Yuki Asano, Postdoc

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Yuki Asano

Yuki Asano, Postdoc

Hometown: Nagoya, Japan

Affiliation: University of Tübingen, English Department - Chair of Psycholinguistics and Applied Language Studies

What are you working on?

Do we perceive music differently depending on our language background? How do language and music differ in our mental processing? Since language includes musical components such as intonation and rhythm, called prosody, processing of music and prosody should share similar mental mechanisms. In order to investigate language-specific vs. universal representations and processing of music and language in the brain, I conduct a series of psycholinguistic experiments testing speakers from various language and musical backgrounds.

Why is it interesting?

The experimental results revealed how differently each of us perceives environmental sounds (e.g. patrol cars), showing that each of us is constructing different acoustic “realities”. Moreover, understanding mental representations and processing of prosody will contribute to developing didactic methods in speech pathology and foreign language teaching, as prosody is still understudied in Linguistics.

Why did you decide to become a researcher?

When I was 10 years old, I wrote an essay about my dream to be bilingual of Japanese and English and about my own didactic suggestions. Since then, understanding how languages work in the brain has always fascinated me. I find myself in this position today because I kept doing what I am interested in. I am more than happy to be able to work as a researcher.

What do you like most about being a researcher?

Thinking is my work. This is the aspect that I like most about working as a researcher. When I work, I feel like I am piecing together a puzzle to get a whole picture of the world, step by step, together with other researchers. I always feel so excited when developing a new experiment and get goose bumps when analyzing data.

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