Michigan State University
Michigan State University
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Literary Cognition Lab
Literary Cognition Lab

Welcome to the Digital Humanities & Literary Cognition Lab (DHLC) at Michigan State University!

The DHLC was founded in 2012 by Dr. Natalie Phillips and Dr. Steven Rachman. Housed in the College of Arts and Letters, the DHLC is a place of interdisciplinary research and scholarship. Lab members include graduate and undergraduate students studying English, Neuroscience, Education, Psychology, Digital Humanities, Engineering, and more.

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DHLC Home 2.pngOur work began with a revolutionary study of reading, which put 18 Ph.D. candidates in a functional magnetic resonance imaging scanner (fMRI) to read an entire chapter of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. Since this initial study in literary neuroscience, we have been invited to collaborate on multiple nationwide and even international projects. These projects have included research in the neuroaesthetics of art, music, and literature (with the DHLC focusing on the literary element) as well as research on music cognition and narrative perception. To learn more about each of our projects, please click on our Research Page.


It is so important for us to share our work with you, as the ultimate goal of scientific and humanistic research is to make positive impacts on our communities. By sending students to local, national, and international conferences as well as publishing novels, essays, and research articles, we aim to make our work transparent and open ourselves up to feedback and new collaboration. To find out more about our recent talks and posters, please visit our News Page. For further reading, please check out our Publications Page.

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