Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences

Research publications

You can find more research publications messages on the website of the Institute:

Research publications 2018

Children with cochlear implants learn words faster than hearing children

January 29, 2018

While children with an artificial cochlea are older when they are first exposed to spoken language, they build up their vocabulary faster than hearing children [more]

Research publications 2017

Stuttering: Stop signals in the brain prevent fluent speech

December 14, 2017

A hyperactive network inhibits the flow of speech [more]


Probability calculations - even babies can master it

November 06, 2017

At the age of six months, babies develop a sense of statistics [more]


Itsy bitsy spider: Fear of spiders and snakes is deeply embedded in us

October 25, 2017

Babies as old as only a few months are able to identify objects as 'spiders' or 'snakes' and respond to them [more]


“Mental training to become a tolerant global citizen”

October 06, 2017

Tania Singer, director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognition and Brain Sciences, talks about mental empathy exercises, our inner judge and prospects for peaceful coexistence [more]


Less stress, more social competence

October 04, 2017

Adults too can acquire social skills such as empathy and compassion [more]


Early language development in fast motion

August 03, 2017

Babies succeed much earlier than previously thought in assigning meanings to words and do not only perceive words as pure sound patterns [more]


Speaking after a stroke

July 14, 2017

Why certain linguistic abilities can be regained after a stroke while others are lost forever [more]


The amazing flexibility of the human mind

May 24, 2017

Even learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms brain networks [more]

Mind wandering is more than just a fault in the system

April 12, 2017

In people who intentionally let their minds wander, two main brain cell networks broadly overlap [more]


The arcuate fascicle – connection matters

March 24, 2017

Researchers discover brain structure that helps us to understand what others think [more]

The band effect: physical commitment makes performers appreciate their music more

February 27, 2017

Physical exertion increases the appreciation of the sounds produced in music making, even they don’t correspond to one’s own musical style [more]

Research publications 2016

Female brains change in sync with hormones

October 10, 2016

In parallel to rising estrogen levels, the Hippocampus increases in volume [more]


The willingness to help can be measured

April 08, 2016

Different tests measure various reasons for prosocial behaviour and are therefore difficult to compare [more]


From a baby's cry to Goethe's Faust

April 05, 2016

Max Planck scientists devise a model of how human speech develops [more]


The anatomy of pain

March 18, 2016

Emotions consist of general components that are also elicited by similar impressions and specific components [more]


Language characterizes humans

February 18, 2016

The ability to produce and understand language makes humans unique. Not just humans but also monkeys and dogs can learn words. What is the key difference to our human language? And how does this medium in which we speak, write, think and write poetry actually develop? [more]


Understanding speech not just a matter of believing one’s ears

January 25, 2016

Researchers discover how the brain completes sentences [more]


The brain concentrates on the objective

January 04, 2016

When it comes to planning actions, the goal is more important than the approach [more]

Research publications 2015

It's all in the tone

November 09, 2015

Scientists discover neural communication pathways for prosody [more]


Alzheimer’s spares long-term musical memory

June 18, 2015

Max Planck researchers discover the anatomic reasons for the persistence of musical memory in Alzheimer patients [more]

Leaders and their followers tick in sync

March 24, 2015

Leaders of a group synchronize their brain activity with that of their followers during communication [more]


Listening carefully

February 04, 2015

Brain waves indicate listening challenges in older adults [more]


Infants create new knowledge while sleeping

January 29, 2015

Sleep improves and structures infant memory [more]

Research publications 2014

Babies subconsciously process emotions

October 31, 2014

Infants perceive fearful looks from eye whites [more]


Escitalopram alters functional brain architecture in a matter of hours

September 25, 2014

Anti-depressant reduces connectivity between resting-state networks in some areas of the brain and increases it in others [more]


Monoamine oxidase A: biomarker for postpartum depression

July 30, 2014

Postpartum mood swings correlated with high monoamine oxidase A binding [more]


