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Professor of Psycho- and Neurolinguistics


Neural correlates of vocal learning in songbirds and humans

neuralPhD students: Anne van der Kant
Supervisors: Niels Schiller (LUCL), Claartje Levelt (LUCL) and Annemie Van der Linden (Bio-Imaging Lab, Antwerp)

This projects investigated the neural substrates of vocal learning in a comparative perspective, studying both humans and songbirds. The human studies were carried out at the LIBC language using functional MRI to address how neural activation during grammar learning differs between children and adults and how individual differences in artificial grammar learning success are reflected in neural activation. 

Although we all learn our native language, some of us have more trouble learning a new grammar than others. Earlier studies have suggested that the age at which we learn a new language is very important for learning success. By investigating brain activation in children and adults during learning of a new grammar, I hope to find why children learn new languages with less effort compared to adults and how brain activation during learning is related to grammar learning success.