Neurobiology of Language

Header Neurobiology of Language
Uncovering the secrets of the language system and its neural architecture

Neurobiology of Language Department

At the Neurobiology of Language Department, we focus on the production, comprehension, and acquisition of language from a cognitive neuroscience perspective.

One of the main issues we are researching is how the human brain enables us to command one or more languages. To investigate this, we have to connect cognitive architecture models of speaking, reading, and listening with computational models of language, and with our insights into the neural architecture of the human brain. That is exactly what we do in our triangular approach to the neurobiology of language.

In order to achieve our mission, we have access to world-class research facilities, both here at the Max Planck Institute as well as at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. These include high-density EEG labs, two Virtual Reality labs, a whole-head 275 channel MEG system, three MRI scanners at 3 Tesla, a high-field MRI scanner at 7 Tesla, a TMS lab, an fNIRS lab, several behavioural labs, and a high-performance computing cluster.



Peter Hagoort

Neurobiology of Language Department
+31 24 3521301
Peter [dot] Hagoort [at] mpi [dot] nl
Research themes

Our research covers different themes. These themes are further subdivided in larger- and smaller-scale projects, in which teams of senior researchers, postdocs, and PhD students collaborate.

The themes are:

  • Beyond words
  • Neurocomputational models of language
  • Neural architecture
  • The enlanguaged brain
  • Beyond language

To find out more about what we are currently working on, please visit our Projects page.



  • Language as a marker of the mind
    19 September 2022

    Language as a marker of the mind

    In a discussion article published in Cognition, Peter Hagoort, professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at Radboud University and director of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, argues for the...

  • julia misersky
    27 June 2022

    Julia Misersky will defend her thesis on Wednesday 29 June

    On Wednesday 29 June 2022, at 13.30 (CET), Julia Misersky will defend her thesis entitled ‘About Time: Exploring the Role of Grammatical Aspect in Event Cognition’. Due to the restrictions surrounding...

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