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The impact of foreign accent on social interaction and cognitive processes.

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 SocialAccent project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the SocialAccent project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "SocialAccent" about.

immigrants    interaction    event    laboratory    cognitive    council    origins    adult    online    recording    reduce    speaker    accent    law    thereafter    linguistics    disciplines    environment    educated    difficult    time    group    speakers    fluency    modulation    critical    brain    seems    independently    outcome    fp7    ants    foreign    experiments    flow    discrimination    neuroscience    provides    bilingualism    multilingual    categorisation    everyday    hartsuiker    university    native    accented    services    belgium    intelligent    generate    fa    line    migration    integration    judged    life    psychology    rapid    triggers    medium    bias    negative    social    era    false    potentials    solutions    fits    examines    reduces    true    health    don    sleep    listeners    speech    scientific    education    understand    trustworthy    migrants    ghent    technique    equally    think    innovative    linguistic    involve    stereotypes    job    perfect    prof    sentence    competent   

Project "SocialAccent" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: GENT
postcode: 9000

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Belgium [BE]
 Project website
 Total cost 160˙800 €
 EC max contribution 160˙800 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2015
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-01-01   to  2018-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITEIT GENT BE (GENT) coordinator 160˙800.00


 Project objective

‘Ants don’t sleep’. One would think that this sentence should be assessed as equally true (or false) independently of the speaker’s accent. It is not the case. Overall, speakers with a foreign accent (FA) are judged as less trustworthy, less educated, less intelligent and less competent than native speakers. This negative bias towards foreign-accented speakers (thereafter, FA bias) has critical consequences on many aspects of everyday life (e.g., job discrimination). Given the migration flow in Europe, it is crucial to understand the impact FA bias has on social interaction. This negative bias seems to have different origins: linguistic (FA is more difficult to understand than native accent, thus, it reduces ‘processing fluency’), and social (FA triggers a rapid categorisation of the speaker as out-group). The project will investigate 1) how FA bias affects cognitive processes, and 2) the modulation of the FA bias by social stereotypes and its consequences in the brain. The project is innovative as it examines the real-time impact of FA on cognitive processes using event-related potentials, a technique that allows recording online brain activity. The proposed experiments involve native listeners and non-native speakers with a medium FA. The findings will be of interest for many fields like linguistics, social psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and to some extent for other social disciplines (law, education, health). They will also be relevant for social institutions (Council of Europe) and services for immigrants (Linguistic Integration of Adult Migrants). The outcome of the project will be useful to generate solutions to reduce this social bias. Moreover, the project fits well with the current interest of the ERA, being in line with FP7 funded projects like ‘European Multilingual Experience’. Finally, Prof. Hartsuiker’s laboratory (Ghent University, Belgium) in which speech processing and bilingualism are investigated provides a perfect scientific environment.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Alice Foucart, Hernando Santamaría-García, Robert J. Hartsuiker
Short exposure to a foreign accent impacts subsequent cognitive processes.
published pages: , ISSN: 0028-3932, DOI:
Neuropsychologia 2019-10-08

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The information about "SOCIALACCENT" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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