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Department of Psychology Developmental Psychology: Infancy and Childhood

Research area Cognitive and Developmental Neuroscience of Language

In the Cognitive & Developmental Neuroscience of Language group, we study how language is perceived and produced and how language and cognition play together — and how these processes develop in children learning different languages. The main focus of our research is on sentence processing, i.e., how we make sense of the strings of words that we encounter and how we transform the ideas of what we want to say into strings of words.

In the project "The ontogeny and physiology of sentence planning", we study how the skills needed to speak fluently develop throughout childhood. While adults often plan ahead in that they already prepare their utterances several words in advance before uttering them, it is unknown when and how children achieve this skill. As children mature and develop the ability to use more complex linguistic structures, their general cognitive abilities also develop. We explore how these developments play together when children grow to become competent speakers of their languages.

Since there is a large diversity among the world's languages (almost 7,000 different languages are spoken today), we do not focus on only one language but integrate cross-linguistic insights in our research. Currently, we thus also study how language production develops in Tagalog-speaking children from the Philippines.

Further projects of our group look into the processing of semantic roles in events and language and into the brain's ability to track the rhythm of speech and how this influences how language is perceived.

Group leader: Dr. Sebastian Sauppe

Research staff:
M.A. Maeike Slikkerveer

Master students:
B.A. Tiana Arbutina
B.A. Lea Frischknecht
B.A. Erëza Kryeziu
B.A. Giorgia Sironi
B.A. Vanja Sumi