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Our brain benefits from an overlap in grammar when learning a foreign language
Jun 29, 2016
Researchers from Nijmegen have for the first time captured images of the brain during the initial hours and days of learning a new language. They use an artificial language with real structures to show how new linguistic information is integrated into the same brain areas used for your native language. more >
Julia Uddén awarded with 5-year grant to study how the teenage brain supports development of communication skills
Jun 15, 2016
The language learning process does not end when the child masters vocabulary and grammar. Adolescents continue to learn how to use language effectively in different contexts. This learning process must be supported by development of the adolescent brain, but there is yet no research done on this topic. Julia Uddén aims to fill this gap, and was just awarded 5 years of funding from the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences to pursue this research. more >
Jerome Bruner dies at 100
Jun 09, 2016
On June 5, 2016, renowned psychologist Jerome Bruner died at his home in New York City. Bruner played a key role in the cognitive revolution, made significant contributions to research in perception, became a leader in the theory of education, and shaped the study of cognitive and language development. He also played a crucial role in the establishment of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. more >
Putting things in new places: your native language influences what you expect to hear in your second language
Jun 06, 2016
Languages differ in how they describe simple acts of placement, e.g., putting a cup of coffee on the table. The Dutch placement verb 'zetten' for example, characterizes objects as ‘standing’ (vertical orientation). Other languages leave this position feature unspecified. Van Bergen and Flecken, Neurobiology of Language department, show that when you are listening to descriptions of placement events in your second language, you make predictions about what you will hear based on your native language. more >
Selective “mourning” behaviour in chimpanzees
May 20, 2016
Researchers have shown that chimpanzees ‘mourn’ the death of a chimpanzee in their social group, and the way they express their mourning depends on how ‘close’ the chimpanzee was to the deceased. A collaboration between the Gonzaga University (Spokane, Washington, USA) and the Max Planck Institute (Nijmegen, Leipzig) shows that chimpanzees react very differently to the death of a socially integrated individual than to the death of an infant, and that they mourn in relative silence, which is unusual for chimpanzees. more >
The Language Archive presents her 64 collections of the UNESCO Memory of the World at United Nations Headquarters
May 10, 2016
This October, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) added 64 collections to its Memory of the World register from The Language Archive at the MPI. Today Paul Trilsbeek will present these at the Fifteenth session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The collections contain unique recordings and texts of 102 different languages, many of which are in danger of becoming extinct. more >
New open access book on turn-taking in human communicative interaction
May 09, 2016
How do people manage to have a conversation with such rapid speed and accuracy? Researchers in the Language and Cognition department have edited a freely accessible book, entitled 'Turn-taking in Human Communicative Interaction' dedicated to the complex multitasking we perform while in conversation. more >
Suzanne Jongman defends thesis on sustained attention in language production
Apr 26, 2016
Does language production ask for the ability to maintain attention? In her doctoral thesis, Suzanne Jongman investigated if, and when, word and phrase production relies on sustained attention in adults and children. Suzanne will defend her thesis entitled ‘Sustained Attention in Language Production’ on 26th April in the Radboud Aula. 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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Wundtlaan 1
6525 XD Nijmegen
The Netherlands

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6500 AH Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Phone:   +31-24-3521911
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