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A non-judgemental attitude to language
Sep 17, 2013
Implicit knowledge - "knowing how" - underlies much of our behavioral repertoire, for instance how to speak our native language. This behavior is incredibly complex and almost everyone master it, without being able to explain exactly how they do it or how they learned to do it. more >
A rough guide to mind-reading
Sep 12, 2013
We transmit nonverbal messages and read minds all the time, but what exactly is going on in our heads as we do so? more >
Summer lab visit: Franklin Chang
Sep 09, 2013
Research in psycholinguistics is often focused on particular aspects of language processing in relative isolation, e.g., adult production, comprehension or language acquisition. In his research, Franklin Chang (University of Liverpool) is working towards a framework that links these facets of language behavior in a unified theory (P-chain; Dell & Chang, in press). more >
PhD project: Richard Kunert
Sep 06, 2013
My research is concerned with something so difficult that in millions of years of evolution only humans have ever achieved it, something which is so easy that even toddlers can do it without much effort, something so widespread that no culture is known to exist without it: using language as well as music. more >
Neural mechanisms of communicative innovation
Aug 29, 2013
Our everyday conversations appear to revolve around our linguistic abilities. But closer inspection reveals that an effective conversation involves more than formulating grammatically correct and semantically coherent sentences. more >
PhD project: Ashley Lewis
Aug 20, 2013
My research is concerned with the electrophysiology of language processing. I investigate neuronal oscillations using EEG and MEG while participants are reading. more >
The MOUS project
Aug 13, 2013
The Neurobiology of Language Department recently started an ambitious multidisciplinary project called 'The Mother Of all Unification Studies', or MOUS for short. more >
Speech and music shape the listening brain
Aug 06, 2013
Speech and music are domains with different representations. Nonetheless, they both use sounds as their building blocks. An interesting question is whether experience or training with sounds in one domain can influence sound processing outside that particular domain. more >
MSc project in NBL group on story reading
Aug 01, 2013
Emiel van den Hoven will be a MSc student in the NBL group during the coming year. more >
The role of cognitive abilities and empathy on speech-accompanying gestures
Jul 30, 2013
When speaking, why do some people produce hand gestures more frequently than others? In a recent study, Mingyuan Chu and colleagues found that individual differences in gesture production is related to cognitive abilities and the level of empathy. more >
New websites for our research group
Jul 19, 2013
The Neurobiology of Language department will frequently update you about our research, new publications, PhD defenses, new lab members, and ongoing discussions. more >
PhD project: Franziska Hartung
Jul 01, 2013
I am interested in simulation and language processing. During the last decade, research on semantic representation and language comprehension has shown that people simulate the semantic content of words they hear, for example parts of the sensory motor system can become active when people are presented with action words. more >
Top scientists sound the alarm for Max Planck Institute
Jun 27, 2013
The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen is internationally considered as the leading institute for research into the foundations of human language. Yet, the Dutch government intends to cut their regular financial support by 10 percent. Robbert Dijkgraaf, director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, Peter Hagoort, Willem Levelt (Emer.), directors of the MPI for Psycholinguistics and Gerard Meijer, President of the Executive Board of Radboud University Nijmegen, sound the alarm. Their letter (see below) was published in the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad on June 25, 2013. more >
Thinking for speaking in early and late bilinguals
Jun 15, 2013
Do bilingual speakers of typologically different languages have multiple, perhaps conflicting, modes of thought, each corresponding to a particular language? more >
Study reveals how we understand what speakers mean
May 24, 2013
How do listeners understand someone's message, even if it is indirect and goes beyond the combined meaning of individual words? How do we work out what speakers really mean, a skill that is central for communication? Researchers of the MPI for Psycholinguistics and the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour discovered that listeners take the speaker's perspective, both on cognitive and affective levels. Their paper was recently published online in the Oxford journal Cerebral Cortex. more >
Spatio-temporal metaphors and mental representations of time
May 01, 2013
Many cultures talk about time in terms of space. However, the particular ways that time is spatialized differ acoss languages. more >
PhD project: Flora Vanlangendonck
Apr 15, 2013
Speaking is something you typically do with other people. Yet, you don’t talk to everyone in the same way all the time. more >
PhD-project: David Peeters
Apr 01, 2013
One of the most important functions of language is that it allows us to refer to the things in the world around us. We continuously do so, for instance by using spatial demonstratives in combination with a perfectly timed manual pointing gesture (“look at that guy!”). more >
New post-doc: Diana Dimitrova
Mar 15, 2013
I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Neurobiology of Language Department (Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging) and in the Multilingualism Group (Centre for Language Studies). more >
Rapid interactions between lexical semantic and word form analysis during word recognition in context
Mar 01, 2013
During reading, people often actively predict what the next word is prior to seeing the word. How fast and at which level can the contextually driven anticipation influence the processing of the upcoming word? more >
PhD project: Jolien ten Velden
Feb 15, 2013
For most people speech feels like an effortless process. We think of what we want to say and the words flow out of our mouths. Our speech, however, is usually full of errors. more >
Embodied Cognition: Taking the next step
Feb 01, 2013
How does our body relate to language understanding? Embodied cognition argues that thinking is not confined to what happens in our heads, and that the body plays a crucial role in cognition. more >
Human Brain Project wins largest science funding in history
Jan 28, 2013
The European Commission has officially announced the selection of the Human Brain Project (HBP) as one of its two FET Flagship projects. The new project will federate European efforts to address one of the greatest challenges of modern science: understanding the human brain. Peter Hagoort, director of the MPI for Psycholinguistics and Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, is among the scientists who contribute to the daring enterprise. more >
Less is not more: Neural responses to missing and superfluous accents in context
Jan 15, 2013
When speakers accent repeated instead of new focus information in context, listeners detect the mismatch immediately and experience semantic processing difficulties (N400). more >
The suppression of repetition enhancement
Jan 01, 2013
Repetition suppression is the reduction of neural responses to the repetition of stimulus features. Repetition suppression in the BOLD response as measured in fMRI studies is generally thought to underlie behavioral facilitation effects like priming. more >
Minister awards cheques for Gravity Programme 2012
Dec 20, 2012
On December 14, the Minister of Education, Culture and Science Jet Bussemaker distributed the cheques to representatives of the six consortia of excellence that were awarded funding for their Gravity Programme 2012. The award ceremony took place at the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) in The Hague. more >
Implicit acquisition of grammars
Dec 15, 2012
A recent hypothesis in empirical brain research on language is that the fundamental difference between animal and human communication systems is captured by the distinction between what kind of sequences these different species can process. more >
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Self-monitoring in speech production
Dec 01, 2012
To prevent errors and choose the right words to say we must constantly monitor ourselves while we speak. Classic theories of monitoring have suggested that we monitor ourselves through our speech comprehension system. More recent accounts, however, suggest that we may be able to self-monitor via the detecting when two incompatible responses are simultaneously active. Dan Acheson, Peter Hagoort, and colleagues, address this issue in a paper published in Brain and Language. more >
Information processing gradient in the frontal lobes
Nov 15, 2012
In a recent paper in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Julia Uddén and Jörg Bahlmann suggest an information processing gradient in the frontal lobe. more >
Neurobiology of Language

What is the neurobiological infrastructure for the uniquely human capacity for language? The focus of the Neurobiology of Language Department is on the study of language production, language comprehension, and language acquisition from a cognitive neuroscience perspective. Read more...

Director: Peter Hagoort

Secretary: Carolin Lorenz


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