My interest is in the field of neurolinguistics. 

Earlier, my research dealt primarily with aphasic subjects suffering a selective loss of language. In general, what this inquiry yielded was an understanding that their pattern of sparing and loss could be usefully characterized in terms of linguistic theory, that is, impaired brains were seen to break down along the divisions provided for in an independently motivated theory of language.

Although I am still intermittently involved in some aphasia research, the main thrust of my current work has shifted to unimpaired subjects and the noninvasive tools available for investigation of the neural basis of language.

After some work using fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) and MEG (magneto-encephalography), the focus now is on behavioral and EEG (electroencephalography) experiment in the newly established Neurolinguistics/EEG lab.

Inquiry in the lab is very much a collaborative enterprise, and I am daily reminded how fortunate I am to be working closely with gifted and mutually supportive graduate students and brilliant colleagues at both MSU and elsewhere.


Professor of Linguistics

Director, EEG Lab

Professor, Cognitive

Science Program

Office: B465 Wells Hall

(Lab: B418 Wells Hall)

Department of Linguistics

619 Red Cedar Rd

East Lansing, MI 48824


Tel: 517.353.7212

Sample publications

Whelpton, M., Trotter, D., Guðmundsdóttir Beck, Þ., Anderson, C., Maling, J., Durvasula, K., & Beretta, A. (2014). Portions and sorts in Icelandic: an ERP study. Brain and Language, 136, 44-57.

Beretta, A., Fiorentino, R., & Poeppel, D. 2005. The effects of homonymy and polysemy on lexical access: an MEG study. Cognitive Brain Research 24, 57-65.

Beretta, A., Campbell, C., Carr, T.H., Huang, J., Schmitt, L.M., Christianson, K., & Cao, Y. 2003. An ER-fMRI investigation of morphological inflection in German reveals that the brain makes a distinction between regular and irregular forms. Brain and Language 85, 67-92.