Netherlands, Nijmegen

Trends and Topics in Neurolinguistics

when 5 August 2019 - 9 August 2019
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 EC
fee EUR 450

How do you produce and understand language? How can you learn new different languages? In this course you will explore the key processes and functions of the human brain, which enable you to use language to speak and interact with others.

Human language is a unique tool to communicate with others and interact with the world. Linguists have described language based on different structural units that encode information about sounds, words and concepts and that can be combined in sequences and hierarchies to form sentences and discourse. These units are the intriguing product of dynamic processes linked to human behaviour and are supported by a complex cognitive and neural system. Psycholinguistic theories have offered several views of how these cognitive processes may work. In the last few decades, rapid advances in the experimental methods and analysis techniques made it possible to explore the human mind and brain at work when we speak, act and interact in everyday communication. Therefore, the neuroscientific study of language allows us to test different theories and views on how language is structured and used.

The aim of this course is to open a window in the mind and brain mechanisms that allow us to produce and understand language for the purpose of communication. You will join an expedition in the neurocognition of language through first-hand data and results from the experimental investigation of how the brain processes language in relation to the neural activity that is necessary to act, attend to linguistic information and memorise it.

In Nijmegen, at the Max Planck of Psycholinguistics and Donders Institute, researchers use a variety of approaches, including controlled experimental and cutting-edge techniques, such as genetic methods, electro- and neuro-physiology, and brain imaging, but also expeditions in geographically remote areas, to unravel language and communication. Research in the psycholinguistics and neurocognition of language in Nijmegen is at the scientific forefront and the Max Planck of Psycholinguistics and DI are world-leading research institutes in this scientific area.

Lecturers in the summer school are investigators at the MPI and DI. You will receive introductions to specific topics that correspond to the major research lines of the MPI/DI: The neurobiology of language production and comprehension; Discourse and Communication; Language acquisition; The bilingual brain; Genetics and special conditions, etc.. In addition, you will be provided with demonstrations at the research labs of the DI, thus gaining insight into the practical aspects of cognitive scientific empirical research.

After completing this course, you will have gained an understanding of the bases of the neurocognition of language and an overview of the experimental techniques that are available to study the currently intriguing questions on the brain at work.

Course leader

Francesca Carota
Postdoctoral researcher
Neurobiology of Language
Max Plank Institute for Psycholinguistics
Radboud University

Karin Heidlmaryr
Postdoctoral researcher
Neurobiology of Language
Max Plank Institute for Psycholinguistics

Target group

Advanced Bachelor

Third year Bachelor / Master / PhD students with a background in psychology, cognitive, language, medical, or natural sciences.

Course aim

After this course you are able to:

Understand current theories and questions in the psycho- and neurolinguistics,
Analyse the neurocognitive and psychological processes that underlie complex behaviour,
Evaluate the link between theoretical questions and the way they can be addressed using specific methods and techniques.

Fee info

EUR 450: Normal fee


€ 405 early bird discount – deadline 1 March 2019 (10%)
€ 383 partner + RU discount (15%)
€ 338 early bird + partner + RU discount (25%)

Register for this course
on course website