ERC: Judit Gervain

Download Project: BabyRhythm - Tuned to the Rhythm: How Prenatally and Postnatally Heard Speech Prosody Lays the Foundations for Language Learning

Judit Gervain


ERC Grantee: Judit Gervain

Department: Developmental Psychology and Socialisation

Total Contribution: Euro 1.621.250,00

Project Duration in months: 60

Start Date: 01/10/2021
End Date: 30/09/2026

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Judit Gervain is Full Professor at the Department of Developmental and Social Psychology of the University of Padua, Italy, as well as a Senior Research Scientist at the CNRS, Paris, France.

She is trained as a theoretical linguist, obtained a PhD in 2002 in Cognitive Neuroscience under the mentorship of Jacques Mehler from SISSA, Trieste, Italy. She then worked as a post doctoral researcher at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. In 2009, she took up a research position at the CNRS, in Paris, France, from which she moved to the University of Padua in 2020. Her research focuses on early speech perception and language acquisition in typically developing monolingual, bilingual infants as well as in infants with hearing difficulties. She uses behavioral as well as brain imaging techniques to explore the perceptual, linguistic and cognitive development of these infants and their underlying neural correlates. She has done pioneering work in newborn speech perception using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), revealing the impact of prenatal experience on early perceptual abilities, and has been one of the first to document the beginnings of the acquisition of grammar in newborns and preverbal infants. Her work has been published in leading journals, such as Science Advances, Nature Communications, PNAS and Current Biology. She is an associate editor at Developmental Science, Cognition and Neurophotonics, and a member of the Governing Board of the Society for Near-Infrared Spectroscopy. Her work is currently funded by an ERC Consolidator Grant.