School of Psychological & Social Sciences
T: 01904 876329
My main research area is psychology of language learning and use. I am interested in the cognitive and neural mechanisms that underpin our linguistic abilities, and in particular how language learning and use are supported by domain-general learning and memory mechanisms. To address these questions, I use a range of methods including behavioral studies and computational modeling, in both adults and children.
PhD Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
MSc Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
BSc Psychology, University of Belgrade, Serbia
- Psychobiology 1
- Psychobiology 2
- Cognitive Psychology 2
- Statistics and Psychology 2
- Research Methods
- The Psychology of Child Development
- Everyday Applications of Cognitive Pscyhology
Honorary Fellow, Department of Psychology, University of York, UK
Fellow, Higher Education Academy (UK)
Cognition; Journal of Memory and Language; Developmental Science; Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition; Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance; Psychonomic Bulletin and Review; Language and Cognitive Processes; Applied Psycholinguistics; Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry; Reading and Writing; Scientific Studies of Reading; Memory; Memory and Cognition; Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
National Science Foundation (USA)
Cognitive Science Society; Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing (AMLaP); CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing
My main research interest is in psychological and neural mechanisms supporting grammar learning and use in adults and children. I explore these questions using computational models, behavioral experiments, and neuroscientific methods of sleep research.
Grammar learning in children and adults.
In these studies we investigate how children and adults learn grammatical categories from multiple cues. We use made-up languages to simulate the process of learning real (natural) languages. For example, participants in these studies would learn that a fictitious word tib scoiffesh means ‘ballerina’, and ked thetaff means ‘priest’. In these studies, participants learn the new words through an iPad based Alien game. We manipulate the properties of the novel words (e.g., what they mean, or how they sound) in a systematic way to test different theories of grammar learning and use. Emma Hayiou-Thomas (University of York) is a collaborator on this project.
Memory consolidation processes and language learning
The studies involve learning fictitious words such as darb and spling, and their plurals (e.g. 3 darbaff) or past tenses (e.g. splung or splinged). Participants in these studies are re-tested at several time points after learning (e.g. 15 mins or 12 hours after learning), to investigate the influence of consolidation processes on the memory for the fictitious words. In some experiments participants spend some time sleeping in the lab between training and testing while their brain activity is recorded. Gareth Gaskell (University of York) is a collaborator on this project.
The role of socio-economic status and language experience in complex langauge skills
In these studies we investigate the mechanism by which socio-economic status influences how quickly and efficiently we process complex language. With Jess Brown, a PhD student at the School, we are exploring how socio-economic status influences the type and the amount of complex language we are exposed to, and then how that exposure influences how easily we understand complex sentences, as well as the type of sentences we are likely to produce. Lorna Hamilton is a collaborator on this project.
Gaskell, G., & Mirković, J. (Eds.). (2016). Speech Perception and Spoken Word Recognition. Psychology Press.
Mirković, J., & Gaskell, M. G. (2016). Does sleep improve your grammar? Preferential consolidation of arbitrary components of new linguistic knowledge. PloS One, 11, e0152489.
Mirković, J. & MacDonald, M. C. (2013): When singular and plural are both grammatical: Semantic and morphophonological effects in agreement. Journal of Memory and Language, 69, 277-298.
Gennari, S. P., Mirković, J. & MacDonald, M. C. (2012): Animacy and competition in relative clause production: a cross-linguistic investigation. Cognitive Psychology, 65, 141-176.
Mirković, J., Seidenberg M. S. & Joanisse, M. F. (2011): Rules vs. statistics: Insights from a highly inflected language. Cognitive Science, 35, 638-681.
Altmann, G. T. M. & Mirković, J. (2009): Incrementality and prediction in human sentence processing. Cognitive Science, 33, 583-609.