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Envisioning language

What are the basic mechanisms of understanding language? Markus Ostarek explored to what extent the comprehension of concrete words like ‘bird’ relies on processes that are otherwise used for visual perception. He will defend his thesis on this topic, 25 June 2018 at 16:30 in the Aula of the Radboud University.
Envisioning language

According to a recent theory, the brain generates meaning by simulating what the things that words refer to look like, how we interact with them, etc. Using behavioural and neuroimaging experiments, Markus Ostarek investigated how this works. His primary results showed that words can activate surprisingly basic visual processes that were not previously known to contribute to language comprehension. However, visual simulations are not activated automatically whenever one encounters a word. Rather, they are part of a highly flexible cognitive machinery that excels at providing those aspects of our knowledge that are most relevant in a given context.

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  • Markus Ostarek will defend his thesis on Monday 25 June 2018 at 16:30 in the Aula of the Radboud University.
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About MPI

This is the MPI

The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

The institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University. We participate in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and have particularly close ties to that institute's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. We also participate in the Centre for Language Studies. A joint graduate school, the IMPRS in Language Sciences, links the Donders Institute, the CLS and the MPI.



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