Madeleine Long

Norwegian version of this page
Visiting address Blindernveien 31 Georg Morgenstiernes hus 0313 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 1020 Blindern 0315 OSLO

Academic interests

I work in Experimental Pragmatics, an area of ​​Cognitive Science that employs psycholinguistic techniques to investigate theories of how we produce and interpret language in context. My main areas of interest are  referential communication  and  perspective-taking :

Referential communication (the way in which we refer to people and things around us) can take many forms, from general descriptions to unique proper names or potentially ambiguous pronouns. Given the wide range of potential referents accessible to listeners, how do we select referential forms that best convey our intended meaning? On the comprehension end, how do we derive likely interpretations of meaning based on the referential forms we encounter? I am interested in exploring how alternative forms and meanings are weighed and combined to constrain inferences, and what role visual cues play in this process.

Perspective-taking (the ability to consider another's knowledge and beliefs and how they may differ from our own) is part of what allows us to engage in meaningful social interactions where our understanding of another's perspective directly shapes our use of language. I am interested in exploring how we are able to efficiently and effortlessly integrate contextual information, account for differences in perspective, and tailor our speech to meet the needs of our communicative partner in real-time. What are the cognitive mechanisms regulating these computational processes and how do those mechanisms correspond to age-related differences in the way in which we refer to the world around us?

About me

I am a postdoctoral fellow working with Paula Rubio-Fernandez on the project 'Vision shapes language: referential communication in blind, sighted and newly-sighted individuals' funded by the Research Council of Norway. The aim of the project is to study the extent to which visual processes influence the development of referential communication and common ground over the course of childhood. 

Prior to this, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh working with Paula Rubio-Fernandez and Hannah Rohde on the project 'Linguistic and cognitive factors in effective referential communication' funded by the Research Council of Norway. In this project we investigated younger and older adults' choice of referring expressions in interactive contexts and how that relates to memory capacity, executive control, and Theory of Mind. My PhD thesis examined the cognitive mechanisms underlying perspective-taking over the lifespan and the impact of later-life language learning on cognitive ageing.

Personal Website:

Higher education

2018: PhD in Linguistics, University of Edinburgh

2014: MSc in Developmental Linguistics, University of Edinburgh

2010: MA in Spanish Linguistics, Middlebury College (in Spain and Mexico)

2009: BA in Spanish and English Literature, Georgetown University

Tags: Pragmatics, Psycholinguistics, Cognitive Ageing, Language Learning


Long M, Vega-Mendoza M, Rohde H, Sorace A, Bak H. Undergraduate factors contributing to variability in cognitive performance related to language learning. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 1-11.

Long M, Horton WS, Rohde H, Sorace A, 2018. Individual differences in switching and inhibition predictive perspective-taking across the lifespan. Cognition 170, 25-30.

Bak T, Long M, Vega-Mendoza M, Sorace A, 2016. Novelty, challenge, and practice: the impact of intensive language learning on attentional functions. PLoS ONE 11 (4): e0153485.

  • Long, Madeleine; Vega-Mendoza, Mariana; Rohde, Hannah; Sorace, Antonella & Bak, Thomas (2019). Understudied factors contributing to variability in cognitive performance related to language learning. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition.  ISSN 1366-7289.  s 1- 11 . doi: 10.1017/S1366728919000749
  • Long, Madeleine; Horton, William S.; Rohde, Hannah & Sorace, Antonella (2018). individual differences in switching and inhibition predict perspective-taking across the lifespan. Cognition.  ISSN 0010-0277.  170, s 25- 30
Published May 9, 2019 1:02 PM - Last modified Nov. 26, 2019 7:22 PM