. e Igoa, J.M. (2002). Sobre las nociones de significado y representación en psicología y psicolingüística. Estudios de Psicología, 23, 135-151.
  • Rosner, B.S.; López-Bascuas, L.E.; García-Albea, J.E.; Fahey, R.P. (2000). Voice-onset times for Castilian Spanish initial stops. Journal of Phonetics, 28, 217-224.
  • Demestre, J.; Meltzer, S.; García Albea, J.E.; Vigil, A. (1999). Identifying the null subject: evidende from event-related brain potentials. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 28, 293-312.
  • Igoa, J.M.; García-Albea, J.E.; Sánchez-Casas, R. (1999). Gender-number dissociations in sentence production in Spanish. Rivista di Linguistica, 11.1, 163-196.
  • López-Bascuas, L.E.; Fahey, R.P.; García-Albea, J.E. y Rosner, B. (1998). Identificación del orden temporal en sonidos de habla y no-habla. Cognitiva, 10, 195-210.
  • López-Bascuas, L.E.; Fahey, R.P.; García-Albea, J.E. y Rosner, B. (1998). Percepción categórica y discriminación del orden temporal en sonidos de habla y de no-habla. Cognitiva, 10, 211-226.
  • García-Albea, J.E. (1997). Inteligencia y arquitectura mental. Revista de Psicología general y aplicada, 50, 5-25.
  • Bradley, D.C.; Sánchez-Casas, R.; & García-Albea, J.E. (1993). The status of the syllable in the perception of Spanish and English. Language and Cognitive Processes, 8, 197-233.
  • García-Albea, J.E. (1992). Fodor´s contribution to the study of the cognitive mind. Taula, 15, 9-17.
  • Sánchez-Casas, R.; Davis, C.W., & García-Albea, J.E. (1992). Bilingual lexical processing: Exploring the cognate/noncognate distinction. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 4, 293-310.
  • del Viso, S., Igoa, J.M., and García-Albea, J.E. (1991). On the autonomy of phonological encoding: Evidence from slips of the tongue in Spanish. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 20, 161-185.
  • Sánchez-Casas, R.; García-Albea, J.E.; & Bradley, D.C. (1991). On access representation in visual word recognition: the temporal presentation technique. Psychological Research-Psychologische Forschung, 53, 53-61.
  • García-Albea, J.E. (1990). Funcionalismo y ciencia cognitiva, lenguaje y pensamiento, modularidad y conexionismo. Entrevista con Jerry A. Fodor. Estudios de Psicología, 45, 5-31.
  • García-Albea, J.E., del Viso, S., and Igoa, J.M. (1989). Movement errors and levels of processing in sentence production. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 18, 145-161.
  • Igoa, J.M.; García-Albea, J.E. (1988). Procesamiento sintáctico en la comprensión y la producción de oraciones en una tarea de traducción oral simultánea. Cognitiva, 1(2), 123-152.