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Penny Pexman

  • Professor
  • +1 (403) 220-3291
  • +1 (403) 220-6352
  • +1 (403) 220-5220

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Research Support

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

Currently Teaching

Not currently teaching any courses.


To visit my laboratory please click here

In broad terms I am interested in how we derive meaning from language. I have approached this question at the level of individual words, examining the cognitive processes involved in visual word recognition; that is, how do we access the meanings of words? I utilize behavioral methods and also fMRI and EEG to study this question, examining the behavioral and neural consequences of variability in a number of dimensions of word meaning, including embodied dimensions.

I have also investigated how we derive meaning from more complex language; I am interested in social and cognitive aspects of non-literal language comprehension and production. In particular, I am interested in how we appreciate the meaning meaning intended by verbal irony (e.g., sarcastic remarks, like saying "that was smooth" after tripping and falling). I am especially interested in how children develop the ability to detect and produce verbal irony. To study children's appreciation of sarcastic-ironic language I have developed tasks that allow us to assess not only the end product of children's interpretation, but also children's processing as they derive that interpretation.

For a list of my publications please click here

Curriculum Vitae


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