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Embodied and situated bases of knowledge representations (Ref: SF20/PSY/MYACHYKOV)

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

About the Project

This project will focus on the analysis of mental representations activated during language use, estimating numerical magnitude and during mental arithmetic, and perceiving manipulation affordances. Interdisciplinary nature of this proposal requires grounding in both psychological and linguistic methods and analyses.
One of the central questions in cognitive science concerns the nature of conceptual knowledge and the corresponding brain representations. Existing evidence suggests that (1) general cognitive processes play role during acquisition and subsequent retrieval of both abstract and concrete concepts and that (2) distinct concepts often share representational properties allowing for cross-domain priming effects. However, it’s uncertain whether the reported cross-domain priming effects are based on simultaneous access to the shared general cognitive systems (interface) or on co-activation of the shared representational features (overlap). The current project will address these two theoretical questions. The experimental methodology will combine priming, eye-tracking, cueing tasks, reaction-time chronometry, and extemporaneous visual-world language production and comprehension tasks.

Eligibility and How to Apply:
Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g., SF20/…) will not be considered.
Deadline for applications: Open
Start Date: October 2020 or March 2021

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Please direct enquiries to Dr Andriy Myachykov ()

Funding Notes

Please note, this is a self-funded project and does not include tuition fees or stipend; the studentship is available to Students Worldwide. Fee bands are available at View Website . A relevant fee band will be discussed at interview based on project running costs.


Myachykov, A., Chapman, A.J., Beal, J., & Scheepers, C. (in press). Random word generation reveals spatial encoding of syllabic word length. British Journal of Psychology. DOI:10.1111/bjop.12399.
Myachykov, A. & Fischer, M.H. (2019). A hierarchical view of abstractness: Grounded, embodied, and situated aspects. Physics of Life Reviews, 29, 161-163. DOI: 10.1016/j.plrev.2019.04.005.
Scheepers, C, Galkina, A., Shtyrov, Y., &. Myachykov, A. (2019). Hierarchical structure priming from mathematics to two-and three-site relative clause attachment. Cognition, 189, 155-166. DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2019.03.021.
Vukovic, N., Feurra, M., Shpektor, A., Myachykov, A. and Shtyrov, Y. (2017). Primary motor cortex functionally contributes to language comprehension: A TMS study of action word processing. Neuropsychologia, 96, 222-229. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2017.01.025.
Myachykov, A., Scheepers, C., Fischer, M.H., & Kessler, K. (2014). TEST: A Tropic, Embodied, and Situated Theory of cognition. Topics in Cognitive Science, 6(3), 442-460. DOI: 10.1111/tops.12024.

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