Neurocognition of Language Learning

Research on language learning during development has allowed us to specify the neurophysiological markers reflecting phonological, lexical and syntactic processes early in life, and to describe their course of maturation (see Friederici, 2005, 2006, 2012). We, moreover, specified the neurostructural changes of the language network and showed that the maturation of particular fiber connections is crucial for higher order syntactic processes (Skeide & Friederici, 2016).

In the domain of adult language learning, we have investigated the neurophysiological characteristics of late learners of natural grammars in recent years. Currently, we are focusing on functional and structural brain changes during second language learning in adults undergoing systematic and intensive language training.


Skeide, M. A.; Friederici, A. D.: The ontogeny of the cortical language network. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 17, pp. 323 - 332 (2016)
Friederici, A. D.: Language development and the ontogeny of the dorsal pathway. Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience 4, 3 (2012)
Friederici, A. D.: The neural basis of language development and its impairment. Neuron 52 (6), pp. 941 - 952 (2006)
Friederici, A. D.: Neurophysiological markers of early language acquisition: from syllables to sentences. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 9 (10), pp. 481 - 488 (2005)


Dr. Manuela Friedrich
Research associate
  • +49 30 2093 9476
Prof. Claudia Männel
Research associate
  • +49 30 450 555 402
Dr. Michael A. Skeide
Research group leader
  • +49 341 9940-130
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