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Nijmegen Lectures 2009 -

Lecturer & discussants

This year's lecturer Morten H. Christiansen received his PhD in Cognitive Science from the University of Edinburgh in 1995. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Co-Director of the Cognitive Science Program at Cornell University as well as an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. His research focuses on the interaction of biological and environmental constraints in the processing, acquisition, and evolution of language, which he approaches using a variety of methodologies, including computational modeling, corpus analyses,  psycholinguistic experiments, neuroimaging, and molecular genetics. He is the author of more than 100 scientific papers and has edited volumes on Connectionist Psycholinguistics, Language Evolution, and Language Universals.

Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at Cornell University


The discussants on December 7

Nick Enfield is a senior staff scientist in the Language and Cognition Group at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, and is Professor of Ethnolinguistics at Radboud University, The Netherlands. He is leader of the ERC Project ‘Human Sociality and Systems of Language Use’, beginning in 2010. His research on the social and cognitive life of language is based on extensive field work carried out in mainland Southeast Asia, mostly in Laos. His books include Ethnosyntax (Oxford 2002), Linguistic Epidemiology (Routledge 2003), Roots of Human Sociality (co-edited with SC Levinson, Berg 2006), Person Reference in Interaction (co-edited with T Stivers, Cambridge 2007), A Grammar of Lao (Mouton 2007), and The Anatomy of Meaning (Cambridge 2009).

Sharon Peperkamp is an associate professor in the linguistics department at the University of Paris 8, and a researcher at the Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique (DEC-ENS, EHESS, CNRS) in Paris.
She combines experimental and computational methods to study both early phonological acquisition in infants and phonological processing in monolingual and bilingual adults. She is especially interested in the respective roles of statistical mechanisms and linguistic knowledge during acquisition, and in the role of speech perception in phonological change.

Andrew Smith is a research fellow in the Language Evolution and Computation Research Unit at the University of Edinburgh. His work focuses on the inferential nature of linguistic communication, both through computational simulations of language acquisition, use and evolution, and theoretical work reconciling processes of grammaticalisation with pre-linguistic communication and 'protolanguage'. His interests include construction grammar and cognitive linguistics, and he is currently working on an ESRC project exploring the emergence and development of systematicity in language, using a novel artificial language paradigm.


The discussants on December 8

Elena Lieven’s principal areas of research involve usage-based approaches to language development; the emergence and construction of grammar; the relationship between input characteristics and the process of language development; and variation in children’s communicative environments.  She is a Senior Scientist in the Department of Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig and Director of the Max Planck Child Study Centre in the School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Manchester.  She is a member of the Chintang and Puma Documentation Project, a DOBES project aimed at the linguistic and ethnographic description of two endangered Sino-Tibetan languages of Nepal. From 1996 – 2005 she was Editor of the Journal of Child Language and she is now President of the International Association for the Study of Child Language.

Fermin Moscoso del Prado is a research scientist at the Centre National de la Research Scientifique, attached to the Laboratoire de Psychologie Cognitive, in Marseille. His research concentrates on statistical approaches to understanding language and cognition, using behavioral and neurophysiological experiments and mathematical modelling. The main thread of his research is how information theory can be exploited in our understanding of language processing.

Pienie Zwitserlood, former staff member of the MPI, is professor of cognitive neuroscience and psychology at the University of Muenster, Germany. Her research on language focuses on processes and representations involved in speaking and comprehension, on plasticity and the neural basis of language. Topics include: the mapping of speech input onto lexical representations; lexical memory (including morphology); the acquisition of novel vocabulary, sound categories, and structure within artificial-language frameworks; the interface between visual perception and language. Collaborative research focuses on deficient cognitive and emotional processing in major depression, anxiety disorder and prosopagnosia. Methods used are behavioural measures, EEG, MEG and fMRT.


The discussants on December 9

Fernanda Ferreira is Professor and Chair of Language and Cognition, University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on language comprehension and production, emphasizing syntactic processing, prosody, and multimodal communication. Her work has been published in major journals such as Trends in Cognitive Sciences and Psychological Review, and has been continuously funded in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom (presently her research is supported by the Economic and Social Research Council, UK). Prof. Ferreira is Editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the American Psychological Society .

Simon Garrod is currently Professor of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Glasgow. Between ’89 and ‘99 he was also Deputy Director of the ESRC Human Communication Research Centre. He has published two books, Understanding written language (with A.J.Sanford) and Seeing, saying and acting: The psychological semantics of spatial prepositions (with K.Coventry). He has also published over a hundred research papers on various aspects of the psychology of language. His special interests include discourse processing, language processing in dialogue, psychological semantics and graphical communication. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Karl Magnus Petersson studied mathematics and physics at the University of Stockholm, 1984-1990, and medicine at the Karolinska Institutet, 1990-1996. Since then he has been working in the field of cognitive neuroscience as a member of the Cognitive Neurophysiology Research Group at the Karolinska Institutet. In collaboration with the SANS Research Group, Department of Numerical Analysis and Computing at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, he investigated computational models of memory at different time-scales, and in collaboration with the Department of Psychology at the University of Algarve, Portugal, the implications of literacy on the human brain. Karl Magnus spent his first post-doc periods in the Neurocognition of Language Research Group at the MPI for Psycholinguistics, 2001-2003, and in the Cognitive Neurology and Memory Research Group at Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, 2003-2006. Since 2007, Karl Magnus is a senior researcher in the Neurobiology of Language Research Group at the MPI and the Neurocognition of Language Research Group at the Donders Institute.

Last checked 2018-10-08 by nanjo

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