Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences

Leipzig, Germany

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences

Leipzig, Germany

The Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain science is located Leipzig, Germany. The institute was founded in 2004 by a merger between the former Max Planck Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience in Leipzig and the Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research in Munich. It is one of 80 institutes in the Max Planck Society . Wikipedia.

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Kotz S.A.,Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences | Schwartze M.,Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
Trends in Cognitive Sciences | Year: 2010

Speech is inherently tied to time. This fundamental quality has long been deemed secondary, and has consequently not received appropriate recognition in speech processing models. We develop an integrative speech processing framework by synthesizing evolutionary, anatomical and neurofunctional concepts of auditory, temporal and speech processing. These processes converge in a network that extends cortical speech processing systems with cortical and subcortical systems associated with motor control. This subcortico-cortical multifunctional network is based on temporal processing and predictive coding of events to optimize interactions between the organism and the environment. The framework we outline provides a novel perspective on speech processing and has implications for future studies on learning, proficient use, and developmental and acquired disorders of speech production and perception. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Engen H.G.,Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences | Singer T.,Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
Current Opinion in Neurobiology | Year: 2013

The social neuroscientific investigation of empathy has revealed that the same neural networks engaged during first-hand experience of affect subserve empathic responses. Recent meta-analyses focusing on empathy for pain for example reliably identified a network comprising anterior insula and anterior midcingulate cortex. Moreover, recent studies suggest that the generation of empathy is flexibly supported by networks involved in action simulation and mentalizing depending on the information available in the environment. Further, empathic responses are modulated by many factors including the context they occur in. Recent work shows how this modulation can be afforded by the engagement of antagonistic motivational systems or by cognitive control circuits, and these modulatory systems can also be employed in efforts to regulate one's empathic responses. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Friederici A.D.,Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences | Gierhan S.M.E.,Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
Current Opinion in Neurobiology | Year: 2013

Language processing is supported by different regions located in separate parts of the brain. A crucial condition for these regions to function as a network is the information transfer between them. This is guaranteed by dorsal and ventral pathways connecting prefrontal and temporal language-relevant regions. Based on functional brain imaging studies, these pathways' language functions can be assigned indirectly. Dorsally, one pathway connecting the temporal cortex (TC) and premotor cortex supports speech repetition, another one connecting the TC and posterior Broca's area supports complex syntactic processes. Ventrally, the uncinate fascile and the inferior fronto-occipital fascile subserve semantic and basic syntactic processes. Thus, the available evidence points towards a neural language network with at least two dorsal and two ventral pathways. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Bernhardt B.C.,Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences | Singer T.,Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
Annual Review of Neuroscience | Year: 2012

Empathy-the ability to share the feelings of others-is fundamental to our emotional and social lives. Previous human imaging studies focusing on empathy for others' pain have consistently shown activations in regions also involved in the direct pain experience, particularly anterior insula and anterior andmidcingulate cortex. These findings suggest that empathy is, in part, based on shared representations for firsthand and vicarious experiences of affective states. Empathic responses are not static but can be modulated by person characteristics, such as degree of alexithymia. It has also been shown that contextual appraisal, including perceived fairness or group membership of others, may modulate empathic neuronal activations. Empathy often involves coactivations in further networks associated with social cognition, depending on the specific situation and information available in the environment. Empathyrelated insular and cingulate activity may reflect domain-general computations representing and predicting feeling states in self and others, likely guiding adaptive homeostatic responses and goal-directed behavior in dynamic social contexts. © 2012 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Singer T.,Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
NeuroImage | Year: 2012

This review provides an overview of the field of social neuroscience from a European perspective and focuses mainly on outlining research topics which originated in European laboratories. After a brief historical synopsis of the emergence of this young field, the most relevant findings related to the investigation of the neural networks underlying our capacity to understand the minds of others are summarized. More specifically, three routes of social cognition are distinguished: (1) our capacity to mentalize, or to infer intentions and beliefs of others, (2) our capacity to mimic and understand other's motor actions, and (3) our capacity to empathize, or to share and understand the feelings of others. More recent studies focusing on social emotions such as love, compassion, revenge or our sense of fairness will be discussed linking the field of social neuroscience to the even younger field of neuroeconomics, with the focus on the study of human social interactions using game theoretical paradigms. Finally, the use of a multi-method and multi-disciplinary research approach combining genetic, pharmacological, computational and developmental aspects is advocated and future directions for the study of interactive minds are discussed. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Friederici A.D.,Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
Trends in Cognitive Sciences | Year: 2012

