Angela D. Friederici Is Language Development in the Child’s Brain Visible on a Molecular Level?

Angela D. Friederici is a member of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig. Friederici holds an Honorary Professorship in Psychology at Leipzig University, in Linguistics at the University of Potsdam and in Medicine at the Charité Berlin. Since 2014, Friederici is the Vice-President of the Max Planck Society. Friederici’s field of expertise is psycholinguistics. Through her interdisciplinary training, she is looking at the representation of language in the brain and how this relates to the overall learning process.

Area of Research

Neuropsychology, Linguistics

since 1994

Founding Director

Max Planck Society (more details)

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences

since 2014

Vice-President

Max Planck Society (more details)

since 2014

Scientific Member

Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences

since 2011

Member

The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

Working Group Early Socialization: Biological, Psychological, Sociological and Economic Perspectives

since 2004

Honorary Professor

Charité - University Medicine Berlin (Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin)

Neurology Department

since 2003

Member of the Health Research Council

German Federal Ministry of Education and Science (BMBF)

since 2000

Member of the Scientific Council

Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena)

since 1997

Honorary Professor for Neuropsychology of Language

University of Potsdam (Universität Potsdam)

Faculty of Philosophy

since 1995

Honorary Professor for Cognitive Neuropsychology

Leipzig University (Universität Leipzig)

2012-2015

Chair of the Scientific Committee

Einstein Foundation Berlin

2011-2012

Vice-Chair of the Scientific Committee

Einstein Foundation Berlin

2010-2016

Committee for the Examination of the Management Functions of Scientific Members

Max Planck Society (more details)

2009-2010

Vice-Chair of the Committee of Non-University Research Institutions in Health Research

German Federal Ministry of Education and Science

2006-2009

Member of the Senate Committee for Research Planning

Max Planck Society (more details)

2006-2009

Chair of the Scientific Council

Max Planck Society (more details)

2005-2007

Vice President

Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences

2002-2009

Member of the Senate

Max Planck Society (more details)

1999-2000

Member

State Council for the Universities in the State of Brandenburg, Germany

1997-2007

Managing Director of the Centre of Cognitive Sciences

Leipzig University (Universität Leipzig)

Center of Advanced Study

1996-2007

Director of the Centre for Cognitive Sciences

Leipzig University (Universität Leipzig)

Centre for Advanced Study

1996-2001

Member of the Senate

German Research Foundation

1994-1998

Member of the Executive Committee

Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences

1993-1994

Managing Director

Free University of Berlin (Freie Universität Berlin)

Institute of Psychology

1991-1994

Full Professor for Psychology

Free University of Berlin (Freie Universität Berlin)

1989-1991

Full Professor for Cognitive Psychology

Free University of Berlin (Freie Universität Berlin)

1988

Research Fellow

University of California, San Diego

Center for Cognitive Science

1984-1985

Research Fellow

Paris Descartes University (Université Paris René Descartes)

Laboratoire de Psychologie Expérimentale

1987-1989

Heisenberg Fellow

Max Planck Society (more details)

Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

1979-1986

Research Fellow

Max Planck Society (more details)

Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

1978-1979

Postdoctoral Fellow

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Department of Psychology

1978-1979

Postdoctoral Fellow

Boston University School of Medicine

Medical Center and Department of Neurology

1974-1978

Research Assistant

Rheinische Landesklinik für Sprachgestörte, Bonn, Germany

1986

Habilitation in Psychology

Justus Liebig University Giessen (Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen)

Thesis "Cognitive Structures of Language Comprehension: Processes and Strategies"

1980

Diploma in Psychology

University of Bonn (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn)

1976

PhD in Linguistics

University of Bonn (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn)

BMC Neuroscience

Brain

Brain and Cognition

Brain and Language

Brain Research

Cerebral Cortex

Cortex

Child Development

Cognition

European Journal of Neuroscience

Experimental Brain Research

International Journal of Psychophysiology

Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

Journal of Memory and Language

Journal of Neuroscience

Nature Neuroscience

Neural Networks

NeuroImage

Neuron

Neuropsychologia

Neuroscience Letters

Neuroscientist

Perceptual Motor Skills

PLoS One

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Psycholinguistic Research

Psychophysiology

Trends in Cognitive Sciences

Academia Europaea

Academy of Aphasia

Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences

Cognitive Neuroscience Society

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurotraumatologie und Klinische Neuropsychologie

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychologie

European Brain Council

European Neuroscience Association

European Society of Cognitive Psychology

German Academy of Sciences 'Leopoldina' (since 2008 Germany's National Academy of Sciences)

German Neuroscience Society

Gesellschaft für Kognitionswissenschaft

International Neuropsychological Society

International Neuropsychological Symposium

Society for Neuroscience

Prizes

Carl Friedrich Gauss-Medal of the Brunswick Scientific Society (2011)

Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Mons, Mons, Belgium (2011)

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany: Johannes Gutenberg Endowed Professorship (2010)

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (1997)

Alfried Krupp Prize for Young Scientists of the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach Foundation (1990)

Heisenberg Award of the German Research Foundation (1987-1989)

Fellowships

Fellowship at Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, Stanford, USA (2010-2011)

Elected Member, Academia Europaea (2007)

Elected Member, German Academy of Sciences 'Leopoldina' (since 2008 Germany's National Academy of Sciences) (2000)

DaimlerChrysler Scholarship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Berlin (1999)

Elected Member, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences (1993)

Max Planck Research Fellowship of the Max Planck Society (1979-1981)

ERC Advanced Grant, European Research Council (2011)

© Maximilian Dörrbecker

Max Planck Society


"The Max Planck Society is Germany's most successful research organization. Since its establishment in 1948, no fewer than 18 Nobel laureates have emerged from the ranks of its scientists, putting it on a par with the best and most prestigious research institutions worldwide. The more than 15,000 publications each year in internationally renowned scientific journals are proof of the outstanding research work conducted at Max Planck Institutes – and many of those articles are among the most-cited publications in the relevant field." (Source)

Institute

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences

The aim of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig is to investigate human cognitive abilities and brain processes. The main focus of the research is on the neuronal basis of higher functions of the brain such as speech, music, and action. To this end, the scientists’ primary interest focuses on how these are perceived, processed, planned, and generated, as well as how perception and generation influence each other. They also investigate the plastic changes to the brain after strokes, and how these affect different cognitive abilities. The Department of Neurophysics, which was established in early 2007, is specifically concerned with the use and development of imaging methods for the neurosciences. (Source)

Map

The ability to process complex syntax is a human characteristic. The development of language comprehension and articulation takes place over a certain period of time during childhood. What happens in the brain on a neural biological level during language acquisition is still unclear. The research explained in this video uses methods that detect and monitor brain activity to determine changes and patterns on the scale of milliseconds. This allows to see maturation and to follow connections between different brain areas, helping our understanding of where language develops. ANGELA D. FRIEDERICI illustrates that she and her fellow researchers found a particular fiber track which connects two regions of the brain and is responsible for syntax comprehension. While most animals do not have this fiber track or only a less developed one, the question of language representation can also be expanded as an example of learning processes in the brain in general. The research proves that brain development determines what is possible in terms of learning at the defined moment in life.

LT Video Publication DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21036/LTPUB10303

The Ontogeny of the Cortical Language Network

  • Michael A. Skeide and Angela D. Friederici
  • Nature Reviews Neuroscience
  • Published in 2016

Chicago

Michael A. Skeide and Angela D. Friederici. "The Ontogeny of the Cortical Language Network." Nature Reviews Neuroscience 17 (2016): 323-332.