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Psychology of Language -


What are the psychological processes and representations underlying the production and comprehension of spoken utterances?

Group photograph of the Psychology of Language

Research Themes

  • Identifying characteristics of the cognitive system that determine behaviour in a broad range of linguistic tasks
  • Relationships between language production, comprehension, and learning
  • Understanding variability in adult language production and comprehension


  • Combination of experimental and correlational work
  • Inclusion of diverse samples of participants

The work in the department is directed at developing functional models of speaking and listening. We aim to understand which cognitive processes occur when we talk and when we understand spoken utterances, how these processes are coordinated in time, and how they influence each other. One important broad concern of the department is to identify characteristics of the cognitive system that determine behavior across a wide range of linguistic tasks. Working memory capacity, processing speed, or the size of the mental lexicon might be such characteristics. To carry out this work, we often ask speakers and listeners to participate in several speaking, listening, and general cognitive tasks. This allows us to study their performance profiles and to identify underlying traits and skills. This approach also allows us to investigate how performance differences between adult speakers and listeners arise. Whereas experimental psycholinguistic work is most commonly carried out with student participants, we welcome the participation of speakers and listeners with more diverse backgrounds.



The department has three places for interns from September 1 to June 30 each year. These are offered to BA or MA students who wish to gain experience in experimental psycholinguistics. Work done at the MPI can sometimes be used to fulfill the requirements of a BA or MA course. See here for more information.
Last checked 2018-01-10 by Antje Meyer
Psychology of Language

Street address

Wundtlaan 1
6525 XD Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Mailing address
P.O. Box 310
6500 AH Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Phone:  +31-24-3521336
Fax:      +31-24-3521213


Director: Antje Meyer