Monique Flecken has a PhD in Linguistics from Radboud University Nijmegen & Heidelberg University (Germany) (2010). She carried out her NWO Veni-funded project at the Donders Centre for Cognition between 2012 and 2015, and she joined the MPI in 2014.
The goal of her research is to understand the enlanguaged mind. Human beings are social creatures that use diverse languages to communicate their thoughts, percepts and feelings. Therefore, elucidating the role of language in cognition is critical to understanding how the human mind works. Her research programme specifically targets the domain of events. Events are central units in human perception, memory and reasoning. Likewise, our use of language is centred on events (‘last Friday, my sons went to the zoo with grandma’, ‘today, we are having pasta for dinner’).
Using EEG and eye tracking methods, she studies the processing of visually depicted events (real-world photographs, video clips) cross-linguistically (in e.g., Dutch, Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, Estonian). She investigates under which conditions linguistic influences on cognition arise, and at which level of cognitive processing we find them.