Research Group
Banner 1
Banner 2
Banner 3

About me

I work as a teaching assistant at the Psychology Department at the University Rovira i Virgili. I?m interested in how humans process natural language. Particularly I?m focused on pragmatics, the level of processing where language interacts functionally with other mental capacities.

Research Interests

Theory of Mind and language comprehension in schizophrenia
The aim of this study is to explore how deficits in mental states attribution could be reflected on language comprehension along its range of processing levels. We have found that, primarily, theory-of-mind correlates with language comprehension at the semantic-pragmatic level, as when the hearer needs the pragmatic ability to extract the figurative meaning of utterances such as metaphors, ironies, or proverbs. The consistent correlation found between both abilities appears to be genuine, in the sense that it doesn?t seem altered once we control for potential concurrent factors, such as general intelligence and/or some of the more representative executive functions.


  • García-Orza, J., Gavilán, J. M., Fraga, I., & Ferré, P. (2017). Testing the online reading effects of emotionality on relative clause attachment. Cognitive Processing, 18, 543-553. 10.1007/s10339-017-0811-z
  • Gavilán, J. M., & Haro, J. (2017). Personality traits and theory of mind: Performance data of a Spanish sample of university students. Data in Brief, 14, 612-617. 10.1016/j.dib.2017.08.014
  • 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
  • Gavilán, J. M., & García-Albea, J. E. (2015). La función ejecutiva en la esquizofrenia y su asociación con las habilidades cognitivas sociales (mentalistas). Revista de Psiquiatría y Salud Mental, 8(3), 119-129. 10.1016/j.rpsm.2014.01.008
  • Boada, R., Sánchez-Casas, R., Gavilán, J. M., García-Albea, J. E., & Tokowicz, N. (2013). Effect of multiple translations and cognate status on translation recognition performance of balanced bilinguals. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 16, 183-197.
  • Gavilán, J. M., & García-Albea, J. E. (2013). Theory of mind and language comprehension in schizophrenia. Psicothema, 25, 440-445.
  • Gavilán, J. M., García-Albea, J. E. (2011). Theory of mind and language comprehension in schizophrenia: Poor mindreading affects figurative language comprehension beyond intelligence deficits. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 24, 54-69.