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Kursbeschreibung-16857-Language and the Brain

16857 - Vorlesung/Lecture

MA Vorlesung / Lecture series in context of MA ‚Mind and Brain‘, MA ‚Sprachwissenschaft‘

Coordination: Pia Knoeferle (Institut für deutsche Sprache und Linguistik, HU Berlin), Friedemann Pulvermüller (FUB)

Venue: HU Berlin: Lecture Hall of the Bernstein Centers for Computational Neuroscience, Philippstr. 13, Haus 6, 10115 Berlin

Time: Monday 12:00-14:00 pm

Start: 15.04.2019

Teaching language: Englisch


Limited capacity: no

Compulsory participation: no

SWS: 2

The course plan is here.

Course descriptio

Language has been investigated from a range of perspectives. Linguists have described it as a formal system focusing on levels that range from phonology to syntax, semantics and pragmatics. Both linguists and psychologists worked on models focusing on the time course of linguistic processing, so that these psycholinguistic models could be tested in behavioral experiments. Most recently, neuro- and cognitive scientists have attempted to spell out the brain mechanisms of language in terms of neuronal structure and function. These efforts are founded in neuroscience data about the brain loci that activate when specific linguistic operations occur, the time course of their activation and the effects of specific lesions.

The lecture series will provide a broad introduction into these linguistic, psycholinguistic and neurolinguistics research streams and highlight a range of cutting-edge behavioral and neuroscience findings addressing a broad range of linguistic issues, including, for example, the recognition of words, the parsing of sentences, the computation of the meaning and of the communicative function of utterances. Language development and language disorders caused by disease of the brain will also be in the focus. To accommodate language processing, psycho- and neurolinguists make use of theoretical and computational models. The modeling approaches discussed range from theoretical models of the language system to language processing to (neuro-)computationally implemented models. The experimental approaches under discussion will range from behavioral (reaction time studies, eye tracking) to neuroimaging methods (EEG, MEG, fMRI, NIRS) and neuropsychological ones (patient studies, TMS, tDCS).

Complementing the lecture series, a tutorial will be offered by Ms Daniela Palleschi, a PhD student at the Einstein Center for Neurosciences and the Berlin School of Mind and Brain. The tutorial will deepen the lecture contents, in part by discussing specific relevant articles with theoretical and experimental focus. Together with the lectures, the tutorial will familiarize students with current research (questions) in the field of language and the brain.

This lecture series is open to students at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain as well as for students of linguistics at both HU and FU Berlin.

Readings (course preparation):

Knoeferle, P., & Guerra, E. (2016). Visually situated language comprehension. Linguistics and Language Compass, 10(2), 66–82. https://doi.org/10.1111/lnc3.12177

Munster, K., & Knoeferle, P. (2017). Situated Language Processing Across the Lifespan: A Review. International Journal of English Linguistics, 7(1), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.5539/ijel.v7n1p1

Pulvermüller, F., & Fadiga, L. (2016). Brain language mechanisms built on action and perception. In G. Hickok & S. L. Small (Eds.), Neurobiology of language (pp. 311-324). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Pulvermuller, F. (2018). Neural reuse of action perception circuits for language, concepts and communication. Progress in Neurobiology, 160, 1-44. doi: 10.1016/j.pneurobio.2017.07.001

All materials for this course can be found at the following website. Please apply for a moodle account under https://moodle.hu-berlin.de – in case there are access problems.