Department of Neuropsychology

The Department’s research agenda is to identify the functional architecture of language and its neuroanatomical basis in the mature and the developing brain.

The approach of the Neuropsychology Department is interdisciplinary, using different methods for analyzing brain activity and anatomical structure. To identify how brain activity during language processing unfolds in time, we mainly use magnetoencephalographic (MEG) and electroencephalographic (EEG) measurements as well as behavioural measures to identify the temporal structure of brain activity during language processing. The combination of the former two methods with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), with its high spatial resolution, allows us to establish a coherent picture of the functional neuroanatomy of language processing in the human brain. In addition, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) analyses are used to gain insight into the structural connectivities underlying the neural network of language.


News from the department

"Ich denke, dass er denkt, dass ..."
Anyone who investigates how children acquire language encounter the grammar centre of the brain. Angela D. Friederici during a conversation with Die ZEIT newspaper on universal grammar and the brain structures that enable us to process language. more
Sprache im Gehirn:
This 'brain podcast' with Angela D. Friederici on her book about language as a uniquely human capacity provides an excellent overview to listeners of all backgrounds. A conversation about the earliest knowledge acquired from patients with brain lesions, newer tools allow researchers to correlate concepts from Linguistics with the neuroscientific tools and an increasing interest in the connections between the various brain areas that are involved in language. more
Unser TMS Labor
This video introduces the TMS lab of the research group Modulation of Language Networks. TMS – transcranial magnetic stimulation – is a non-invasive method to stimulate the brain. If you’d like to participate in one of our experiments, please register via this link.
Big Ideas in Cognitive Neuroscience
Professor Angela D. Friederici discusses the structures in the brain that make human language unique and possible.

March 25, 2017
Cognitive Neuroscience Society annual conference, San Francisco
3sat nano: "So lernt man Sprache"

Over a period of several months a film crew recorded volunteers of the long-term study Second language acquisition hereat the Max Planck Institute. As a result, the short documentary was broadcast on 3sat nano on 19th January 2017 and can be viewed in German on the Mediathek.

Professor Angela D. Friederici zu Gast im BR alpha-Forum
A conversation about the development of language during the course of our lives, her work as vice president of the Max Planck Society, and the value of basic research to uncover truly new findings.
The BR alpha forum invites outstanding personalities from the fields of politics and business, science and society, and culture and religion to engage in profound discussion, in which there is enough time for details and nuances and not only attention-grabbing quotes.


Latest press releases from the department

At a mere five months of age, babies seemingly have the ability to recognize very complex grammatical structures. [more]
Female researchers have a rough ride in science. This is also due to a lack of self-confidence, says Angela Friederici, Vice president of the Max Planck Society, in an Interview with ZEIT. [more]

Infants’ attention to fearful faces predicts later altruism

The brain seems to compensate for a completely impaired network by activating neighbouring regions which were previously devoted to other functions. [more]
The equivalent of Broca’s area plays a similar role but for the processing of music instead of language. [more]

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