Edward W. Wlotko, PhD

Institute Scientist
Director, Cognitive Neurophysiology and Neuropsychology Lab
Edward W. Wlotko, PhD

Dr. Wlotko joined MRRI in 2016.  His work is aimed at understanding how the brain makes sense of input from the external world, particularly in the domain of language.  A major focus of this work is investigating how and when the brain uses context predictively during language comprehension.  A long standing interest is uncovering how the two cerebral hemispheres each distinctly and jointly contribute to language processing.  He studies how hemispheric contributions to language processing may differ across individuals, with and without neuropsychological injury or disorder, and across the lifespan.

Dr. Wlotko earned his PhD from the Brain and Cognition division in the Psychology Department of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He also holds an MA in Psychology from the University of Illinois and a BS in Cognitive Psychology and English Literature from the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Wlotko was awarded a Beckman Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois.  He then participated as a postdoctoral scholar in the Training in Education and Critical Research Skills program at Tufts University as part of a K12 Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

Dr. Wlotko’s graduate and postdoctoral work has also been supported by a F31 National Research Service Award from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders; the R25 Summer Training on Aging Research Topics in Mental Health funded by the National Institute of Mental Health at the University of California, San Diego Department of Cognitive Science; and a Research Training Award from the Society for Psychophysiological Research at the University of California, San Diego Department of Radiology.

He is a member of the Society for Psychophysiological Research, the Society for the Neurobiology of Language, and the Cognitive Neuroscience Society.

Research Interests
  • Neurobiology and neurodynamics of language
  • Hemispheric asymmetry and cooperation in language and cognition
  • Cognitive and neural changes in healthy aging
  • Language and cognition in neuropsychological populations


Rommers, J., Dickson, D. S., Norton, J. J. S., Wlotko, E. W., & Federmeier, K. D. (in press). Alpha and theta band dynamics related to sentential constraint and word expectancy. Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience.


Wlotko, E. W. & Federmeier, K. D. Time for prediction? The effect of presentation rate on the implementation of anticipatory language comprehension mechanisms. Cortex, 68, 20-32. PMID: 25987437


Wlotko, E. W. & Federmeier, K. D. Two sides of meaning: The scalp-recorded N400 reflects distinct contributions from the cerebral hemispheres. Frontiers in Psychology, 4:181. PMID: 23630506


Wlotko, E. W., Federmeier, K. D., & Kutas, M. To predict or not to predict: Age-related changes in the use of sentential context. Psychology and Aging, 27(4), 975-988. PMID: 22775363

Wlotko, E. W. & Federmeier, K. D. So that’s what you meant! Event-related potentials reveal multiple aspects of context use during construction of message-level meaning. NeuroImage, 62(1), 356-366. PMID: 22565202

Wlotko, E. W. & Federmeier, K. D. Age-related changes in the impact of contextual strength on multiple aspects of sentence comprehension. Psychophysiology, 49(6), 770-785. PMID: 22469362


Wlotko, E. W., Lee, Chia-Lin, & Federmeier, K. D. Language of the aging brain: Event-related potential studies of comprehension in older adults. Language and Linguistics Compass, 4(8), 623-638. PMID: 20823949


Federmeier, K. D., Wlotko, E. W., & Meyer, A. M. What’s “right” in language comprehension: ERPs reveal right hemisphere language capabilities. Language and Linguistics Compass, 2(1), 1-17. PMID: 19777128


Wlotko, E. W. & Federmeier, K. D. Finding the right word: Hemispheric asymmetries in the use of sentence context information. Neuropsychologia, 45(13), 3001-3014. PMID: 17659309

Federmeier, K. D., Wlotko, E. W., De Ochoa-Dewald, E., and Kutas, M. Multiple effects of sentential constraint on word processing. Brain Research, 1146, 75-84. PMID: 16901469


Perfetti, C. A., Wlotko, E. W., & Hart, L. A. Word learning and individual differences in word learning are reflected in ERPs. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 31(6), 1281-1292. PMID: 16393047