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Nijmegen, Netherlands

The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics a research institute situated on the campus of Radboud University Nijmegen located in Nijmegen, Gelderland, the Netherlands. Founded in 1980, it is the only institution in the world entirely dedicated to psycholinguistics, and is also one of only three among a total of 90 within the Max Planck Society to be located outside Germany. The Nijmegen-based institute currently occupies 5th position in the Ranking Web of World Research Centers among all Max Planck institutes . It currently employs about 135 people. Wikipedia.

Levinson S.C.,Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics | Levinson S.C.,Donders Institute for Brain
Trends in Cognitive Sciences

Most language usage is interactive, involving rapid turn-taking. The turn-taking system has a number of striking properties: turns are short and responses are remarkably rapid, but turns are of varying length and often of very complex construction such that the underlying cognitive processing is highly compressed. Although neglected in cognitive science, the system has deep implications for language processing and acquisition that are only now becoming clear. Appearing earlier in ontogeny than linguistic competence, it is also found across all the major primate clades. This suggests a possible phylogenetic continuity, which may provide key insights into language evolution. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Stivers T.,Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
Journal of Pragmatics

This article, part of a 10 language comparative project on question-response sequences, discusses these sequences in American English conversation. The data are video-taped spontaneous naturally occurring conversations involving two to five adults. Relying on these data I document the basic distributional patterns of types of questions asked (polar, Q-word or alternative as well as sub-types), types of social actions implemented by these questions (e.g., repair initiations, requests for confirmation, offers or requests for information), and types of responses (e.g., repetitional answers or yes/. no tokens). I show that declarative questions are used more commonly in conversation than would be suspected by traditional grammars of English and questions are used for a wider range of functions than grammars would suggest. Finally, this article offers distributional support for the idea that responses that are better " fitted" with the question are preferred. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source

Hagoort P.,Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics | Hagoort P.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Indefrey P.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Indefrey P.,Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf
Annual Review of Neuroscience

A hallmark of human language is that we combine lexical building blocks retrieved from memory in endless new ways. This combinatorial aspect of language is referred to as unification. Here we focus on the neurobiological infrastructure for syntactic and semantic unification. Unification is characterized by a high-speed temporal profile including both prediction and integration of retrieved lexical elements. A meta-analysis of numerous neuroimaging studies reveals a clear dorsal/ventral gradient in both left inferior frontal cortex and left posterior temporal cortex, with dorsal foci for syntactic processing and ventral foci for semantic processing. In addition to core areas for unification, further networks need to be recruited to realize language-driven communication to its full extent. One example is the theory of mind network, which allows listeners and readers to infer the intended message (speaker meaning) from the coded meaning of the linguistic utterance. This indicates that sensorimotor simulation cannot handle all of language processing. © Copyright ©2014 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved. Source

Levinson S.C.,Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
Topics in Cognitive Science

Classical cognitive science was launched on the premise that the architecture of human cognition is uniform and universal across the species. This premise is biologically impossible and is being actively undermined by, for example, imaging genomics. Anthropology (including archaeology, biological anthropology, linguistics, and cultural anthropology) is, in contrast, largely concerned with the diversification of human culture, language, and biology across time and space-it belongs fundamentally to the evolutionary sciences. The new cognitive sciences that will emerge from the interactions with the biological sciences will focus on variation and diversity, opening the door for rapprochement with anthropology. © 2012 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.. Source

Cronin K.A.,Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
Animal Behaviour

Researchers have struggled to obtain a clear account of the evolution of prosocial behaviour despite a great deal of recent effort. The aim of this review is to take a brief step back from addressing the question of evolutionary origins of prosocial behaviour in order to identify contextual factors that are contributing to variation in the expression of prosocial behaviour and hindering progress towards identifying phylogenetic patterns. Most available data come from the Primate Order, and the choice of contextual factors to consider was informed by theory and practice, including the nature of the relationship between the potential donor and recipient, the communicative behaviour of the recipients, and features of the prosocial task including whether rewards are visible and whether the prosocial choice creates an inequity between actors. Conclusions are drawn about the facilitating or inhibiting impact of each of these factors on the expression of prosocial behaviour, and areas for future research are highlighted. Acknowledging the impact of these contextual features on the expression of prosocial behaviours should stimulate new research into the proximate mechanisms that drive these effects, yield experimental designs that better control for potential influences on prosocial expression, and ultimately allow progress towards reconstructing the evolutionary origins of prosocial behaviour. © 2012 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Source

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