My 2021 MPI 40th anniversary talk ‘More thought, less words’ – slides


Liao, C.-H., & Lau, E. (submitted). “Listen my story”: ERP sensitivity to subcategorization violations in L2.

Yu, X., Li, J., Zhu, H., Tian, X., & Lau, E. (submitted). Electrophysiological hallmarks for event relations and event roles in working memory. bioarxiv


Krauska, A. & Lau E. (2023). Moving away from lexicalism in psycho- and neuro- linguistics. Special issue on ‘Syntax, the brain, and linguistic theory’ in Frontiers in Language Sciences. pdf

Yu, X. & Lau, E. (2023). The binding problem 2.0: beyond perceptual features. Cognitive Science. pdf

Lau, E., Socolof, M., Clarke, N., Asatiani, R., Polinsky, M. (2023). A subject relative clause preference in a split-ergative language: ERP evidence from Georgian. Brain and Language. pdf

Gaston, P., Brodbeck, C., Phillips, C., Lau, E. (2023). Auditory word comprehension is less incremental in isolated words. Neurobiology of Language. pdf

Brodbeck, C., Bhattasali, S., Cruz Heredia, A., Resnik, P., Simon, J.Z., & Lau, E. (2022). Parallel processing in speech perception with local and global representations of linguistic context. eLife. full article

Liao, C.-H., Lau, E., Chow, W.-Y. (2022). Towards a time course model for argument-verb computations in online sentence comprehension. Journal of Memory and Language. pdf

Lau, E., Polinsky, M., Clarke, N., & Socolof, M. (2022). On the representation of morphosyntactic predictions: ERP Evidence from Georgian. Issues in Kartvelian Studies, 107. pdf

Cruz Heredia, A., Dickerson, B., Lau, E. (2021). Towards understanding sustained neural activity across syntactic dependencies. Neurobiology of Language. pdf

Pelzl, E., Lau, E., Guo, T., DeKeyser, R. (2021). Advanced second language learners of Mandarin show persistent deficits for lexical tone encoding in picture-to-word form matching. Frontiers in Communication. full article

Thorburn, C., Lau, E., & Feldman, N. (2021). A reinforcement learning approach to speech category acquisition. Proceedings of the Boston University Conference on Language Development. pdf

Pelzl, E., Lau, E. F., Jackson, S. R., Guo, T., & Gor, K. (2021). Behavioral and neural responses to tone errors in foreign-accented Mandarin. Language Learning, 71(2), 414-452. pdf

Green, J., McCourt, M., Lau, E., & Williams, A. (2020). Processing adjunct control: Evidence on the use of structural information and prediction in reference resolution. Glossa. pdf

Pelzl, E., Lau, E., Guo, T., DeKeyser, R. (2020). Even in the best-case scenario L2 learners have persistent difficulty perceiving and utilizing tones in Mandarin: Findings from behavioral and ERP experiments. Studies in Second Language Acquisition. pdf

Liao, C.-H. & Lau, E. (2020). Enough time to get results? An ERP investigation of prediction with complex events. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 1-21. pdf

Lau, E. & Namyst, A. (2019). fMRI evidence that left posterior temporal cortex contributes to N400 effects of predictability independent of congruity. Brain and Language. pdf

Schlueter, Z., Parker, D., & Lau, E. (2019). Error-driven Retrieval in Agreement Attraction does not lead to Misinterpretation. Frontiers in Psychology.

Matchin, W., Liao, C-H., Gaston, P., & Lau, E. (2019). Same words, different structures: an fMRI investigation of argument relations and the angular gyrus. Neuropsychologia. pdf

Lago, S., Namyst, A., Jäger, L., & Lau, E. (2019). Antecedent access mechanisms in pronoun processing: evidence from the N400. Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience. pdf

Delaney-Busch, N., Morgan, E., Lau, E., & Kuperberg, G. (2019). Neural evidence of rational adaptation of semantic predictions: a Bayesian model of trial-by-trial N400 amplitude during semantic priming. Cognition.

