TORO SOTO, JUAN MANUEL
Juan Manuel Toro is currently an ICREA Research Professor. He studied Psychology at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and then moved to the Universitat de Barcelona for a Ph.D. After graduating, he spent three years as a postdoc with Jacques Mehler at the LCD lab at SISSA.
His research is focused on how humans acquire and process language. Besides studying this issue with adults and infants, he also approaches it from a comparative perspective, doing studies with animals. For example, some time ago, he showed rats can extract prosodic information present in speech in a similar way human infants do (a study that was named as one of the five best Ig Nobel prize-winning scientific papers). More recently, he demonstrated that animals outperform humans in a rule learning task, very likely because non-human species lack linguistic representations that constrain pattern extraction in human adults and infants.
His research receives funding from national and international agencies, including the award of a Starting Grant from the European Research Council.