You are here: Home

Welcome to the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

What do you actually mean?
Jun 14, 2018
In everyday life, listeners often hear sentences with which the speaker means something different than what he or she literally said. Johanne Tromp investigated how we recognise and understand these indirect messages with various methods, including Virtual Reality. She will defend her thesis on this topic, 18 June 208 at 12:30am in the Aula of the Radboud University. more >
What a speech deficit looks like at the cellular level
Jun 11, 2018
Some children never learn to speak as proficiently as expected. In rare cases the cause is a single mutation that has disrupted a gene in the affected child. A gene contains instructions to build a protein. But how could a damaged protein lead to problems with spoken language? In her thesis, Sara Busquets Estruch investigated several of these proteins to discover what they do at a cellular level and what happens when they are broken. more >
Scientists try to unravel the mystery of ‘animal conversations’
Jun 06, 2018
African elephants like to rumble, naked mole rats trade soft chirps, while fireflies alternate flashes in courtship dialogues. Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of ‘animal conversations’. An international team of academics undertook a large-scale review of research into turn-taking behaviour in animal communication, analysing hundreds of animal studies. more >
Vidi grant for Dingemanse and Martin
Jun 01, 2018
Mark Dingemanse and Andrea E. Martin of the Max Plank Institute for Psycholinguistics (MPI) are each to receive up to 800,000 euros to develop an innovative research theme and to build up their own research group. NWO (The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) is awarding the Vidi grant as part of the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme. more >
Laurel or Yanny?
May 25, 2018
A few years ago, social media erupted in disbelief over the color of a dress. About a week ago, the auditory analogue of ‘the dress’ was posted on Reddit, Instagram, and Twitter. It’s an audio clip in which the name being said depends on the listener: some hear “Laurel”, others “Yanny”. Hans Rutger Bosker of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics (MPI) investigated the phenomenon immediately with 550 listeners and now comes with a scientific explanation. more >
Pim Levelt, our Institute’s founder, turned 80
May 17, 2018
On 17 May 2018, Professor Pim Levelt, psycholinguist and founder of our Institute, turned 80 years. Through Levelt’s work the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics (MPI) became one of the worldwide leading institutes for language research. Its history goes back some 40 years. more >
A new map of asymmetry in the human brain
May 16, 2018
A research team led by the MPI for Psycholinguistics has compared a massive number of 17,141 brain scans to examine the similarity in anatomy of the left and right brain halves. The brains of people from all over the world, male or female, young and old, appear asymmetrical on average. The results are immensely valuable to neuroscientists - to be used as a solid reference for studying both the healthy and the diseased brain. more >
Peter Hagoort elected to National Academy of Sciences
May 02, 2018
The prestigious US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has elected Peter Hagoort, managing director at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at Radboud University as a foreign associate. more >

Click to start the video on YouTube

About MPI

This is the MPI

The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

The institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University. We participate in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and have particularly close ties to that institute's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. We also participate in the Centre for Language Studies. A joint graduate school, the IMPRS in Language Sciences, links the Donders Institute, the CLS and the MPI.


Questions about language?

Is there something you have always wanted to know about language? Visit our Q&A section!


Outlined font 1,5 pt wide cirkle 3 pt.



Participate in our research?

Button to navigate to the participants pages



Street address
Wundtlaan 1
6525 XD Nijmegen
The Netherlands


Mailing address
P.O. Box 310
6500 AH Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Phone:   +31-24-3521911
Fax:        +31-24-3521213


Public Outreach Officer

Charlotte Horn