Kuperberg, G., Weber, K., Delaney-Busch, N., Ustine, C., Stillerman, B., Hamalainen, M., Lau, E. (2019). Multimodal neuroimaging evidence for looser lexico-semantic connections in schizophrenia. Neuropsychologia.

Lau, E. (2018). Neural indices of structured sentence representation: State of the art. In Psychology of Learning and Motivation, Vol. 68. pdf

Matchin, W., Brodbeck, C., Hammerly, C., & Lau, E. (2018). The temporal dynamics of structure and content in sentence comprehension: Evidence from fMRI-constrained MEG. Human Brain Mapping. pdf

Pelzl, E., Lau, E., Guo, T., & DeKeyser, R. (2018). Advanced Second Language Learners’ Perception of Lexical Tone Contrasts. Studies in Second Language Acquisition. pdf

Chow, W-Y., Lau, E.F., Wang, S. & Phillips, C. (2018). Wait a second! Delayed impact of argument roles on on-line verb prediction. Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience. pdf

Schlueter, Z., Williams, A., & Lau, E. (2018). Exploring the abstractness of number retrieval cues in the computation of subject-verb agreement in comprehension. Journal of Memory and Language.

Lau, E. & Liao, C-H. (2017). Linguistic structure across time: ERP responses to coordinated and uncoordinated noun phrases. Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience. pdf

Matchin, W., Hammerly, C., & Lau, E. (2017). The role of the IFG and pSTS in syntactic prediction: evidence from a parametric study of hierarchical structure in fMRI. Cortex. pdf

Lago, S., Sloggett, S., Schlueter, Z., Chow, W-Y., Williams, A., Lau, E., & Phillips, C. (2017). Coreference and antecedent representation across languages. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition.

Lapinskaya, N., Uzomah, U., Bedny, M., & Lau, E. (2016). Electrophysiological signatures of event words: dissociating syntactic and semantic category effects in lexical processing. Neuropsychologia.

Neufeld, C., Kramer, S., Lapinskaya, N., Heffner, C., Malko, A., & Lau, E. (2016). The electrophysiology of simple phrase building. Plos One.

Lau, E., Namyst, A., Fogel, A., Delgado, T. (2016). A direct comparison of N400 effects of predictability and incongruity in adjective-noun combination. Collabra.

Barrios, S., Namyst, A., Lau, E., Feldman, N., Idsardi, W. (2016). Establishing new mappings between familiar phones: Neural and behavioral evidence for early automatic processing of nonnative contrasts. Frontiers in Psychology.

Weber, K., Lau, E.F., Stillerman, B., Kuperberg, G.R. (2016). The Yin and the Yang of Prediction: an fMRI study of semantic predictive processing. Plos One. 

Chow, W-Y., Momma, S., Smith, C., Lau, E. & Phillips, C. (2016). Prediction as Memory Retrieval: Timing and Mechanisms. Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience.

McCourt, M., Green, J., Lau, E., & Williams, A. (2015). Processing implicit control: evidence from reading times. Frontiers in Psychology.

Chow, W-Y., Smith, C., Lau, E. & Phillips, C. (2015). A ‘bag-of-arguments’ mechanism for initial verb predictions. Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience.

Lau, E.F. & Nguyen, E.T. (2015). The role of temporal predictability in semantic expectation: An MEG investigation. Cortex.

Lago, S., Shalom, D., Sigman, M., Lau, E., Phillips, C. (2015). Agreement processes in Spanish comprehension. Journal of Memory and Language.

Omaki, A., Lau, E.F., Davidson White, I., Dakan, M., Apple, A., & Phillips, C. (2015). Hyper-active gap filling. Frontiers in Psychology.

Lau, E.F., Weber, K., Gramfort, A., Hamalainen, M., & Kuperberg, G. (2014). Spatiotemporal signatures of lexical-semantic prediction. Cerebral Cortex.

Chow, W-Y., Lago, S., Barrios, S., Parker, D., Morini, G. & Lau, E. (2014) Additive effects of repetition and predictability during comprehension: Evidence from event-related potentials. PLoS One.

