Neurobiology of Language

Language skills such as speaking and listening are among the most complex systems that have developed in human evolution. Together with the derived capacities to read and write, they constitute one of the pillars of the complex social organization of modern society. The aim of the research group “Neurobiology of Language” is to understand the cognitive and neural organization of human language skills.

The benefits for society are the application of fundamental research on the neural basis of language for treatment of aphasia, dyslexia, and for improving language teaching. The research of our group takes general models of the functional architecture of language skills as its starting point. For instance, a blueprint of the human listener specifies which knowledge sources are accessed during listening and how they are exploited in real time to extract the message from the signal. Since language comprehension is about mapping sound/script onto meaning, the listener has to infer the speaker’s message from the sound waves that hit the ears (or the visual patterns that meet the eyes). These sound waves allow the listener to recognize the words and retrieve their information from long-term memory.


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