Liv J Hoversten
  • Pronouns she, her, her, hers, herself
  • Title
    • Assistant Professor
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Psychology Department
  • Phone
    831-459-5084 (messages)
  • Email
  • Office Location
    • Social Sciences 2, 379
  • Office Hours (Spring 2024) (In Person or via Zoom) Mon., 2:30pm - 4:30pm; Social Sciences 2 Rm 379 Zoom link: https://tinyurl.com/yxznw8ue
  • Mail Stop Psychology Faculty Services
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise Cognitive Science; Psycholinguistics; Bilingualism, Multilingualism; Language Processing
  • Courses Psych 125: Psychology of Language, Psych 139G: Eye-tracking: A Window into Cognition, Psych 133: Bilingualism & Cognition

Summary of Expertise

psycholinguistics; language processing; bilingual language control; cognitive processes of reading; sentence processing; eye-tracking; event-related potentials (ERPs); parafoveal processing; language switching

Research Interests

My research program investigates the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying language processing, with a focus on bilingualism and reading. The IntERPrET lab (Interactive, ERP, Reading, and Eye-Tracking Lab) uses behavioral, eye-tracking, and electrophysiological measures to investigate questions about how information flows throughout the brain’s language processing system during written and spoken communication. 


Bilingual Language Control

Although it is estimated that more than half of the world’s population is bilingual or multilingual, the cognitive processes that these individuals use to monitor and select the appropriate language for comprehension and production remain unclear. Language selection is a critical skill for bilinguals to ensure efficient communication.


The majority of our research focuses on the underlying neurocognitive mechanisms of bilingual language control that prevent the unintended language from overtly interfering with the use of the intended language. 


Neurocognitive Approaches to Reading

We also investigate reading processes in monolinguals and bilinguals with the aim of examining how various levels of linguistic representation (i.e., orthography, phonology, semantics, syntax) interact during sentence processing. The ultimate goal of this work is to better specify how information is extracted from text to produce the outcome of successful (or unsuccessful) comprehension. 


Current work in progress examines the role of parafoveal processing (i.e., the word to the right of the currently fixated word) during reading in native and non-native readers. This research aims to answer questions about how readers with different linguistic backgrounds extract information from text for successful comprehension.

Biography, Education and Training

Postdoc, Basque Center on Cognition Brain and Language (BCBL), San Sebastián, Spain

PhD in Cognitive Psychology at UC Davis, CA, USA

BA in Chemistry at St. Olaf College, MN, USA

Selected Publications

Hoversten, L. J. & Martin, C. D. (2023). Parafoveal processing in bilingual readers: Semantic access within but not across languages. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance. 49, 1564–1578.

De Bruin, A., Hoversten, L. J., & Martin, C. D. (2023). Interference between non-native languages during trilingual language production. Journal of Memory & Language, 128, 104386.

Dave, S., Brothers, T., Hoversten, L. J., Traxler, M. J., & Swaab, T. Y. (2021). Cognitive control mediates age-related changes in flexible anticipatory processing during listening comprehension. Brain Research, 1768, 147573. 

Antúnez, M., Mancini, S., Hernández-Cabrera, J. A., Hoversten, L. J., Barber, H. A., & Carreiras, M. (2021). Cross-linguistic semantic preview benefit in Basque-Spanish bilingual readers: Evidence from Fixation-Related Potentials. Brain & Language, 214, 104905.

Brothers, T., Hoversten, L. J., & Traxler, M. J. (2021). Bilinguals on the garden-path: Individual differences in syntactic ambiguity resolution. Bilingualism, Language, & Cognition, 24, 612-627. 

Traxler, M. J., Banh, T., Craft, M., Winsler, K., Brothers, T., Hoversten, L. J., Piñar, P. & Corina, D. (2021). Word skipping in deaf and hearing bilinguals: Cognitive control remains with increased perceptual span. Applied Psycholinguistics, 42, 601-630.

Hoversten, L. J., & Traxler, M. J. (2020). Zooming in on zooming out: Partial selectivity and dynamic tuning of bilingual language control during reading. Cognition, 195, 104118.

Brothers, T., Dave, S., Hoversten, L. J., Traxler, M. J., & Swaab, T. Y. (2019). Flexible predictions during listening comprehension: Speaker reliability affects anticipatory processes. Neuropsychologia, 135, 107225.

Hoversten, L. J., Brothers, T., Swaab, T. Y., & Traxler, M. J. (2017). Early processing of orthographic language membership information in bilingual visual word recognition: Evidence from ERPs. Neuropsychologia, 103, 183-190.

Brothers, T., Hoversten, L. J., & Traxler, M. J. (2017). Looking back on reading ahead: No evidence for lexical parafoveal-on-foveal effects. Journal of Memory and Language, 96, 9-22.

Traxler, M. J., Hoversten, L. J., & Brothers, T. (2017). Sentence processing and interpretation in monolinguals and bilinguals: Classical and contemporary approaches. In E. M. Fernandez, & H. S. Cairns (Eds.), Handbook of Psycholinguistics. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Blackwell.

Hoversten, L. J., & Traxler, M. J. (2016). A time course analysis of interlingual homograph processing: Evidence from eye movements. Bilingualism, 19, 347.

Hoversten, L. J., Brothers, T., Swaab, T. Y., & Traxler, M. J. (2015). Language membership identification precedes semantic access: Suppression during bilingual word recognition. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience27(11), 2108-2116.

Traxler, M. J., Corina, D. P., Morford, J. P., Hafer, S., Hoversten, L. J., & NSF Science of Learning Center for Visual Language & Visual Learning (VL2) (2014). Deaf readers' response to syntactic complexity: Evidence from self-paced reading. Memory & Cognition, 42, 97-111.

Selected Recordings

The What's My Lab Do? presentation introduces research methods and current projects happening in the IntERPrET Lab.