About us

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The New Zealand Institute of Language Brain and Behaviour (NZILBB) is a multi-disciplinary centre dedicated to the study of human language. It was founded in January 2010 as a result of a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment by the University of Canterbury. The researchers come from a wide range of disciplines, forging connections across linguistics, speech production and perception, language acquisition, language disorders, social cognition, memory, brain imaging, cognitive science, bilingual education and interface technologies.

NZILBB collects audio, visual, articulatory, neural and behavioural data on how individuals speak, listen, interact, and otherwise use language in their day-to-day lives. With this data, we study the foundations of language as an integrated, multimodal, statistical system operating in a social, phsyical and physiological context. We study the relationship between language and other modes of cognition and behaviour, including memory, gesture, facial expression and gait. We are interested in language development throughout the lifespan, and in how non-language information (social, physical, contextual, visual) affects individual's speaking and listening behaviours.

Our highly interdisciplinary team is working together toward a truly unified understanding of how language and acquired, produced and understood in his social and physical contexts.