Since the very beginning of our lives human interaction is characterized by two complex systems of communication: gestures and words. At ISTC the Gesture, Language Acquisition and Developmental Disorders research unit (GLADD), within the Language and Communication Across Modalities Laboratory (LaCAM), studies gestures, language and their interaction in child development. 

Reading aloud involves several aspects, which are usually studied independently. At the ISTC the Reading and Lexical Processes Lab (W-Read) is investigating the relation between perceptual, attentional and lexical components in reading, with the purpose to shed a new light on some aspects of dyslexia, both developmental and acquired. 

Deaf people do not just communicate with gestures: they use a complex language with a complex grammar, which can express any kind of concept, from concrete to highly abstract. Sign language is not universal: as hearing communities, each deaf community has its own sign language, deeply linked to the culture within has been developed. At ISTC, the Sign Language and Deaf Studies Research Unit (SLDS), within the Language and Communication Across Modalities Laboratory (LaCAM), has a very long tradition of sign language studies, with a particular attention to the sign language used by Italian deaf people: Italian Sign language or LIS. 

Language is a very complex system, involving many brain processes. Is it possible to reproduce it in artificial agents? At ISTC building a robot able to understand language and speak is the goal of the Laboratory of Autonomous Robotics and Artificial Life (LARAL).