About Me


You’ve reached the academic homepage of Darren Tanner. For my data science work, please see my GitHub page and my LinkedIn profile.

From 2013-2018 I was an assistant professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where I am established and directed the department’s Electrophysiology and Language Processing Lab. I held joint appointments in the Department of Psychology and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. I was also an affiliate of the SLATE program, Neuroscience Program, as well as the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. I remain an adjunct assistant professor in the Linguistics Department.

After receiving my BA, MA, and PhD in Linguistics at the University of Washington, where my doctoral research was done in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Language Lab  in the Department of Psychology. I was a postdoctoral researcher in the Bilingualism and Language Development (BiLD) Lab at the Center for Language Science in the Department of Psychology at Penn State University. I previously attended the Vestjysk Music Conservatory in Esbjerg, Denmark and Washington University in St. Louis, where I studied music performance (French Horn) and German. I also spent one year a visiting graduate student at the University of Potsdam in Germany.

My research interests lie in language processing and psycholinguistics, second language acquisition and bilingualism, and electrophysiological (brainwave) measures of language processing (ERPs). My work primarily investigates grammatical processing and sentence parsing in native and nonnative English speakers, as well as the development of grammatical processing systems in novice second language learners and cross-language interactions in bilingual sentence processing. I am additionally interested in individual differences, both in stable language processing and language development, as well as memory systems and information retrieval in language comprehension and production.

I am also an avid data tinkerer, and love the R language. I am passionate about good data practices, nice data visualization, and communicating about science. I frequently teach workshops on managing experimental psycholinguistic data, and on good practice in electrophysiological research.

When not doing these things, I am an avid cook, so whenever I’m not doing brainwaves, you’ll likely find me in the kitchen trying to whip up something super tasty. I’m a really, really slow (but happy) jogger (so far the half marathon is my longest distance).