Our institute's 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. This involves work on a broad front, covering many disciplines and research methods.
How do we learn, produce and understand language?
Our research groups cover important subdomains within the study of language and communication, including:
- The neural and genetic basis of language
- Language comprehension
- Language production
- Language acquisition
- Language, culture and cognition
Our daily work is organised in multidisciplinary research projects that cross-cut the research groups and draw on the different expertise within the institute. We also contribute to the field by providing training opportunities for PhD students, and by participating in various educational programmes.
Wide range of research methods
No single approach provides all the answers to the questions we pursue, and we therefore conduct our research with a very wide range of methods. Some of our researchers run highly controlled experiments in a laboratory, whereas others go out into the world to collect data in more naturalistic settings, like a kindergarten, or a remote field site in the Pacific. Furthermore, we examine communicative behaviour (natural or task-induced), brain functions, as well as, increasingly, the underlying genetic factors.