Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception - UMR 8242
Uni­ver­sité Paris Descartes
45 Rue des Saints Pères
75270 Paris Cedex 06


Senior Research Scientist
Speech perception group

judit.gervain@-Code a retirer pour éviter le SPAM-parisdescartes.fr
+33 (0) 1 42 86 21 97, room 603

Scientific interests : early language acquisition, linguistic theory, cognitive development, infancy, near infrared spectroscopy/optical topography


  • Silvia Benavides Varela, Judit Gervain. (in press). Learning word order at birth: A NIRS study. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.
  • Cabrera L, Gervain J. (2020). How infants use the envelope of the speech signal to perceive phonetic contrasts at birth. Science advances, 6(30).
  • de la Cruz-Pavía I, Elordieta G, Villegas J, Gervain J, Laka I. (2020). Segmental information drives adult bilingual phrase segmentation preference. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism.
  • Gonzalez-Gomez Nayeli, Schmandt S, Fazekas J, Nazzi T, Gervain J. (2019). Infants’ sensitivity to nonadjacent vowel dependencies: The case of vowel harmony in Hungarian. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 178, 170-183.
  • de la Cruz-Pavía I, Gervain J, Vatikiotis-Bateson E, Werker J F. (2019). Coverbal speech gestures signal phrase boundaries: A production study of Japanese and English infant- and adult-directed speech. Language Acquisition.
  • de la Cruz-Pavía I, Gervain J, Vatikiotis-Bateson E, Werker J F. (2019). Finding phrases: On the role of co-verbal facial information in learning word order in infancy. PLoS ONE, 14(11), e0224786.
  • de la Cruz-Pavía I, Werker J F, Vatikiotis-Bateson E, Gervain J. (2019). Finding phrases: The interplay of word frequency, phrasal prosody and co-speech visual information in chunking speech by monolingual and bilingual adults. Language and Speech.
  • Gervain J, de la Cruz-Pavía I, Gerken LA. (2018). Behavioral and Imaging Studies of Infant Artificial Grammar Learning. Topics in Cognitive Science.
  • Issard C, Gervain J. (2018). Variability of the hemodynamic response in infants: Influence of experimental design and stimulus complexity. Dev Cogn Neurosci.
  • Frank, MC, Bergelson, E, Bergmann, C, Cristia, A, Floccia, C, Gervain, J, Hamlin, JK, Hannon, EE, Kline, M, Levelt, C, Lew-Williams, C, Nazzi, T, Panneton, R, Rabagliati, H, Soderstrom, M, Sullivan, J, Waxman, S, Yurovsky, D. (2017). A collaborative approach to infant research: Promoting reproducibility, best practices, and theory-building. Infancy, 22, 421-435. (PDF)
  • Kriszta Szendroi, Carline Bernard, Frauke Berger, Judit Gervain, Barbara Hoehle. (2017). Acquisition of prosodic focus marking by English, French and German 3-, 4-, 5- and 6-year-olds. Journal of Child Language.
  • Lilian May, Judit Gervain, Manuel Carreiras, Janet F Werker. (2017). The neonate neural response to native, non-native and whistled language. Developmental Science.
  • Abboub N, Nazzi T, Gervain J. (2016). Prosodic grouping at birth. Brain Lang, 162, 46-59. (PDF)
  • Gervain J, Werker JF, Black A, Geffen MN. (2016). The neural correlates of processing scale-invariant environmental sounds at birth. Neuroimage, 133, 144-50.
  • Guevara-Erra R, Gervain J. (2016). The efficient coding of speech: cross-linguistic differences. Plos One, under revision.
  • Issard C, Gervain J. (2016). Adult-like processing of time-compressed speech by newborns: A NIRS study. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.
  • Judit Gervain, Ansgar D Endress. (2016). Learning multiple rules simultaneously: affixes are more salient than reduplications. Memory and Cognition.
  • Molnar M, Carreiras M, Gervain J. (2016). Language dominance shapes non-linguistic rhythmic grouping in bilinguals. Cognition, 152, 150-9.
  • Bouchon C, Nazzi T, Gervain J. (2015). Hemispheric asymmetries in repetition enhancement and suppression effects in the newborn brain. PlosOne, 10, e0140160.
  • Cristia A, Minagawa-Kawai Y, Egorova N, Gervain J, Filippin L, Cabrol D, Dupoux E. (2014). Neural correlates of infant accent discrimination: an fNIRS study. Developmental Science, DOI 10.1111.
  • Gervain J, Werker JF, Geffen MN. (2014). Category-specific processing of scale-invariant sounds in infancy. Plos One.
  • Kubicek C, Hillairet de Boisferon A, Dupierrix E, Pascalis O, Lœvenbruck H, Gervain J, Schwarzer G. (2014). Cross-modal matching of audiovisual German and French fluent speech in infancy. Plos One, 9, e89275. (PDF)
  • Gervain J, Sebastián-Gallés N, Díaz B, Mazuka R, Yamane N, Laka I, Nespor M, Mehler J. (2013). Word frequency cues word order in adults: cross-linguistic evidence. Frontiers in Psychology, 4, 689. (PDF)
  • Gervain J, Vines BW, Chen LM, Hensch TK, Young AH, Werker JF. (2013). Valproate reopens critical-period learning of absolute pitch. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 7, 102. (PDF)
  • Gervain J, Werker J F. (2013). Prosody cues word order in 7-month-old bilingual infants. Nature Communications, 4, 1490. (PDF)
  • Kubicek C, Hillairet de Boisferon A, Dupierrix E, Loevenbruck H, Gervain J, Schwarzer G. (2013). Face-scanning behavior to silently talking faces in 12-month-old infants: The role of pre-exposed auditory speech. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 37, 106-110. (PDF)
  • Molavi B, May L, Gervain J, Carreiras M, Werker J F, Dumont G. (2013). Analyzing Resting State Functional Connectivity in the Human Language System using Near Infrared Spectroscopy. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 921. (PDF)
  • Molnar M, Gervain J, Carreiras M. (2013). Within-rhythm Class Native Language Discrimination Abilities of Basque-Spanish Monolingual and Bilingual Infants at 3.5 Months of Age. Infancy, doi: 10.111. (PDF)
  • Bernard C, Gervain J. (2012). Prosodic cues to word order: what level of representation?. Frontiers in Psychology, 3, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00451.
  • Gervain J, Berent I, Werker J F. (2012). Binding at birth: the newborn brain detects identity relations and sequential position in speech. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 24, 564-574. (PDF)
  • Gervain J, Guevara R. (2012). The statistical signature of morphosyntax: A Study of Hungarian and Italian Infant-Directed Speech. Cognition, 125, 236-287. (PDF)
  • Gervain J, Werker JF. (2012). Learning Non-Adjacent Regularities at 7 months. Journal of Child Language, doi:10.1017.
  • Geffen M N, Gervain J, Werker J F, Magnasco M O. (2011). Auditory perception of self-similarity in water sounds. Front Integr Neurosci, 5, 15.
  • Gervain J, Mehler J, Werker JF, Nelson CA, Csibra G, Lloyd-Fox S, Shukla M, Aslin RA. (2011). Near-Infrared Spectroscopy: A report from the McDonnell infant methodology consortium. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 1, 22-46.
  • May L, Byers-Heinlein K, Gervain J, Werker J F. (2011). Language and the newborn brain: does prenatal language experience shape the neonate neural response to speech?. Frontiers in Psychology, 2, 222.
  • Gervain J, Mehler J. (2010). Speech perception and language acquisition in the first year of life. Annual Review of Psychology, 61, 191-218.
  • Yoshida KA, Iversen JR, Patel AD, Nito H, Mazuka R, Gervain J, Werker JF. (2010). The development of perceptual grouping in infancy: a cross-linguistic study. Cognition, 115, 356-361.
  • Gervain Judit. (2009). Resumption in Focus(-Raising). Lingua, 119, 687-707.
  • Gervain Judit, Macagno Francesco, Cogoi Silvia, PenA Marcela, Mehler Jacques. (2008). The neonate brain detects speech structure. PNAS Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105, 14222-14227.
  • Gervain Judit, Nespor Marina, Mazuka Reiko, Horie Ryota, Mehler Jacques. (2008). Bootstrapping word order in prelexical infants: A Japanese-Italian cross-linguistic study. Cognitive Psychology, 57, 56-74.
  • Gervain Judit, Werker Janet F. (2008). How infant speech perception contributes to language acquisition. Language and Linguistics Compass, 2, 1149-1170.


