Albert Costa Martínez

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Social & Behavioural Sciences

Albert Costa (1970-2018) received his PhD in psychology in 1997 (Universitat de Barcelona). In 1998, he started his post-doctoral career at the Brain and Cognitive Sciences department at MIT, thanks to a grant from the Catalan Government. From 1999 to 2000, he was a post-doctoral fellow at the Cognitive Neuropsychology laboratory at Harvard University with a Fulbright scholarship. In 2001, he moved to the Cognitive Neuroscience department at the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste. From 2002 to 2005 he was a Ramón y Cajal research fellow at the UB, and in 2006 he became an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology of the same university. Since 2008, he was ICREA Research Professor, and since its creation member of the Center for Brain and Cognition at Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

Research interests

Dr. Costa studied the cognitive and neural underpinnings of language processing, and in particular how two languages are represented and processed in the brain. He sought 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, he started working on how language context (foreign vs. native) can affect people’s preferences, judgments and decisions. He addressed these issues by conducting experiments using both experimental psychology techniques and brain imaging and electrophysiological techniques, exploring  both brain-damaged individuals (Alzheimer and Parkinson) and healthy ones.

Selected publications

– Calabria M, Costa A, Green DW & Abutalebi J 2018, ‘Neural basis of bilingual language control’, Annals Of The New York Academy Of Sciences, 1426, 1, 221 – 235.

– Vives M-L, Aparici M & Costa A 2018, ‘The limits of the foreign language effect on decision-making: The case of the outcome bias and the representativeness heuristic’, Plos One, 13, 9, e0203528.

– Lluis Vives M, Repke L & Costa A 2018, ‘Does bilingualism really affect social flexibility?’, Bilingualism-language And Cognition, 21, 5, 952 – 956.

– Rodriguez-Cuadrado S, Baus C & Costa A 2018, ‘Foreigner talk through word reduction in native/non-native spoken interactions‘, Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 21, 2, 419 – 426.

Costa A, Corey JD, Hayakawa S, Aparici M, Vives ML & Keysar B 2018, ‘The role of intentions and outcomes in the foreign language effect on moral judgements‘ Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 72, 1, 8 – 17.

– Hayakawa S, Lau BKY, Holtzmann S, Costa A & Keysar B 2018, ‘On the reliability of the foreign language effect on risk-taking‘, Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 72, 1, 29 – 40.

– Garcia-Palacios A, Costa A, Castilla D, del Rio E, Casaponsa A & Andoni Dunabeitia J 2018, ‘The effect of foreign language in fear acquisition’, Scientific Reports, 8, 1157.

– Frances C, Costa A & Baus C 2018, ‘On the effects of regional accents on memory and credibility’, Acta Psychologica, 186, 63 – 70.

– Reverberi C, Kuhlen AK, Seyed-Allaei S, Sreulich RS, R. Costa A, Abutalebi J, Haynes J-D 2018, ‘The neural basis of free language choice in bilingual speakers: Disentangling language choice and language execution’, Neuroimage, 177, 108 – 116.

– Timmer K, Calabria M, Branzi FM, Baus C & Costa A 2018, ‘On the Reliability of Switching Costs Across Time and Domains’, Frontiers In Psychology, 9, 1032.