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Welcome to the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

Maartje van de Velde defends PhD on April 30
Apr 24, 2015
When we speak, most of our utterances are sentences rather than single words. To generate a sentence, a thought needs to be translated to a linear sequence of words. Maartje van de Velde investigated one sub-part of this process: the way people structure their sentence when they prepare to speak. more >
An ear for pitch: Salomi Asaridou defends her thesis on April 28
Apr 24, 2015
People differ greatly in how they process linguistic or musical sounds. While some struggle to learn the sounds of other languages or fail to detect a "sour" note in a melody, others seem to master such tasks without much effort. What underlies these differences? more >
Genetic differences discovered between brain hemispheres
Apr 15, 2015
New research from Karlebach and Francks (MPI, Department of Language and Genetics) shows clear differences in gene activity within the nerve cells of the left and right brain hemispheres. more >
Beyza Sümer defends her thesis on 20 April 2015
Apr 15, 2015
Sign languages make use of the visual-spatial modality in ways that spoken languages cannot, especially when it comes to linguistic forms that iconically represent real spatial events. more >
New introductory book on genetics and the language sciences
Mar 25, 2015
It is difficult to answer questions such as “how do children learn language?”, “how did language evolve in our species?”, and “how do languages spread?” without considering the compelling and increasingly important evidence from genetics. more >
Exploring the genetics of language on Robinson Crusoe Island
Mar 24, 2015
A gene that may help explain the high rate of language disorder among inhabitants of a remote Pacific island has been identified in a new study involving researchers from the MPI Language and Genetics Department. more >
New book on studying the brain basis of naturalistic language
Mar 20, 2015
When we think of everyday language use, we probably think of ordinary conversations, reading and writing, e-mails, books, text messages, and so on. The brain basis of language as it’s used in daily life is the subject of a new volume edited by Roel Willems of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour. more >
How do you know when someone will say no?
Mar 09, 2015
Every day we ask people to do things – we invite a friend to lunch, ask a family member to help us move, propose a date and time to meet with a co-worker. For the most part, our conversational partners accept our invitations, grant our requests, and agree to our proposals. But the threat of rejection always hangs over us. 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.


A Celebration of Language

Wednesday June 10th, the MPI for Psycholinguistics celebrates the opening of its new wing with a symposium.




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Street address
Wundtlaan 1
6525 XD Nijmegen
The Netherlands

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The Netherlands

Phone:   +31-24-3521911
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