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Deaf children prefer to use signs that look like the action they refer to
Nov 14, 2016
In many sign languages, the manual languages of the deaf communities, objects have two possible signs. One represents the action associated with the object and the other resembles its physical shape. Do these different resemblances matter for deaf children learning a sign language? A study by researchers from Radboud University and Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics showed that it does. more >
Emeritus hoogleraar en MPI gastonderzoeker Pieter Seuren schrijft boek: ‘Excursies in de tijd’
Nov 07, 2016
Pieter Seuren, emeritus hoogleraar aan de Radboud Universiteit en MPI gastonderzoeker, presenteert op vrijdag 25 november zijn boek ‘Excursies in de tijd’. Dit meeslepend geschreven boek, dat op 4 november is verschenen, trakteert u op een aantal onverbloemd vertelde episodes uit de wereldgeschiedenis. more >
Amaia Carrión Castillo defends thesis “Deciphering common and rare genetic effects on reading ability”
Nov 02, 2016
How do our genes affect how good we are at reading? Amaia Carrión Castillo of the MPI Language and Genetics Department addresses this question in her PhD thesis ‘Deciphering common and rare genetic effects on reading ability’, which she will defend on 7 November 2016. more >
Dutch Spinoza documentary featuring MPI director Peter Hagoort awarded the Golden Dolphin
Nov 02, 2016
The Dutch documentary 'Spinoza, een vrije denker' (English: ‘Spinoza, a free thinker’) was honored with the Golden Dolphin award in Cannes. MPI director Peter Hagoort features in this documentary, providing a neurobiological perspective on Spinoza’s philosophical questions about who we are and where we could find something that resembles a ‘soul’ in the human body. more >
Rebecca Defina defends thesis on events in language and thought
Oct 28, 2016
Events occur all around us in continuous streams of activity, yet we think and talk about them as discrete units. How do we segment events into these units and how do conceptual and linguistic event units relate to each other? Rebecca Defina explored these questions by studying Avatime serial verb constructions and the ways they relate to conceptual event units. She will defend her thesis entitled “Events in language and thought: the case of serial verb constructions in Avatime” on November 3rd. more >
Martin Becker to defend thesis on understanding the regulation of the FOXP2 gene in the brain
Oct 21, 2016
People with FOXP2 mutations develop speech and language problems. Causative mutations in the vicinity of the gene can impair the production of the FOXP2 gene product. Martin Becker has identified DNA-sequences that regulate the production of FOXP2 and determined their activity in human cells and mouse brains. The findings may facilitate the identification of mutations causing speech problems and help understand the role of FOXP2 in normal brain development. more >
The courtship song of male mice is disrupted by a genetic mutation known to affect human speech
Oct 20, 2016
Male mice with a Foxp2 mutation known to disturb human speech, produce less sophisticated ‘songs’ according to a new study by a team of scientists from Duke University and the Max Planck for Psycholinguistics. The mice make ultrasonic calls with normal acoustic structure, but when wooing a female their songs are unusually short and the sequence of syllables is not as complex. more >
Stephen Levinson appointed honorary doctor at Uppsala University’s Faculty of Languages
Oct 10, 2016
Uppsala University awarded director Stephen Levinson with an honorary doctorate in the Faculty of Languages. Levinson is honoured for his work on the relationship between language, culture, and the mind and to strengthen the academic ties with the MPI for Psycholinguistics. more >
Max Planck Institute
About 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.


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