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Invited researcher Shtyrov Yuriy Yuriyevich
Contract number
Time span of the project

As of 15.02.2021

Number of staff members
scientific publications
Objects of intellectual property
General information
Name of the project: Cognitive neuroscience of learning and language comprehension 

Strategy for Scientific and Technological Development Priority Level: ж

Goals and objectives
Research directions: Psychology

Project objective: Conducting a series of complex experiments using a combination of methods of modern neuroscience to study brain substrate of language acquisition in real time and non-invasive registration of neuroplastic changes in brain cortex during process of language acquisition and perception

The practical value of the study

- we created cross-disciplinary experimental paradigms for behavioral and neurophysiological investigations of the brain mechanisms underpinning novel word acquisition and build-up of new neurolinguistic representation;

- we conducted electrophysiological experiments, which demonstrated two different brain routes for word acquisition – implicit and explicit learning mechanisms – both equally efficient on the behavioural level, but, as shown by our results, diverging in their neurobiological implementation;

- we conducted a series of experiments aimed at understanding the brain mechanisms underpinning the acquisition of abstract vs. concrete semantics;

- we described specific brain dynamics of word learning in pre-school children, underpinning immediate acquisition of new words in this age group;

- we developed non-invasive approaches to using brain stimulation to modify (speed up or slow down) word acquisition processes;

- we are engaged in further development of techniques aimed at optimizing learning processes using non-invasive neurostimulation.

Implemented results of research:

  • We have developed experimental paradigms aimed at investigation of processes in the basis of adoption of abstract and concrete verbal information as well as at at studying explicit and implicit strategies of language acquisition.
  • The Laboratory led the creation and editing of a research topic on Brain-Behavior Interfaces in Linguistic Communication at Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (Impact-factor(WOS)=3.964, Q2) –.
  • One object of intellectual property was registred – PC program “PREPOST” for EEG analysis (Certificate № 2019661690 registered on 05.09.2019) by Blagovechtchenski E., Shtyrov Y., Perikova E., Shcherbakova O., Kirsanov A.

Education and career development:

We are developing methods for optimising the processes of language acquisition using non-invasive neurostimulation

“Cognitive Neurobiology of Language and Speech” master-level course, developed by our academic staff, was included by St. Petersburg State University in the competency-oriented curriculum of the main educational program of higher education “General and Cognitive Psychology”.

During the project, members of academic staff under the guidance of senior colleagues submitted for defense:

- Bachelor diploma by Novikovskaiya Nadezhda Alexandrovna (research supervisor – O.V. Shcherbakova);

- Three masters diploma – Mkrtychian Nadezhda Andreevna (research supervisor – S.N. Kostromina), Grabovaya Ekaterina Vladimirovna (research supervisor – O.V. Shcherbakova), Blinova Ekaterina Nikolaevna (research supervisor – O.V. Shcherbakova)

Organizational and structural changes:

For the first time at the Saint Petersburg State University, modern cognitive neuroscience infrastructure has been created that includes capability for multi-modal non-invasive experiments aimed at studying human brain functions. It offers possibilities to record multi-channel high density electroencephalography data in electromagnetically and acoustically insulated environment, to use neurostimulation methods of transcranial electric and magnetic stimulation, as well as collect various types of behavioral data. It also includes modern hardware and software for analysis of data of various types. This infrastructure is available for use by employees of various departments and faculties of the university and other partner organisations..


HSE Centre for Cognition & Decision Making


Educational Сenter “Sirius“

Centre for Bioelectric Interfaces HSE

Almazov National Medical Research Centre ‌‌‍‍


Novosibirsk State University ‌‌‍‍


University of Helsinki (Finland)

Cambridge University (United Kingdom)

Lund University (Sweden)

Aarhus Universitet (Denmark)

University of Jyväskylä (Finland)

New Bulgarian University (Bulgaria)

University of California San Francisco (USA)

Northumbria University (Finland)

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Shtyrov Y., Filippova M., Blagovechtchenski E., Kirsanov A., Nikiforova E., Shcherbakova O.
Electrophysiological evidence of dissociation between explicit encoding and fast mapping of novel spoken words // Frontiers in Psychology. 2021, 12(571673). DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.571673
Kurmakaeva D., Blagovechtchenski E., Gnedykh Daria., Mkrtychian N., Kostromina S., Shtyrov Y.
Acquisition of concrete and abstract words is modulated by tDCS of Wernicke’s area // Scientific Reports. 2021, 11, № 1508. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-79967-8
Aleksandrov A. A., Memetova K. S., Stankevich L. N., Knyazeva V. M., Shtyrov Y.
Lexical Frequency Predicts Mismatch Negativity Responses to New Words Following Semantic Training // Journal of psycholinguistic research, 2020, 49(2), pp. 187–198. DOI: 10.1007/s10936-019-09678-3
Shtyrov Y., Kirsanov A., Shcherbakova O.
Explicitly Slow, Implicitly Fast, or the Other Way Around? Brain Mechanisms for Word Acquisition // Frontiers in human neuroscience, 2019, Vol. 13(116). DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2019.00116
Blagovechtchenski E., Gnedykh D., Kurmakaeva D., Mkrtychian N., Kostromina S., Shtyrov Y.
Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) of Wernicke’s and Broca’s Areas in Studies of Language Learning and Word Acquisition // Journal of visualized experiments, 2019, ISSUE 149. DOI: 10.3791/59159
Mkrtychian N., Blagovechtchenski E., Kurmakaeva D., Gnedykh D., Kostromina S. and Shtyrov Y.
Concrete vs. abstract semantics: From mental representations to functional brain mapping // Frontiers in human neuroscience. 2019, Vol.13(267). DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2019.00267
Vasilyeva M.J., Knyazeva V.M., Aleksandrov A.A., Shtyrov Y.Y.
Neurophysiological correlates of fast mapping of novel words in the adult brain // Frontiers in human neuroscience. 2019, Vol.13(304). DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2019.00304
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