The Centre for Advanced Research in Experimental and Applied Linguistics (ARiEAL)

McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
What the facility does

Research on the impact of language on human interactions, health, and cognitive abilities that can improve the lives of peoples with various disabilities.

Areas of expertise

The Centre for Advanced Research in Experimental and Applied Linguistics (ARiEAL) is a unique research centre excelling in problem-driven research in fundamental, experimental, and applied language science. Straddling the worlds of Health Sciences, Sciences, Engineering, and Humanities, the members of the team are experts in interdisciplinary research that combines human health, culture, societal, clinical, and community-based research, that provides a deeper understanding of the impact of language on human interactions, well-being, and cognitive abilities, and that improves the lives of people around the world with disabilities, physical, and/or mental health concerns. 

The lab’s team are also experts on mechanisms of normal and atypical reading behaviour; word recognition and speech comprehension; language learning mechanisms; language and language structure; simultaneous recording of EEG and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and EEG and eye movement activity.

With a history of working with Indigenous communities, organizations of older adults, people with disabilities, and linguistic minorities, ARiEAL's experts have played significant roles enhancing ethical and inclusive research practices and providing expertise on socially impactful research programs that are guided by, for, and benefits underserved communities around the world. 

Research services
  • Specialized equipment and laboratories: ARiEAL has specialized equipment and laboratories, including eye trackers, electroencephalograms, soundproof rooms, and interview and focus group laboratoriesThese can be used by academic and non-academic users who wish to conduct their own experiments, but don’t have access to their own specialized and high-cost equipment and space. The Lab’s trainees, researchers, and postdoctoral fellows can support users with a technical setup.
  • Expertise and knowledge: ARiEAL researchers and trainees are experts with an array of specialized equipment and laboratories, qualitative and quantitative research methods, and knowledge mobilization activities in applied and experiment language sciences, relevant clinical conditions, and key neurophysiological, neuroimaging, and behavioural measures. As such, the ARiEAL team can share their knowledge and expertise during the entire life cycle of applied and experimental languages sciences research projects. For instance, they can provide consultation sessions during the conception phase when users and research teams require guidance with their own research and experiment design and development. They can provide training sessions for users and research teams that are using our complex equipment for the first time. They can also provide research support and lab assistance to teams conducting complex experiments or requiring firsthand knowledge of the lab’s equipment and research methods throughout.
  • Meeting room with videoconferencing capabilities: This room is ideal for guest talks, team meetings, or a coworking space for teams to meet, strategize, and engage with partners where there is a need for a hybrid set up or a smart room. 
Sectors of application
  • Defence and security industries
  • Education
  • Healthcare and social services
  • Information and communication technologies and media
  • Policy and governance
Specialized labEquipmentFunction
LRW 4018Smart research meeting room Collaborative work or meeting space with videoconferencing capabilities, a Meeting OWL 3 plug-and-play video conferencing camera, a 2022 Microsoft surface tablet and a high-definition Samsung HD screen. Room capacity: 30. 
ARiEAL generalResearch and/or meeting rooms (5)Collaborative spaces for interviews and focus group sessions. Room capacity: 10.
Phonetics LabIAC Acoustics Model 40a-3 ASP Single Wall Audiometric RoomSoundproof room that can be used for testing, focus groups, or voice overs. Room capacity: 3. 
Syntax and Language, Memory, and Brain LabsBrain Vision Solutions actiCHamp Plus 32 System with actiCAP (2)For electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings of a variety of cognitive processes when presented with a stimulus. Used when analyzing activity in the brain.
Reading LabEyeLink Portable Duo Eye Tracker (2) To record eye-movement behaviour, pupil dilation, point of gaze, and blinking when presented with a stimulus. 
  • Basque Center on Cognition Brain and Language (Spain)
  • Bundled Arrows Inc. (United States) 
  • Canadian Association of Crimean Tatars 
  • Centro de Ciencia Cognitiva (C3) (centre for cognitive science) (Spain)   
  • Haskins Laboratories (USA) 
  • Khovd State University, Department of Foreign Languages and Culture Studies, School of Social Sciences and Humanities (Mongolia) 
  • Lesya Ukrainka Volyn National University (Ukraine)
  • Onkwawenna Kentyohkwa
  • National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, O. O. Potebnia Institute of Linguistics (Ukraine)
  • Tilburg University, Department of Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence 
    at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (Netherlands)
  • Twatati Oneida Language Committee
  • University of Turku, Department of Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology (Finland) 
  • Words in the World (WoW)

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