A glimpse of Alex Titus’ life as a doctoral researcher

A visit to the Saturday food market in the city is an ordinary event. Interestingly, even something so ordinary includes the coordination of many simultaneous activities. For example, a market shopper might be talking on the phone to their international friend in English while searching for the most appetizing fruits and vegetables, maneuvering themselves through the crowd, taking out their wallet, and asking to pay in Dutch. The reason that we can juggle between all these activities so effortlessly is because the brain knows these familiar settings, making it easier to predict what is about to come. But how exactly does our brain manage to do it? This is exactly what Alex Titus is investigating as part of his doctoral research at Radboud University.

Forgetting Language

Language is a form of human communication which is learned over years. The ability to use language is more than just understanding and using words. Language is structured, which means that people learn how to arrange words into phrases and sentences using grammatical rules. Once learned, using language seems effortless. But can such a complex system as language also be forgotten?

More than one way to dig for gold

Research requires scientists to do all sorts of digging when looking for new scientific discoveries. For example, they dig into papers, then into theories, back into papers, and ultimately into experiments to find intellectual gold (knowledge). However, before digging, experimenters must choose which tool to dig with as there is not a one-size-fits-all tool.