Universität Wien FIND

540005 SE Research Seminar (2021W)

Neuroscience of Language

Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

The blocked seminar will take place over six 4-hour sessions, on Tuesday mornings during the first half of the winter 2021 term.

If you are interested in registering please send me an email at 'narly [dot]golestani [at] univie [dot] ac [dot]at', by Sep 30th. Note that this seminar will prioritize CoBeNe students, but students from other programs will be able to participate, space permitting. Please note that if you're *not* in the CoBeNe program, you need to check with your Faculty and make sure you will get credit for the course.

Tuesday 05.10. 09:00 - 13:00 Digital
Tuesday 12.10. 09:00 - 13:00 Digital
Tuesday 19.10. 09:00 - 13:00 Digital
Tuesday 09.11. 09:00 - 13:00 Digital
Tuesday 16.11. 09:00 - 13:00 Digital
Tuesday 23.11. 09:00 - 13:00 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

Learning objectives:
1. To acquire a wide perspective on the research and questions on the neural basis of language.
2. To develop critical reading skills.

Course description:
The seminar, which will take place entirely in English, will cover the themes of brain functional and structural correlates of speech and language, and more specifically, of the brain networks underlying language processing at different levels of processing (phonological, semantic, syntactic and prosodic). It will also cover the theme of brain plasticity arising from language learning and from language expertise.

There will be one to two mandatory readings per session. During each session, there will be a lecture on the topic(s) of the session, followed by student presentations of the mandatory reading(s). The presentations will be done by one student or by groups of 2-3 students, depending on the number of students who register for the seminar. The presentation has to cover the study background, methods, results and discussion, and students need to critically discuss the main results of the study and its limitations. If the paper is a review or opinion paper, the student will summarize and critically discuss its contents.

There are no prerequisites for taking this seminar. It will include introductions to brain imaging methods, and to neuroanatomy and to the functional anatomy of language. Solid knowledge of spoken and written English is, however, required.

Assessment and permitted materials

The grade will be based on 1) the oral presentation of a scientific article (40% of grade), 2) one written homework assignment designed to assess integration and understanding of the material presented in the course and of mandatory readings (40% of grade), and 3) class participation (20% of grade).

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

To pass, students will be required to present a scientific paper (40%), to do a written assignment (40%) and to participate actively in the seminar, asking questions and contributing to discussions (20%). Also, to receive credit for the seminar you cannot miss more than one session.

Examination topics

The content of the lectures, the readings and the discussions that take place during the seminar will be relevant for the homework assignment.

Reading list

The mandatory and optional readings will be made available via moodle to students who register for the course. Readings will include research papers and book chapters.

Examples of mandatory readings:
• Hickok G, Poeppel D, Opinion - The cortical organization of speech processing. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 8 (5):393-402 (2007).
• Friederici, AD, The cortical language circuit: from auditory perception to sentence comprehension. Trends Cogn Sci 16, 262-268 (2012).
• Indefrey, P., Levelt, W. J. The spatial and temporal signatures of word production components. Cognition 92, 101-144 (2004).
• Ding, N., Melloni, L., Zhang, H., Tian, X. & Poeppel, D. Cortical tracking of hierarchical linguistic structures in connected speech. Nat Neurosci 19, 158-164 (2016).

Recommended general textbooks:
Kemmerer (2015): Cognitive Neuroscience of Language, Taylor & Francis (digital copies of the book chapters will be made available to the students).
Hickok & Small (2015): Neurobiology of Language, Academic Press.

Association in the course directory

PhD CoBeNe

Last modified: Fr 12.05.2023 00:27