Lau, E.F., Gramfort, A., Hamalainen, M., & Kuperberg, G. (2013). Automatic semantic facilitation in anterior temporal cortex revealed through multimodal neuroimaging. Journal of Neuroscience.

Lau, E.F., Holcomb, P.J., & Kuperberg, G.R. (2013). Dissociating N400 effects of prediction from association in single word contexts. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Sprouse, J. & Lau, E.F. (2013). Syntax and the Brain. The Cambridge Handbook of Generative Syntax. Cambridge University Press, UK.

Monahan, P., Lau, E., & Idsardi, W. (2013). Computational Primitives in Phonology and their Neural Correlates. Handbook of Biolinguistics, Cambridge University Press, UK.

Lau, E.F., Almeida, D., Hines, P., Poeppel, D. (2009). A lexical basis for context effects: evidence from the N400. Brain and Language.

Wagers, M.W., Lau, E.F., & Phillips, C. (2009). Agreement attraction in comprehension: representations and processes. Journal of Memory and Language.

Lau, E.F., Phillips, C., & Poeppel, D. (2008). A cortical network for semantics: (de)constructing the N400. Nature Reviews Neuroscience.

Lau, E.F., Rozanova, K., & Phillips, C. (2007). Syntactic prediction and lexical frequency effects in sentence processing. University of Maryland Working Papers.

Kazanina, N., Lau, E.F., Lieberman, M., Phillips, C., & Yoshida, M. (2007). Effect of syntactic constraints on long-distance dependency formation in backwards anaphora processing. Journal of Memory and Language.

Lau, E. F., Stroud, C., Plesch, S., & Phillips, C. (2006). The role of prediction in rapid syntactic analysis. Brain & Language.
**It’s important to be aware that a recent study by Kaan et al. (2016) has failed to replicate this finding. I am not currently pursuing further research on the early left anterior negativity myself given the related concerns raised about that broader literature by Steinhauer & Drury (2012).

Resnik, P., Elkiss, A., Lau, E., & Taylor, H. (2005). The Web in Theoretical Linguistics Research: Two Case Studies Using the Linguist’s Search Engine. Proceedings of the 31st Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, February 2005.

Lau, E.F. & Ferreira, F. (2005). Lingering effects of disfluent material on the comprehension of garden path sentences. Language and Cognitive Processes.

Ferreira, F., Lau, E. F., & Bailey, K. G. D. (2004). Disfluencies, Language Comprehension, and Tree Adjoining Grammars. Cognitive Science.

Phillips, C. & Lau, E. (2004). Foundational Issues (review article for R. Jackendoff’s Foundations of Language). Journal of Linguistics.


Lau, E. Hippocampal memory, individuals, and subject-predicate structure. pdf

Conference Presentations (not yet in ms form)

Gaston, P., Lau, E., & Phillips, C. (2018). Resolving cross-method conflicts in the timing of cohort competition using jTRACE. 31st Annual CUNY Sentence Processing Conference. pdf

Karatas, N.B., Gor, K., Slevc, L.R. & Lau, E. (2018). Complex sentence planning in L1 & L2 Turkish. 31st Annual CUNY Sentence Processing Conference. pdf

Karatas, N.B. & Lau, E. (2018). A morphological cue beats a semantic constraint in Turkish agreement attraction. 31st Annual CUNY Sentence Processing Conference. pdf

Schlueter, Z., Namyst, A., & Lau, E. (2018). Predicting discourse status: N400 effects of determiner expectation. 31st Annual CUNY Sentence Processing Conference. pdf

Schlueter, Z., Parker, D., & Lau, E. (2018). Things that should affect agreement attraction in comprehension, but don’t. 31st Annual CUNY Sentence Processing Conference. pdf

Hirzel M, Lapinskaya N, Lidz J, & Lau E. (2018). Syntactic constituency rate effects in EEG. Society for the Neurobiology of Language. pdf



Lau, E. The predictive nature of language comprehension. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Maryland. Chaired by Colin Phillips, co-supervised by David Poeppel.