My aim is to enhance our understanding of the processes underpinning the ability to map sounds to meanings in humans as well as across animal species. To do so, I bridge philosophical theories and empirical methods.

Main topics

  • Acoustic universals across animal communication systems
  • The role of prosody and cross-situational statistics in language processing
  • The evolution of Language:  a comparative approach to syntax, prosody and social cognition
  • The origins of meaning: functional referentiality and emotional vocalizations in nonhuman animals
  • Humans’ natural predisposition to perceive structural regularities in visual and auditory domains

Main working experiences

I achieved a PhD in philosophy of language (University of Palermo) and worked as a cognitive scientist in Prof. W. Tecumseh Fitchs lab (dept. of Cognitive Biology, University of Vienna). I am currently a post-doctoral researcher at the dept. of Artificial Intelligence of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Here I work with Prof. Bart De Boer on the origins of combinatorial speech.