Lab Director

Teenie Matlock is Professor of Cognitive Science, Founding Faculty, and McClatchy Chair in Communications in Cognitive and Information Sciences at UC Merced.  She is a cognitive scientist and cognitive linguist who studies the semantics of everyday communication. Her recent work focuses on how people make sense of language, especially non-literal language and grammatical form, and how it influences reasoning about elections, climate change, immigration, and other societal issues. She is the Co-Director of UC Merced’s Center for Climate Communication and Affiliate Faculty in UC Berkeley’s Institute for Cognitive and Brain Science. Matlock serves on the Cognitive Science Society governing board and is Associate Editor for Cognitive Linguistics. She is the recipient of awards for excellence in teaching and mentoring, and is the former Vice Chair of the American Indian Council of Mariposa County.  She completed her PhD at UC Santa Cruz and did postdoctoral research at Stanford University.  personal website


Project Scientist

Emmanuel Vincent is a Project Scientist in the Center for Climate Communication. He is currently working on the development of Climate Feedback, a project that allows scientists to provide in situ feedback on the accuracy of media reporting on climate change. After completing his PhD in climate science from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, he went on to become a post-doctoral fellow at MIT, where he worked on hurricane-climate interaction.


Postdoctoral Researcher

Oana David completed her PhD in linguistics at UC Berkeley. She is currently a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in Cognitive and Information Sciences at UC Merced. Her research focus is in cognitive linguistics, specifically computational, corpus and discourse analytic approaches to the study of metaphor. Her recent work focuses on metaphors for cancer.  personal website


Graduate Students

Patricia Lichtenstein received her B.A. in Slavic Languages and Literature from the University of Chicago and her M.A. in Cognitive Linguistics from Case Western Reserve University. She has also spent some time studying economics at the London School of Economics, and studying philosophy and cognitive neuroscience at Duke University. Patricia’s research aims to investigate the dynamics of language use across systems and scales. Patricia is co-advised by Michael Spivey.


Gina Pretzer received her B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders and  M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from Idaho State University.  She recently received her Certificate of Clinical Competency in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) through the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association.  Gina’s general research interests include multi-domain development in infants and toddlers and evidence-based practice in Early Intervention.  Her recent work emphasizes the role of infant-caregiver social interaction in communication development.


Ayme Tomson received a B.S. in Applied Mathematics with minors is Linguistics and Computer Science from the University of New Mexico.  She also completed several years of graduate studies in Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara as an NSF IGERT trainee.  Ayme’s is currently working with Teenie on numerical hyperbole research.  Ayme is also interested in conceptual metaphor theory and computation modeling of group dynamics.  personal website


Matthew Turner is a PhD student in Cognitive and Information Sciences. He received a dual B.S. in mathematics and physics from Syracuse University and a M.S. in applied physics from Rice University. His research interests focus on applying quantitative methods like network analysis and time series modeling to analyze discourse, figurative language, and semantics in general. With four years of experience as a professional software developer, Matthew is also building new software tools for acquiring novel corpora (iatv on GitHub), for collaborative metaphor coding (metacorps on GitHub), and more. mt.digitalMatthew’s GitHub Page


Lab Affiliates

Chelsea Coe is a PhD student in the Political Science Department at UC Merced. Her research involves the study of political communication and mass public opinion with a focus on metaphors and framing. She started as a research assistant in ICL in 2011!



Former PhD Students

Justin Matthews, CSU Monterey Bay

Bodo Winter, University of Birmingham

Till Bergmann, SalesforceIQ