Registration is now open!

Register here!

This Language in Interaction Symposium will be held on April 9, 2019 at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, the Netherlands

Broca and Wernicke’s breakthroughs in the 19th century paved the way to the current knowledge of language in the human brain. Yet, current research on this topic has gone above and beyond the scope of neuropsychology, with contributions from neuroscience, computer modelling, linguistics and genetics. The knowledge from these disciplines helped paint a more comprehensive picture of how the language system is organized in the brain. However, there is a theoretical gap between all these findings: solid evidence exists for how discrete elements of the language system are organized and work, but comprehensive models that encompass these separate results are still lacking. This reductionist bias is further exacerbated when overlooking the communicative aspect of language: are we able to fully explain how two human beings are able to communicate in an effective way?

In this symposium we will have experts from different disciplines who will explore how their fields of expertise can come together to provide an integrated understanding of human language.


Lotte Eijk, João Ferreira, Guilherme Freches, Marlou Rasenberg

Poster abstract submission

We will be accepting abstracts for the poster session on language-related research from linguistics, (cognitive) neuroscience, genetics, computational modelling and related disciplines. A prize will be awarded to the most interdisciplinary poster presentation. The winner will receive a travel voucher to attend a language-related conference of choice. The poster jury will consist of researchers within the Language in Interaction consortium.

Maximum number of words: 300 (excluding title, authors, affiliations, and possible references)
Deadline to submit: has been extended to 24th of February, 2019
Abstracts can be submitted through the submission form.

Preliminary programme

9:00-9:10 Introductory remarks
9:10-10:05 1st session: Localism versus holism. Some historical origins of studying language in brain. Willem Levelt (MPI for Psycholinguistics)
10:05-10:15 Coffee break
10:15-11:30 2nd session: The problem with modern research.
David Poeppel (New York University, MPI for Empirical Aesthetics)
11:30-12:45 3rd session: What does each discipline bring to the table?
Short presentations by four experts on how their fields approach language research
12:45-13:45 Lunch
13:45-14:45 Poster session
14:45-14:55 Coffee break
14:55-16:40 4th session: How can we bridge the gap? (moderated by David Poeppel)
- Balthasar Bickel (University of Zurich)
- Constance Scharff (Freie Universität Berlin)
- Lorraine Tyler (University of Cambridge)
- Iris van Rooij (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen)
16:40-16:55 Announcement of poster prize & closing remarks
16:55-18:00 Farewell drinks


This symposium is free of charge and lunch will be provided. In order to accommodate for the right amount of people, registration is mandatory. Register here!

Contact and location

Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
Wundtlaan 1
6525 XD  Nijmegen


This symposium is supported by funding from the Language in Interaction Consortium
Follow us on Twitter  for updates on the Symposium and the Consortium.