Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

Research publications

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

Research publications 2017

Gestures provide instant answers

September 29, 2017

Hand movements and facial expressions are a crucial component of communication [more]


The amazing flexibility of the human mind

May 24, 2017

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


Defects in non-coding DNA could cause brain disorders

March 14, 2017

Researchers identifiy 26 variants in the 3’UTRome in patients with neurodevelopmental disorders [more]

Handedness arises from genes in the spinal cords of embryos

February 09, 2017

Early left-right differences in the spinal cord may trigger the eventual dominance of the left hemisphere for language functions in most adults [more]

Genes affecting our communication skills relate to genes for psychiatric disorder

January 03, 2017

Genetic links depend on stages in a child's development [more]

Research publications 2016

The songs of mice go wrong without FoxP2

October 25, 2016

The courtship song of male mice is disrupted by a genetic mutation known to affect human speech [more]


Does clickbait apply to academia?

August 17, 2016

Journal articles with positive framing and phrasing arousal in their titles received higher Altmetric scores according to a recent study by researcher Gwilym Lockwood from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen. [more]


Asymmetrical matter

July 11, 2016

Our bodies, our behaviour, but also our brains are anything other than symmetrical. And that seems to be an important factor in the seamless functioning of our thought, speech and motor faculties. [more]


Watching the brain learn a foreign language

June 28, 2016

Scientists observe how the human brain memorizes a new grammar [more]

"Das sagt man nicht, weil das ist ja falsch"

April 04, 2016

The mystery of the many misplaced verbs in German weil clauses [more]


Using Virtual Reality to make experiments more realistic

January 27, 2016

Virtual reality enables detailed experiments [more]

Research publications 2015

Turn-taking in communication may be more ancient than language

December 15, 2015

The central use of language is in conversation, where we take short turns in rapid alternation, a pattern found across unrelated cultures and languages. In the December issue of Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Stephen Levinson from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics reviews new research on turn-taking, focusing on its implications for how languages are structured and for how language and communication evolved. [more]


Busy brain region

November 09, 2015

'Broca's area' processes both language and music at the same time [more]


UNESCO World Register adds collections from The Language Archive

October 12, 2015

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has added to its Memory of the World register 64 collections from The Language Archive at the MPI. [more]


Once every 90 seconds, a clarification

September 16, 2015

Universal patterns for the "repair" of human communication discovered [more]


Grammar can influence the perception of motion events

May 26, 2015

Brain potentials reflect language effects on motion event perception [more]


Tonal languages require humidity

January 22, 2015

Languages with a wide range of tone pitches have primarily developed in regions with high levels of humidity [more]


Look first

January 15, 2015

New light shed on the hierarchy of the senses by a study at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen [more]

Research publications 2014

A new piece in the autism puzzle

September 18, 2014

Spontaneous mutations in key brain gene are a cause of the disorder [more]


An odour lexicon

May 05, 2014

A group of nomadic hunter-gatherers in Thailand have multiple words for smells [more]


"Think before you speak"

February 25, 2014

The temporal coordination of thinking and speaking [more]


How to paint with language

February 21, 2014

Words evolve not as blobs of ink on paper but in face to face interaction. The nature of language as fundamentally interactive and multimodal is shown by the study of ideophones, vivid sensory words that thrive in conversations around the world. [more]

Research publications 2013

Chimpanzees are rational, not conformists

December 16, 2013

Chimpanzees flexibly adjust their behaviour to maximise payoffs, not to conform to majorities [more]


Universals of conversation

November 08, 2013

Max Planck researchers found that words that signal problems with understanding are similar across languages. [more]


Mother chimps crucial for offspring’s social skills

September 06, 2013

Young chimpanzees learn valuable lessons for successful group-living from their mothers [more]


Did Neandertals have language?

July 09, 2013

A recent study suggests that Neandertals shared speech and language with modern humans [more]


The great orchestral work of speech

February 25, 2013

Max Planck Institute Director Peter Hagoort researches the complex score in the brain that enables humans to speak [more]

Research publications 2012

Study shows ancient relations between language families

September 20, 2012

Researchers introduce a new method to analyse the evolution of structural features in more than 50 language families [more]


Chimpanzees create social traditions

August 29, 2012

Different chimp communities display various styles of grooming behaviour [more]


Indo-European languages originate in Anatolia

August 27, 2012

A new study by an international team of researchers, including Michael Dunn from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, suggests that the family tree of languages has roots in Anatolia [more]


Majority-biased learning

April 12, 2012

In humans and chimpanzees knowledge is transmitted within a group by means of a majority principle [more]


Great apes make sophisticated decisions

January 03, 2012

Research suggests that great apes are capable of calculating the odds before taking risks [more]

Research publications 2011

Language test as a smartphone app

November 29, 2011

The app enables scientists to collect large volumes of data on language processing in the brain [more]


Understanding emotions without language

November 01, 2011

Does understanding emotions depend on the language we speak, or is our perception the same regardless of language and culture? [more]


Peer pressure in preschool children

October 25, 2011

Children as young as four years of age conform their public opinion to the majority [more]


Children prefer cooperation

October 13, 2011

Humans like to work together in solving tasks - chimps don't [more]

Language-related gene responsible for branching of neurons

August 31, 2011

Scientists decode mode of action of foxp2 [more]


Historical context  guides language development

April 14, 2011

Sentence structure differs between language families [more]


When Left is ‘Right’: Motor fluency shapes abstract concepts

March 11, 2011

Changing the way people use their hands can change their judgments about the abstract ideas of goodness and badness. [more]


Do chimpanzees mourn their dead infants?

February 01, 2011

Chimpanzee mothers find it difficult to let go off their dead infants [more]

Research publications 2010

Good and bad in the hands of politicians

July 29, 2010

Politicians’ gestures can reveal their thoughts [more]


Of speaking and silence

March 01, 2010

A universal grammar for all languages does not exist. Instead, there might be universal rules of usage [more]

Research publications 2009

More than a jump to the left

December 14, 2009

Study on memory for dance moves discovers substantial cross-cultural diversity in human cognition [more]

Foreign subtitles improve speech perception

November 11, 2009

Second-language listening ability improvement by watching movies with subtitles [more]

Research publications 2005

Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics celebrates 25 years

December 05, 2005

The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics celebrates 25 years of success in studying language acquisition, use, and comprehension [more]

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