Receptive to music

May 20, 2014

Pregnant women respond to music with stronger physiological changes in blood pressure [more]

Your stress is my stress

April 29, 2014

Merely observing stressful situations can trigger a physical stress response [more]


Music through sport – jymmin improves your mood

January 08, 2014

Fitness equipment that makes music in response to user movements have a greater beneficial effect on mood than passive listening to music during sport [more]

Research publications 2013

Working to the beat

October 16, 2013

Making music alleviates physical exertion [more]


Celebration of compassion

September 16, 2013

Unique multimedia eBook presents scientists’, practitioners’, and therapists’ experiences [more]

Research publications 2012

Brain waves make waves

November 14, 2012

Listening abilities depend on rhythms in the brain [more]


How we “hear” with our eyes

November 06, 2012

In a noisy environment, lip-reading can help us to better understand the person we are speaking to [more]


Head start for little language learners

September 10, 2012

Babies’ ability to detect complex rules in language outshines that of adults [more]


Noisy surroundings take toll on short-term memory

September 07, 2012

Speech content and bad acoustics draw on same limited brain resources [more]


Making it easier to learn to read

August 06, 2012

Dyslexia caused by signal processing in the brain [more]


The seat of meta-consciousness in the brain

July 27, 2012

Studies of lucid dreamers visualise which centres of the brain become active when we become aware of ourselves [more]


Young infant imitation not guided by rational thinking

March 27, 2012

Rationality of infants has been overstated [more]


Poor impulse control keeps children from sharing

March 07, 2012

Late development of the prefrontal cortex explains why children find it hard to suppress selfish impulses [more]


Brain region can signal early-stage Alzheimer's and other dementias

January 10, 2012

Early changes to the inferior frontal junction observed in early dementias [more]

Research publications 2011

Singing after stroke? Why rhythm and formulaic phrases may be more important than melody

September 22, 2011

Patients with serious speech disorders are often able to sing complete texts. However, melody may not be the decisive factor. [more]


Have we met before?

September 08, 2011

MPI researchers discover direct connections between the areas of the brain responsible for voice and face recognition [more]


Amygdala detects spontaneity in human behaviour

April 29, 2011

Study of jazz musicians reveals how the brain processes improvisations [more]


Effects of obesity on the brain: first evidence of sex-related differences in the brain’s white matter structure

April 20, 2011

Previously unknown relationship between body weight and white matter brain structure found exclusively in women [more]


Italian for beginners

March 22, 2011

Little language experts: Four-month-olds can detect grammatical rules in a new language [more]


The blind also have a Stripe of Gennari

February 22, 2011

Nerve bundles in the visual cortex of the brain in blind people may process the sense of touch [more]

Research publications 2010

More than just the baby blues

June 16, 2010

How postpartum depression arises and how it could be prevented [more]


Mirror in the brain

March 01, 2010

The premotor cortex of the brain predicts movements of others. This influences own actions

Research publications 2009

Babies with an accent

November 05, 2009

Newborns cry differently depending on their mother tongue [more]

Doing what the brain does - how computers learn to listen

August 13, 2009

Max Planck scientists develop model to improve computer language recognition [more]

Research publications 2007

Area responsible for self-control

August 22, 2007

The area of the brain responsible for self-control is separate from the area associated with taking action, scientists say scientists say in the todays issue of The Journal of Neuroscience [more]


Revealing secret intentions in the brain

February 08, 2007

Scientists decode concealed intentions from human brain activity [more]

Research publications 2006

Brain researchers discover the evolutionary traces of grammar

February 16, 2006

Max Planck researchers in Leipzig show that linguistic rules are processed in two phylogenetically different brain regions [more]

Research publications 2005

What we cannot do ourselves, we cannot understand in others

October 05, 2005

Max Planck researchers demonstrate that it is first and foremost our own experiences that make it possible for us to experience sympathy and empathy for others [more]

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