About Iris Berent
Dr. Berent’s research seeks to unveil human nature and our intuitive understanding of it. To shed light on human nature, she explores the human capacity for language using phonology as a case study. Adopting a programmatic interdisciplinary approach, she examines whether phonology is constrained by abstract universal principles, and whether these principles are shared across language modalities—speech and sign. A second line of research investigates how laypeople reason about human nature. Of particular interest is whether our inborn cognitive capacities bias our understanding of what we know and who we think we are.
The Language & Mind Lab studies how the mind works and how we (laypeople) think it does, concentrating on the concept of innate knowledge.