Mara Elizabeth Breen

Assistant Professor of Psychology and Education

Education:

  • B.A., Hampshire College
  • Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Courses Taught:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology of Music
  • Visual and Auditory Perception
  • Seminar in Perception and Cognition: Language and Thought

Interests:

My research is focused on prosody, which is the music of spoken language. I am interested in understanding the critical features of prosody which give rise to meaning differences in speech. I use self-paced reading, eye-tracking, and event-related potentials to investigate how overt prosody influences on-line speech segmentation and language comprehension. I am also interested in implicit prosody, or the extent to which readers are sounding out words and sentences during silent reading.

Publications:

 

Breen, M. (2014). Empirical investigations of the role of implicit prosody in sentence processing. Language and Linguistics Compass. 8 (2) 37-50.

 

Breen, M., Dilley, L.C., McAuley, J.D., and Sanders, L.D. (2014). Auditory evoked potentials reveal early perceptual effects of distal prosody on speech segmentation. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience. 29 (9), 1132-1146.

 

Breen, M. and Clifton, C., Jr. (2011). Stress matters: Effects of anticipated lexical stress on silent reading. Journal of Memory and Language, 64 (2), 153-170.