Research Group
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About me

I am Associate Professor at the Psychology Department at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili. The focus of my research is human language processing, in particular the comprehension of sentences. I use behavioral and electrophysiological (ERPs) techniques to assess the cognitive and neural mechanisms involved in language processing at this level.

Research Interests

ERPs and visual word recognition
We are currently pursuing our previous research on visual word recognition with cognate and non-cognate words in bilinguals using behavioural paradigms (masked priming) and are extending these paradigms to include recordings of ERPs.
Syntactic processing and ambiguity resolution
An important part of our research involves the investigation of how people process the syntactic structure of sentences. The research on syntactic processing has investigated the different types of linguistic information that people use when resolving ambiguities.
The prosody-syntax relationship in sentence processing
The attachment of relative clauses with two antecedent nouns as potential hosts is a widely studied research topic in psycholinguistics. Previous research in Spanish shows a preference for high attachment in sentences of this kind. We are currently examining the contribution of prosody to the processing of ambiguous and unambiguous sentences of this type.
Lexical-semantic representation and processing
We are currently investigating the role of different semantic variables (e.g., lexical ambiguity, concreteness, number of translation, meaning similarity, etc.), in order to determine how semantic information is represented in bilingual memory. We used behavioural measures and we are now including the brain´s electrical activity (ERPs) and eye movement recordings.


  • Lobina, D. J., Demestre, J., & García-Albea, J. E. (2017, Jul). Disentangling perceptual and psycholinguistic factors in syntactic processing: Tone monitoring via ERPs. Behavior Research Methods. Advance online publication. 10.3758/s13428-017-0932-4
  • Gavilán, J. M., Rivera, D., Guasch, M., Demestre, J., & García-Albea, J. E. (2017). Exploring the Effects of Visual Frame and Matching Direction on the Vertical-Horizontal Illusion. Perception, 46, 1339-1355. 10.1177/0301006617724979
  • Haro, J., Demestre, J., Boada, R., & Ferré, P. (2017). ERP and behavioral effects of semantic ambiguity in a lexical decision task. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 44, 190-202. 10.1016/j.jneuroling.2017.06.001
  • Haro, J., Ferré, P., Boada, R., & Demestre, J. (2017). Semantic ambiguity norms for 530 Spanish words. Applied Psycholinguistics, 38, 457-475. 10.1017/S0142716416000266
  • Ferré, P., Sánchez-Casas, R., Comesaña, M., & Demestre, J. (2016). Masked translation priming with cognates and noncognates: Is there an effect of words? concreteness? Bilingualism: Language and Cognition. Advance online publication. 10.1017/S1366728916000262
  • Moldovan, C. D., Demestre, J., Ferré, P., & Sánchez-Casas, R. (2016). The role of meaning and form similarity in translation recognition in highly proficient balanced bilinguals: A behavioral and ERP study. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 37, 1-11. 10.1016/j.jneuroling.2015.07.002
  • Moldovan, C. D., Ferré, P., Demestre, J., & Sánchez-Casas, R. (2015). Semantic similarity: Normative ratings for 185 Spanish noun triplets. Behavior Research Methods, 47, 788-799. 10.3758/s13428-014-0501-z
  • Ferrando, P.J., Anguiano-Carrasco, C., & Demestre, J. (2013). Combining IRT and SEM: An hybrid model for fitting responses and response certainties. Structural Equation Modeling, 20, 208-225.
  • Villegas, A., Demestre, J., & Dussias. P. E. (2013). Processing Relative/Sentence Complement Clauses in Immersed Spanish-English Speakers. Proceedings of the 16th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium, ed. Jennifer Cabrelli Amaro et al., 70-79.
  • Demestre, J. (2012). Deleting the object marker renders the sentence ungrammatical: Comment on Casado, Martín-Loeches, Muñoz and Fernández-Frías (2005). Language and Cognitive Processes, 27, 682-692.
  • Moldovan, C. D., Sánchez-Casas, R., Demestre, J., & Ferré, P. (2012). Interference effects as a function of semantic similarity in the translation recognition task in bilinguals of Catalan and Spanish. Psicológica, 33, 77-110.
  • Sánchez-Casas, R., Ferré, P., Demestre, J., García-Chico, T., & García-Albea, J. E. (2012). Masked and Unmasked Priming Effects as a Function of Semantic Relatedness and Associative Strength. Spanish Journal of Psychology, 15, 891-900.
  • Ferrando, P.J., Demestre, J., Anguiano-Carrasco, C., Chico, E. (2011). Evaluación TRI de la escala I-E de Rotter: Un nuevo enfoque y algunas consideraciones. Psicothema, 23(2), 282-288.
  • Ferrando, P.J.; Demestre, J. (2008). Características de forma y contenido que predicen la capacidad discriminativa en ítems de personalidad: un análisis basado en la Teoría de Respuesta a los Ítems. Psicothema, 20 (4), 851-856.
  • Demestre, J.; García-Albea, J. E. (2007). ERP evidence for the rapid assignment of an (appropriate) antecedent to PRO. Cognitive Science, 31, 343-354.
  • Demestre, J.; García-Albea, J. E. (2007). Sobre la interpretación del sujeto nulo de los complementos de infinitivo. Anuario de Psicología, 38, 71-92.
  • Ferrando, P. J.; Demestre, J. (2007). Características del ítem que predicen el tiempo de respuesta en medidas de personalidad. Psicothema, 19 (2), 337-342.
  • Condón, L.; Ferrando, P.J.; Demestre, J. (2006). A note on some item characteristics related to acquiescent responding. Personality and Individual Differences, 40 (3), 403-407.
  • Demestre, J.; García Albea, J. E. (2004). The on-line resolution of the sentence complement/relative clause ambiguity: Evidence from Spanish. Experimental Psychology, 51, 59-71.
  • Demestre, J.; Meltzer, S.; García Albea, J.E.; Vigil, A. (1999). Identifying the null subject: evidende from event-related brain potentials. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 28, 293-312.