I am a cognitive psychologist with a special interest in the processes and mechanisms underlying language. My research is specifically concerned with those engaged when humans speak (as opposed to when they comprehend language). I investigate the way in which humans cognitively develop intentions of what they are trying to say, the way in which words are organised in and retrieved from a mental lexicon for the purpose of the utterance, and the processes involved in generating the appropriate articulation. Much of my work is based on chronometrical studies performed on adult populations; however, I have also been involved in neuroimaging research (e.g., Maess et al., 2002; Zhang et al., 2007; Zhang & Damian, 2009), in studies of acquired brain damage (e.g, Martin et al., 1999; Wu et al., 2002), and in developmental studies (e.g., Jerger et al., in press, 2009, 2006; Jerger & Damian, 2006).
Reflecting the state of this field, most of my work targets the generation of very short phrases or merely single words (e.g., Damian, Dorjee & Stadthagen-Gonzalez, 2011; Damian & Als, 2005; Damian & Martin, 1999). I am currently attempting to expand the approach to more complex phrases and connected speech. Two questions are of particular interest to me: (1) what is the extent of advance planning in language production - at any given time, how far are speech sounds planned ahead while speakers generate language (see, e.g., Damian, 2003; Damian & Dumay, 2007), (2) for literate persons, does the spoken production of words automatically activate orthographic codes (e.g., Damian & Bowers, 2003, in press; Zhang, Damian & Yang, 2007; Zhang & Damian, 2011)?
A more recent interest of mine concerns orthographic output tasks such as handwriting, typing, and spelling, and specifically parallels and dissimilarities to speaking (e.g., Damian & Stadthagen-Gonzalez, 2009; Damian & Freeman, 2008; Zhang & Damian, 2010; Damian, Dorjee & Stadthagen-Gonzalez, 2011). I am also intruiged by the psychological and linguistic properties of non-Western languages such as Chinese Mandarin (e.g., Qu, Damian & Kazanina, 2012; Zhang & Damian, 2010, 2011). Other domains that I have been involved in are visual word recognition (e.g., Bowers, Damian & Havelka, 2002), the extent to which information can be processed in the absence of conscious awareness (e.g., Damian, 2001), the representation of numbers (e.g., Damian, 2004; Kovorst & Damian, 2008), and similarities and dissimilarities between object processing and naming, and face processing (e.g., Damian & Abdel Rahman, 2003).