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I'm Aitor Egurtzegi, an academic associate at the English Department of the University of Zurich working on data science, data analysis, AI, and Machine Learning with a background in Computational Linguistics and NLP.

I work with language models and language corpora, I run EEG, eye tracking, and online experiments, and I use machine learning methods and Bayesian statistical modeling to understand how language works.

Recent research

Recently I have focused my time doing data analysis with a focus on Machine Learning and Bayesian hierarchical regression. Particularly, I've been tackling the status of word categories in a two-fold manner: on the one hand by preprocessing, analyzing, and visualizing MEG data looking for spatial underpinnings of said categories and on the other hand by developing NLP pipelines working with state-of-the-art language models to analyze said word categories using clustering methods, running cloud computing jobs using a Unix-based system.

Moreover, I've been doing experimental work to collect eye tracking and EEG data and analyze it in a Bayesian framework for low-resourced languages that are typologically different from the most common spoken languages.

The key point I've found out is: the language you speak affects how you perceive the world around you.

For instance, speakers of ergative languages such as Basque, Georgian, or Hindi spend less time looking at agents and more time looking at the overall picture to faster grasp the action, since their grammar requires them to know this faster than speakers of nominative languages such as English, German, or Spanish.

Additionally, these language-based differences in perception are also appreciated in the brain activity, with the latter languages needing a stronger activation of the neuronal population because they entertain more, competing structures.

Eye tracking

Eye tracking

Alpha left frontal activity

Alpha left frontal activity

For more information on my work, see my latest publications in Brain and Language and PLOS Biology.

About Me

I'm currently pursuing a PhD in comparative psycholinguistics. I'm interested in how language is produced and understood, equally from a computational and a neurological level.

I'm curious by nature. I love traveling, hiking, discovering new countries, learning random geography facts, playing chess, basketball, working out and watching various sports, from college football to basketball, Australian rules, soccer, or cricket, among others.


If you wish to reach out, feel free to use the buttons on the left side of the page to email me or DM me on Twitter (I do check my email more frequently than Twitter).