Over the years, a large body of work on the brain basis of language comprehension has accumulated, paving the way for the formulation of a comprehensive model. The model proposed here describes the functional neuroanatomy of the different processing steps from auditory perception to comprehension as located in different gray matter brain regions. It also specifies the information flow between these regions, taking into account white matter fiber tract connections. Bottom-up, input-driven processes proceeding from the auditory cortex to the anterior superior temporal cortex and from there to the prefrontal cortex, as well as top-down, controlled and predictive processes from the prefrontal cortex back to the temporal cortex are proposed to constitute the cortical language circuit. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Mccall C.,Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences | Singer T.,Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
Nature Neuroscience | Year: 2012

Extensive animal and recent human research have helped inform neuroendocrinological models of social cognition, motivation and behavior. In this review, we first summarize important findings regarding oxytocin, arginine vasopressin and testosterone in the domains of affiliation, social cognition, aggression and stress/anxiety. We then suggest ways in which human research can continue to profit from animal research, particularly by exploring the interactive nature of neuromodulatory effects at neurochemical, organismic and contextual levels. We further propose methods inspired by the animal literature for the ecologically valid assessment of affiliative behavior in humans. We conclude with suggestions for how human research could advance by directly assessing specific social cognitive and motivational mechanisms as intermediate variables. We advocate a more comprehensive look at the distinct networks identified by social neuroscience and the importance of a motivational state, in addition to approach and avoidance, associated with quiescence and homeostatic regulation. © 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.


Skeide M.A.,Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences | Friederici A.D.,Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
Nature Reviews Neuroscience | Year: 2016

Language-processing functions follow heterogeneous developmental trajectories. The human embryo can already distinguish vowels in utero, but grammatical complexity is usually not fully mastered until at least 7 years of age. Examining the current literature, we propose that the ontogeny of the cortical language network can be roughly subdivided into two main developmental stages. In the first stage extending over the first 3 years of life, the infant rapidly acquires bottom-up processing capacities, which are primarily implemented bilaterally in the temporal cortices. In the second stage continuing into adolescence, top-down processes emerge gradually with the increasing functional selectivity and structural connectivity of the left inferior frontal cortex. © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


Jeon H.-A.,Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience | Year: 2014

This review scrutinizes several findings on human hierarchical processing within the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in diverse cognitive domains. Converging evidence from previous studies has shown that the PFC, specifically, BA44, may function as the essential region for hierarchical processing across the domains. In language fMRI studies, BA 44 was significantly activated for the hierarchical processing of center-embedded sentences and this pattern of activations was also observed in artificial grammar. The same pattern was observed in the visuo-spatial domain where BA44 was actively involved in the processing of hierarchy for the visual symbol. Musical syntax, which is the rule-based arrangement of musical sets, has also been construed as hierarchical processing as in the language domain such that the activation in BA44 was observed in a chord sequence paradigm. P600 ERP was also engendered during the processing of musical hierarchy. Along with a longstanding idea that a human’s number faculty is developed as a "by-product of language faculty", BA44 was closely involved in hierarchical processing in mental arithmetic. This review extended its discussion of hierarchical "processing" to hierarchical "behavior", that is, human action which has been referred to as being hierarchically composed. Several lesion and TMS studies supported the involvement of BA44 for hierarchical processing in the action domain. Lastly, the hierarchical organization of cognitive controls was discussed within the PFC, forming a cascade of top-down hierarchical processes operating along a posterior-to-anterior axis of the lateral PFC including BA44 within the network. It is proposed that PFC is actively involved in different forms of hierarchical processing and specifically BA44 may play an integral role in the process. Taking levels of proficiency and subcortical areas into consideration may provide further insight into the functional role of BA44 for hierarchical processing. © 2014 Jeon.


Jeon H.A.,Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
Nature communications | Year: 2013

The lateral prefrontal cortex is known to be organized by cognitive hierarchies following a posterior-to-anterior gradient. Here we test whether this model applies across different cognitive domains by varying levels of cognitive hierarchy in first language, second language and non-language domains. These domains vary in their degree of automaticity with first language being the most automatic. For second language/non-language a clear gradient pattern of activation depending on the level of hierarchy is observed in the prefrontal cortex with the highest level of hierarchy recruiting its most anterior region, whereas for first language the highest level of hierarchy recruits its most posterior region. Moreover, second language/non-language and first language differ in the structural connectivity of their underlying networks. The current data strongly suggest that functional segregation of the prefrontal cortex is determined by cognitive hierarchy and the degree of automaticity.

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