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Anne Cutler takes her leave from Radboud University

Anne Cutler (Melbourne, 1945), director of the MPI for Psycholinguistics and Professor at the universities of Nijmegen and Western Sydney, will soon take her leave from Nijmegen, having accomplished a Magnum opus about native language. Cutler will move back to Australia, where she will continue doing psycholinguistic research. "I am moving back home," Cutler says in this week's Radboud Magazine. She will deliver her farewell lecture on September 20 at 15:00, in the Radboud University Aula.
Anne Cutler takes her leave from Radboud University

Photo Erik van 't Hullenaar.

September 19, 2012

Anne Cutler was the first woman who was granted the Spinoza Prize by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) in 1999. The accompanying 1.5 million euro she used to set up a baby laboratory or 'babylab' in Nijmegen in 2001, which was the first up-to-date babylab in the Netherlands for behavioural and brain research on infants.

"The Book"

Cover book Anne CutlerCutler has published hundreds of refereed journal articles and other publications, but she recently published a book: 'Native Listening -- Language Experience and the Recognition of Spoken Words', a Magnum opus of 560 pages. In Native Listening, which she facetiously refers to as "The Book", Cutler unravels the overall programme of language comprehension. How do we listen to speech, and why is listening to a foreign language much more difficult than listening to one's native language? The answer lies in the sounds and sound structures of our native language, which tailor the way in which we listen to a foreign language. Cutler refers to this blueprint as the 'baby in our head'. Her book makes a significant contribution to a fast developing discipline and she sincerely hopes that it will be used by future generations of students and young scientists.

Still discovering the world

In Australia, where Cutler has held a full Professorship at MARCS Auditory Laboratories, University of Western Sydney, since 2006, she will continue her comprehension research. "Moving back to one's home country has a melancholic touch, as if it's the end of the Wanderjahre. These roaming years usually end when we settle down as young adults, but to me this never happened. I am still discovering the world and will keep on discovering in Sydney..."

Anne Cutler in her babylab (2001)

About MPI

This is the 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.



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