Albert Costa Martínez

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Social & Behavioural Sciences

Born in 1970, I received my PhD in psychology in 1997 (Universitat de Barcelona). In 1998, I started my post-doctoral career at the Brain and Cognitive Sciences department at MIT, thanks to the funding from the Catalan Government. From 1999 to 2000, I was a post-doctoral fellow at the Cognitive Neuropsychology laboratory at Harvard University with a Fulbright scholarship. In 2001, I moved to the Cognitive Neuroscience department at the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste. From 2002 to 2005 I was a Ramón y Cajal research fellow at the UB, and in 2006 I became an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology of the same university. Since 2008 I am ICREA Research Professor, and currently a member of the Center for Brain and Cognition at Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

Research interests

I study the cognitive and neural underpinnings of language processing, and in particular how two languages are represented and processed in the brain. I seek answers to various questions related to bilingual language processing such as: what are the neural structures involved in the ability of bilinguals to keep two languages apart during speech production?, what are the effects of neurodegenerative diseases for the two languages of a bilingual?, is there any linguistic cost and attentional advantage linked to bilingualism?, how learning a second language affects the first language processing? More recently, I have started working on how language context (foreign vs. native) can affect people's preferences, judgments and decisions. I address these issues by conducting experiments using both experimental psychology techniques and brain imaging and electrophysiological techniques, exploring the performance of both brain-damaged individuals (Alzheimer and Parkinson) and healthy ones.

Selected publications

- Costa A, Pannunzi M, Deco G & Pickering MJ 2017, 'Do Bilinguals Automatically Activate Their Native Language When They Are Not Using It?', Cognitive Science, 41, 6, 1629 - 1644.

- Baus C & Costa A 2017, 'Second Language Processing: Why Another Special Issue?', Language Learning, 66 (S2), 7-12.

- Costa A, Vives M-L & Corey JD 2017, 'On Language Processing Shaping Decision Making', Current Directions In Psychological Science, 26, 2, 146 - 151.

- Ivanova I, Branigan HP, McLean JF, Costa A & Pickering MJ 2017, 'Do you what I say? People reconstruct the syntax of anomalous utterances', Language, Cognition and Neuroscience32(2), 175-189.

- Calabria M, Cattaneo G, Marne P, Hernandez M, Juncadella M, Gascon-Bayarri J, Sala I, Lleo A, Ortiz-Gil J, Ugas L, Blesa R, Rene R & Costa A 2017, 'Language deterioration in bilingual Alzheimer's disease patients: A longitudinal study', Journal Of Neurolinguistics, 43, A, 59 - 74.

- Hayakawa S, Tannenbaum D, Costa A, Corey JD & Keysar B 2017, 'Thinking More or Feeling Less? Explaining the Foreign-Language Effect on Moral Judgment', Psychological Science, 28, 10, 1387 - 1397.

- Principe A, Calabria M, Campo AT, Cruzat J, Conesa G, Costa A & Rocamora R 2017, 'Whole network, temporal and parietal lobe contributions to the earliest phases of language production', Cortex, 95, 238 - 247.

- Lacozza S, Costa A & Dunabeitia AJ 2017, 'What do your eyes reveal about your foreign language? Reading emotional sentences in a native and foreign language', Plos One, 12, 10, e0186027.

Selected research activities

- Book for general audience "El cerebro bilingüe" (Ed. debate).

- Director of the Barcelona Summer School on Bilingualism (UPF).

- Evaluator for several national and international research institutions.

- Branch coordinator of an European Project.