WP 5 Language evolution and diversity
Simon Fisher is professor of Language and Genetics, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition & Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen, and a director of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen. He is a co-affiliated member of the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Nijmegen.
Simon’s research aims to uncover the DNA variations which ultimately affect different facets of our communicative abilities, not only in children with language-related disorders but also in the general population. As co-discoverer of the FOXP2 gene, he pioneered the use of genes as molecular windows into the neural basis of speech and language. In particular, his work attempts to bridge the gaps between genes, neurons, circuits and cognition, by integrating molecular findings with data from other levels of analysis, including cell biology, experimental psychology, neuroimaging and evolutionary anthropology.
Simon leads a number of networks of researchers and clinicians concerned with developmental disorders affecting reading and language. He is actively engaged in communication of science, including public lectures at science festivals, interviews for national and international newspapers, and involvement in television documentaries.
Simon is a board member of the Language in Interaction consortium and a leader of WP5. As a participating PI, he contributes expertise on molecular genetics and functional genomics of complex cognitive traits.
You can find his personal website here.