My research interests range over the following areas: cognitive neuroscience • neurolinguistics • visual & auditory perception • object recognition • bilingualism • philosophy of language.

I am particularly interested with how and the extent to which language relates and modulates other cognitive processes such as object categorisation and visual processing. Ultimately, I would like to answer questions such as: what thoughts and object concepts are made of? How do tight functional links between language and representational processes arise in the brain? Are these links structural? Can they be enhanced or downplayed?

I recently gave a TEDx Talk outlining some of my research, you can watch it here.

Note. As of November 2016, I decided to step out of academic research to work as a Data Scientist in the private sector. I am therefore not available anymore for student supervision, journal peer-review or other academic collateral duties.


I used mainly Electroencephalography (EEG) which records, in real time, the brain’s electrical activity at the surface of the scalp. So far, I have mainly looked at EEG data in terms of Event-Related Potentials (ERPs) but I am currently working on the implementation of functional connectivity measures (PLV, PLI, WPLI, Graph Theory) as such methods are particularly useful for any understanding of the dynamics of the networks we assume are underlying effects of language on categorical and perceptual processes. I also look at ERP data in single-trials to correlate individual trial variation with behavioural measures such as reaction times.

To process EEG data, I use EEGLab & FieldTrip (MATLAB Toolboxes), as well as NeuroScan and BrainVision Analyser. I usually use the R environment to carry out statistical analyses, Graph Theoretical approaches and I automatise data handling in Python.


Metrics (since 2013)


Samaha, J., , Boutonnet, B., Lupyan, G. (submitted). How prior knowledge prepares perception: Prestimulus oscillations carry perceptual expectations and influence early visual responses. bioRxiv 076687; doi:  [accessible on bioRxic*this article is a pre-print and has not yet been peer-reviewed.


Jończyk, R., , Boutonnet, B., Musiał, K., Hoemann, K., Thierry, G. (2016). The bilingual brain turns a blind eye to negative statements in the second languageCognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience. [Springer:OpenAccess] [PDF]


Boutonnet, B., Lupyan, G. (2015). Words jump-start vision: a label advantage in object recognitionJournal of Neuroscience, 35(25), pp. 9329-9335; doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5111-14.2015. [JNeurosci] [PDF]


Boutonnet, B., McClain, R., & Thierry, G. (2014). Compound words prompt arbitrary semantic associations in conceptual memoryFrontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00222. [view in Frontiers]


Boutonnet, B., Dering, B. Viñas-Guasch, N., & Thierry, G. (2013). Seeing objects through the language glass. J Cog Neurosci. 25:10, pp. 1702–1710. doi:10.1162/jocn_a_00415 [PubMed] [PDF]

Martin, C., Thierry, G., Kuipers, J-R., Boutonnet, B., Costa, A. (2013). Bilinguals do not anticipate upcoming words during sentence comprehension in their second languageJ. Mem. Lang. 69, pp. 574–588 doi: 10.1016/j.jml.2013.08.001. [ScienceDirect] [PDF]


Boutonnet, B., Athanasopoulos, P. & Thierry, G. (2012). Unconscious effects of grammatical gender during object categorisation. Brain Res, 1479, 72–79. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2012.08.044 [PubMed] [PDF]

Talks & Posters


Boutonnet, B (2015). Languages: our goggles onto reality. TEDx Talk. Youth@ISH

Boutonnet, B., & Lupyan, G. (May 2015). Words jump-start our visual system. Object Perception Talk session, Vision Science Society Annual Meeting 2015, St. Pete’s Beach, Florida.

Boutonnet, B., (2015). Who’s still afraid of the big bad Worf? Recent compelling evidence in support of the linguistic relativity hypothesis. Invited Guest Lecture, Dr. Parafita-Couto’s & Child, Bilingualism Undergraduate class. LUCL Leiden University.


Boutonnet, B., (2014). Words kick-start our visual system. Invited Talk, LIBC-Language, University of Leiden.

Boutonnet, B., (2014). Words kick-start our visual system. Invited Talk, Cognition Brown Bag Meeting, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Boutonnet, B., (2014). An electric look through the language glass. Invited Talk. Prof. D. Casasanto’s Lab Meeting, University of Chicago.


Boutonnet, B (2013). When languages augment thought. Special Guest Lecture in Jean–Marc’s Deweale’s Multilingualism course. Birkbeck College, London.

Boutonnet, B., Dering, B., Thierry, G. (2013). Language-specific terminology acts as a filter on object perception. ISB9, Singapore.

Boutonnet, B. (2013). Seeing objects through the language glass. Language, Bilingualism, Cognition & Development seminar series, Bangor University.

Boutonnet, B. (2013). Seeing objects through the language glass. University of Strathclyde’s Languages & Literatures Research Seminars Series.


Boutonnet, B., Athanasopoulos, P. & Thierry, G. (2012) The Beauty & the Beast effect: Grammatical gender effects on object categorization. EUROSLA 2012, Poznan, Poland


Boutonnet, B. (2011). Sapir-Whorf Electrified: Investigating linguistic relativity in the grammatical and lexical domain. ESRC Research Seminar.

Boutonnet, B. (2011). The Beauty & The Beast effect: Unconscious retrieval of grammatical gender during semantic decisions on objects. Psychology Postgraduate Colloquium Series, Bangor University.

Boutonnet, B., Athanasopoulos, P. (2011) Bilingualism and Thought: Uncovering the mechanisms of conceptual restructuring. ISB 8, Oslo, Norway.

Boutonnet, B., Davies, P., Hoshino, N., Parafita, M., Wu, Y., Deuchar, M., & Thierry, G. (2011). Bridging linguistics & neuroscience: An ERP study of conflict sites in mixed Welsh-English DPs. Workshop on Bilingualism,
Aix en Provence.


Boutonnet, B. (2010). Investigating linguistic relativity through second language acquisition: The case of English learners of French. The 5th Newcastle Postgraduate Conference in linguistics.


2009 – 2012 ESRC PhD Studentship

2013 Guarantors of Brain – Travel Grant (£800)

Field Experience




Postdoctoral Research Fellow. AThEME project “Being Multilingual”. University of Leiden, NL.

Postdoctoral Research Associate. Gary Lupyan’s lab. University of Wisconsin, Madison

Research Support Project Officer. Guillaume Thierry’s lab.

Co-editor of Language, Cognition & Development seminar series (School of Psychology, Bangor University).

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