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Pablo De Juan Bernabeu

Research student

Pablo De Juan Bernabeu

Lancaster University

Fylde College




After doing a research master’s, I became a PhD student and graduate teaching assistant in Psychology. I’m investigating how conceptual processing (i.e., understanding the meaning of words) is supported by linguistic and sensorimotor brain systems. I use methods such as behavioural and electroencephalographic experiments, corpus analysis, statistics and programming. My CV is available.

Research Interests

  • Cognitive psychology and neuroscience
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Semantic / conceptual processing
  • Statistics
  • Open science
  • Programming

Thesis Outline

The linguistic and sensorimotor bases of semantic processing: An investigation into the role of individual differences

Conceptual processing has been found to draw on two cognitive systems. One is a linguistic system, which is based on knowledge of words and the relations among them. The other is a sensorimotor system, which draws on our perceptual, motor and affective experience. These two systems contribute to conceptual processing in a sequential manner: the linguistic system is activated first, providing more superficial semantic information, with the sensorimotor system slower to reach peak activation, but providing more refined meaning. We know that the relative importance of each system is modulated by contextual factors (e.g., linguistic context, processing goals, cognitive resources). However, we know much less about how people’s individual cognitive capacities and experience (reading experience, reasoning ability) interact with these systems, which has become a central theme in my work. 

Much evidence has been found in cognitive psychology for the role of linguistic systems (based on statistical regularities in how words co-occur in language) and sensorimotor systems (based on perceptual, motor, affective experience). The linguistic system is consistently linked to faster, more superficial processing, while the sensorimotor system is linked to slower, more cognitively demanding tasks (Connell & Lynott, 2013; Louwerse et al., 2015). Recent evidence suggests that individual differences, such as measures of reading experience (e.g., Pexman & Yap, 2018) and of sensorimotor experience (Beilock, et al., 2008; Vukovic & Williams, 2015), provide additional explanatory power for accounts of embodied cognition. For example, linguistic individual differences in vocabulary predict word recognition and information processing speed (Yap et al., 2012). Likewise, sensorimotor individual differences in spatial perspective-taking are also implicated in semantic processing, as participants who tend to naturally adopt an internal perspective in space are more likely to engage in perceptual simulation when reading, by identifying themselves as the protagonist (Vukovic & Williams, 2015). 

Current Teaching

As a graduate teaching assistant, I devote 180 hours a year to leading 30 seminars and marking 80 essays in developmental, cognitive and social psychology, as well as helping in 30 statistics labs. I was also a representative for graduate teaching assistants in the department for a year.


Course and remit


Introduction to developmental psychology (115) — Seminars and essay marking

Introduction to neuroscience (112) — Seminars

Introduction to cognitive psychology (111) — Seminars and essay marking

Social psychology in the digital age (113) — Seminars

Statistics for psychologists I and II (121 and 122) using R — Labs


Understanding psychology (101) — Seminars and essay marking

Cognitive psychology (201) — Seminars and essay marking

Master's statistics (401) using R — Labs



Understanding psychology (101) — Seminars and essay marking

Investigating psychology: Analysis (102) using SPSS — Labs

Besides this experience, I have a Carpentries Instructor certificate, I have run several workshops and presentations, and earlier I taught English to secondary-education students, and Spanish to adults.

Web Links


Research Master Language and Communication - Tilburg University and Radboud University (Netherlands), 2017

BA English Philology - Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain), 2013

Further courses

Advanced R programming Coursera / Johns Hopkins University, 2017

Improving your statistical inferences - Coursera / Eindhoven University of Technology, 2017

Big data in society - Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 2016

Introduction to cognitive neuroscience - Radboud University, 2016

Linear mixed effects models with R - Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, 2016

Statistics: analyzing in R - Radboud University, 2016

Transcranial brain stimulation - Radboud University, 2015

Neurobiology of language - Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics, 2015

Additional Information


Cognitive Science

Electroencephalography, event-related potentials, Brain Vision (e.g., https://osf.io/97unm/), transcranial brain stimulation, eye tracking, internet-based experiments, basic E-Prime and Presentation


Mainly frequentist and some Bayesian statistics. Linear mixed-effects models, ANOVA, regression, t-test, chi-squared, correlation, principal component analysis, power analysis, equivalence testing (e.g., https://osf.io/97unm/)

R Programming

R Markdown; online data dashboards with Shiny, Flexdashboard, Plotly; Binder environments (e.g., https://osf.io/brkjw/); mining, preprocessing, analysis of Big Data (language corpora, news and social media, through API or web scraping); statistics; visualization; Natural Language Processing (regular expressions, word frequency and sentiment analysis, topic modelling; e.g., https://osf.io/k4ycz/); Tidyverse (https://osf.io/3dw2j/)

Data management and web development

Git version control, High-Performance Computing, Bash (command line), Binder environments, HTML, CSS (https://github.com/pablobernabeu)

Business and Administration

Quantitative and qualitative service analysis. Power BI, Zendesk, Jira, Confluence, Asana


English: C1IELTS 2018 (marks out of 9): Writing, 7.5; Reading, 7.5; Speaking, 7.5; Listening, 8.5. Spanish: native. Catalan: B1. French: B1. Dutch: A2Italian: A2



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