Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Matthew Mak (Assistant Professor)

Matthew Mak 


Outline of work:

Language learning and processing, episodic and semantic memory, sleep, false memory, corpus


I am an experimental psycholinguist, with a broad interest in the interface between language and memory. My specific interest lies in the lexical level—how are words learnt, represented, processed, and forgotten in neurotypical adults. I also have an interest in the role of sleep in language processing and false memory formation. Using a combination of behavioural experiment, corpus analysis, computational simulation, and eye-tracking, my previous work has looked at questions such as,

1) How are new words learnt during reading? How does the surrounding context of a new word influence the ease with which the word is learnt?

2) To what extent does episodic memory contribute to the processing of familiar words and the updating of the mental lexicon?

3) How does sleep influence (verbal) memory distortion and false memory?

Future work will focus on bridging distributional and embodied semantics, corpus analysis, and false memory in an applied setting.

I am happy to consider supervising PhD and MSc research degrees in any language-related and memory-related areas. Please email me at for more information.

I am an avid supporter of open and reproducible science. Most of my future work will be pursued in the format of registered report. I am also involved in multiple international consortia (e.g., SPAM-L; Eye-witness consortium).

Personal Home Page
Contact Details

Representative Publications:

  • Mak, M. H. C. & Nation, K. (forthcoming). A review of how word learning during reading is influenced by the linguistic context: From contextual constraint to contextual diversity.

  • Mak, M. H. C., O’Hagan, A., Horner, A. J., & Gaskell, M. G. (2023). A registered report testing the effect of sleep on Deese-Roediger-McDermott false memory: greater lure and veridical recall but fewer intrusions after sleep. Royal Society Open Science, 10(12).

  • Mak, M. H. C., Curtis, A. J., Rodd, J. M., & Gaskell, M. G. (2023). Episodic memory and sleep are involved in the maintenance of context-specific lexical information. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

  • Curtis, A. J., Mak, M. H. C., Chen, S., Rodd, J. M., & Gaskell, M. G. (2022). Word-meaning priming extends beyond homonyms. Cognition, 226(May), 105175.

  • Mak, M. H. C., Hsiao, Y., & Nation, K. (2021b). Lexical connectivity effects in immediate serial recall of words. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 47(12), 1971–1997.

  • Mak, M. H. C., Hsiao, Y., & Nation, K. (2021a). Anchoring and contextual variation in the early stages of incidental word learning during reading. Journal of Memory and Language, 118(October 2020), 104203.

  • Mak, M. H. C., & Twitchell, H. (2020). Evidence for preferential attachment: Words that are more well connected in semantic networks are better at acquiring new links in paired-associate learning. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 27(5), 1059–1069.