  • Judit Gervain. (in press). Gateway to language: The perception of prosody at birth. In Z Bánréti, H Bartos, M den Dikken, T Váradi (Eds) Boundaries Crossed: Studies at the crossroads of morphosyntax, phonology, pragmatics, and semantics, Springer ed..
  • Judit Gervain. (2015). Near-Infrared Spectroscopy. In James D Wright (Ed) International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, Oxford ed..
  • Gervain J. (2014). Developmental Science and the Nature-Nurture Issue: The Case of Language. In P. Richerson G Csibra, Cs. Pléh (Eds) Naturalistic Approaches to Culture., .
  • Gervain J. (2013). Early rule learning ability and language acquisition. In Lowenthal F, ,Lefebvre F (Eds) Recursion and Language, Springer ed. 89-99.
  • Gervain J. (2013). Szerkezet és agy a nyelvfejlődés legkorábbi szakaszaiban [Structure and the brain in early language development]. In Pléh, Cs. (Eds) Általános Nyelvészeti Tanulmányok [Studies in General Linguistics], .
  • Werker J, Gervain J. (2013). Speech Perception and Phonological Development. In Zelazo PD. (Ed) The Oxford Handbook of Developmental Psychology, Oxford University Press ed. 909-925.
  • Shukla M, Gervain J, Mehler J, Nespor M. (2012). Linguistic Constraints on Statistical Learning in Early Language Acquisition. In Rebuschat P, Williams J (Eds) Statistical Learning and Language Acquisition, Mouton de Gruyter ed..
  • Molavi B, Gervain J, , Dumont G A. (2011). Estimating cortical connectivity in functional near infrared spectroscopy using multivariate autoregressive modeling. In (Ed) Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc, 2334-2337.
  • Gervain Judit. (2010). A statisztikai tanulás és a szabálytanulás idegi alapjai [The neural correlates of statistical learning and rule extraction]. In Pléh, Cs., Gy. Kovács B Gulyás (Eds) Kognitív Idegtudomány [Cognitive Neuroscience], Osiris ed..
  • Mehler J, Gervain J, Endress A D, Shukla M. (2008). Mechanisms of language acquisition: imaging and behavioral evidence. In Nelson CA., Luciana M (Eds) Handbook of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, MITPress ed..
  • Mehler Jacques, Endress Ansgar, Gervain Judit, Nespor Marina. (2008). From perception to grammar. In Friederici, Angela D. ,Thierry, Guillaume (Eds) Early language development: Bridging brain and behaviour., John Benjamins Publishing Company ed. 191-213.