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Invited speakers

Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky (Adelaide)

Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of South Australia in Adelaide and Head of the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory within the Australian Research Centre for Interactive and Virtual Environments (IVE). Her research has been honoured with a number of prizes, including the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize. Her main research interest lies in understanding how the human brain processes language and how these processes are rooted in neurobiology and basic mechanisms of information processing in the brain. She takes a cross-linguistic perspective on language processing in the brain, taking into account the diversity of the world's languages.


Visit Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky's webpage

Jeremy Skipper (London)

Jeremy I. Skipper is associate professor in the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences at University College, London. In combining novel analysis techniques with behavioral and neuroimaging methods, he is the head of the “Language, Action, and Brain Lab” in the Experimental Psychology Part. The objective of his research is to understand the neural mechanisms of communication in real-world social settings in which the brain evolved, develops, and normally functions. This research is guided by a theoretical model of communication in which the brain actively makes use of context to aid in speech perception and language comprehension by using this information to generate predictions about forthcoming sensory patterns to constrain linguistic interpretation.

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Nivi Mani (Göttingen)

Nivedita Mani is professor in the Department of Psychology of Language at the Georg-August University of Göttingen, Germany. She is head of the associated Babylab “WortSchatzInsel”. Prior to that, she worked in Oxford, Odense Denmark and London. Her work is devoted to the factors underlying word learning and word recognition in young children. In this context, word learning is the result of a dynamic two-way interaction between environment and learner with a focus on learners, what they know, what they are interested in, and their motivation to learn. Nivedita Mani was elected to the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities and won other awards, including the Fritz Behrens Foundation Science Award.


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Andrew Kehler (San Diego)

Andrew Kehler is a Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of California, San Diego. His research centers around pragmatics and discourse interpretation at the interface of theoretical linguistics, computational linguistics, and psycholinguistics. He is interested in computational discourse models, how they can be used to explain coherence, reference or pragmatic choices, and how their predictions can be tested using psycholinguistic methods. The aim of his research is to bring together these different lines of linguistic research, so that each can profit from the findings of the other, and allow for innovations in the research of pragmatics and discourse.

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Milena Rabovsky (Potsdam)

Milena Rabovsky is a professor at the University of Potsdam and head of the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at the University of Potsdam (Rabovsky Lab). She is also a principal investigator in the CRC 1287 subproject “Modelling the connection between eye-movement control, sentence processing, and brain signals (B03)” as well as the CRC 1294 subproject “Neural network modelling of brain responses during language comprehension (B09)”. Her research is devoted to a computationally explicit and precise understanding of the neurocognition of language and meaning, combining explicit computational models (specifically, artificial neural network models, aka deep learning models) and neuroscientific evidence (mostly event-related brain potentials, ERPs). She did her PhD at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain (Germany) and completed research stays at the University of Western Ontario (Canada), Stanford University (USA) and Freie Universität Berlin (Germany).


Visit Milena Rabovsky's lab’s website


Helen Blank (Hamburg)

Helen Blank is head of the Emmy Noether group on “Prediction in Communication” at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. Prior to that she was a Marie Curie fellow working with Christian Büchel at the same university. In her research, Helen Blank combines behavioural, neuroimaging, and computational methods to investigate how prior expectations influence speech and person recognition. She is interested in how the human brain is able to derive meaning from acoustic speech signals in noisy listening conditions and to recognize communication partners based on seeing a face. The objective of this research is to identify neural mechanisms supporting the integration of sensory signals and expectations.

Visit Helen Blank’s website and her lab's website

Sofiia Rappe (München)

Sofiia Rappe is a Neuromind Postdoctoral Fellow at the Chair of Philosophy of Language and Cognition at Ruhr University Bochum. She holds an HBSc in linguistics and mathematics from the University of Toronto and an MSc in Mind, Language and Embodied Cognition from the University of Edinburgh. In 2019, she received the Neurophilosophy Doctoral Scholarship to fund her doctoral studies. She defended her PhD thesis, which was supervised by Prof. Dr. Ophelia Deroy, in 2022 at the Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences at LMU Munich. Her thesis applied the framework of predictive processing in order to examine the relationship between conscious states and cognitive processes. Moreover, she recently published several articles that are concerned with prediction in language. Her research interests include philosophy of mind, predictive processing, consciousness, metacognition, categorization, concept formation and object perception.


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Barbara Tillmann (Dijon)

Barbara Tillmann is a CNRS research director in the Laboratory for Research on Learning and Development (LEAD – CNRS-UMR5022) at the Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France. She previously directed the “Auditory Cognition and Psychoacoustics” team at the Lyon Neuroscience Research Center. Her research in the domain of auditory cognition uses behavioural, neurophysiological, and computational methods. She is investigating how the brain acquires knowledge about complex sound structures, such as music and language, and how this knowledge shapes perception and memory, notably via predictions. Her research also investigates perspectives for stimulating cognitive and sensory processes with music, including for pathological populations.


Visit Barbara Tillmann's website.