I’m Dinesh. I’m in my third year of PhD in the School of Psychology at Birmingham University.
What do you do?
I’m studying human speech production and developing a speech production model using linguistic, psychological and computational techniques. I’m particularly interested in understanding the universal aspects of language and how the same underlying mechanisms of the brain work to produce the multitude of tongues across the globe. I run experiments with aphasic and apraxic patients to understand the basic processes involved in speech production. So far I have studied data from Italian, Hindi and English patients and am keen to continue expanding to other languages. While the pure theoretical aspects of this research are what interest me, on the practical side my work is starting to help us develop better assessment and rehabilitation techniques for stroke survivors.
Outside your research field what other science are you interested in?
Biology in general has been a fascination for me and while my own work mainly involves one organ (the brain) I’m also interested in how we function as holistic individuals in our environment. The ideas in biology such as evolution and evo-devo are simply fascinating and have the potential to engage everyone’s interest as it is the study of how we got here and why we look and behave the way we do. Ideas from biology are important in psychology as well as the brain and its manifest behaviours are in the end all products of biological evolution.
What else are you interested in?
Outside the lab, I enjoy travelling and dab a little in painting and poetry.
What event/lecture are you most looking forward to at the British Science Festival?
I’m especially looking forward to seeing Richard Wiseman and Bill Bryson. “Murder, Mystery and Microscopes” and “What Dwarf elephants have to do with climate change” and “How the body shapes the mind” are some of the others I’m looking forward to seeing.