Angela D Friederici

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Saxony, Germany

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Publications (580)1926.67 Total impact

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    Michael A Skeide, Jens Brauer, Angela D Friederici
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    ABSTRACT: The relation between brain function and behavior on the one hand and the relation between structural changes and behavior on the other as well as the link between the 2 aspects are core issues in cognitive neuroscience. It is an open question, however, whether brain function or brain structure is the better predictor for age-specific cognitive performance. Here, in a comprehensive set of analyses, we investigated the direct relation between hemodynamic activity in 2 pairs of frontal and temporal cortical areas, 2 long-distance white matter fiber tracts connecting each pair and sentence comprehension performance of 4 age groups, including 3 groups of children between 3 and 10 years as well as young adults. We show that the increasing accuracy of processing complex sentences throughout development is correlated with the blood-oxygen-level-dependent activation of 2 core language processing regions in Broca's area and the posterior portion of the superior temporal gyrus. Moreover, both accuracy and speed of processing are correlated with the maturational status of the arcuate fasciculus, that is, the dorsal white matter fiber bundle connecting these 2 regions. The present data provide compelling evidence for the view that brain function and white matter structure together best predict developing cognitive performance. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
    Cerebral Cortex 03/2015; DOI:10.1093/cercor/bhv042 · 8.31 Impact Factor
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    Brain 02/2015; DOI:10.1093/brain/awv036 · 10.23 Impact Factor
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    Manuela Friedrich, Ines Wilhelm, Jan Born, Angela D Friederici
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    ABSTRACT: Sleep consolidates memory and promotes generalization in adults, but it is still unknown to what extent the rapidly growing infant memory benefits from sleep. Here we show that during sleep the infant brain reorganizes recent memories and creates semantic knowledge from individual episodic experiences. Infants aged between 9 and 16 months were given the opportunity to encode both objects as specific word meanings and categories as general word meanings. Event-related potentials indicate that, initially, infants acquire only the specific but not the general word meanings. About 1.5 h later, infants who napped during the retention period, but not infants who stayed awake, remember the specific word meanings and, moreover, successfully generalize words to novel category exemplars. Independently of age, the semantic generalization effect is correlated with sleep spindle activity during the nap, suggesting that sleep spindles are involved in infant sleep-dependent brain plasticity.
    Nature Communications 01/2015; 6:6004. DOI:10.1038/ncomms7004 · 10.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The human inferior parietal cortex convexity (IPCC) is an important association area, which integrates auditory, visual, and somatosensory information. However, the structural organization of the IPCC is a controversial issue. For example, cytoarchitectonic parcellations reported in the literature range from 2 to 7 areas. Moreover, anatomical descriptions of the human IPCC are often based on experiments in the macaque monkey. In this study, we used diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging combined with probabilistic tractography to quantify the connectivity of the human IPCC, and used this information to parcellate this cortex area. This provides a new structural map of the human IPCC, comprising 3 subareas (inferior parietal cortex anterior, IPC middle, and IPC posterior) of comparable size, in a rostro-caudal arrangement in the left and right hemispheres. Each subarea is characterized by a connectivity fingerprint, and the parcellation is similar to the subdivision reported for the macaque IPCC with 3 areas in a rostro-caudal arrangement (PF, PFG, and PG). However, the present study also reliably demonstrates new structural features in the connectivity pattern of the human IPCC, which are not known to exist in the macaque. This study quantifies intersubject variability by providing a population representation of the subarea arrangement and demonstrates the substantial lateralization of the connectivity patterns of the IPCC.
    Cerebral Cortex 09/2014; 24(9):2449-2463. DOI:10.1093/cercor/bht098 · 8.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Supplementary data to "Connectivity Architecture and Subdivision of the Human Inferior Parietal Cortex Revealed by Diffusion MRI", Cerebral Cortex (2014) 24 (9): 2449-2463 doi:10.1093/cercor/bht096 . The file contains the group population maps of the IPCC parcellation as 3D NFTI files. Each file represents the percentage of overlap of the IPCC subregion within the group (20 Subjects, left/right hemisphere, 3 cluster). Note: MNI_colin_std_anat.nii.gz is the single subject reference brain of the Montreal Neurological Institue (MNI space; Evans et al., Neuroimage 1:43-53, 1992). It was registered to the MNI 151 Brain and can be visualized together with the IPCC populations maps with eg. FSLView.
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    ABSTRACT: Hemispheric specialization for linguistic prosody is a controversial issue. While it is commonly assumed that linguistic and emotional prosody are preferentially processed in the right hemisphere, neuropsychological work directly comparing processes of linguistic and emotional prosody suggests a predominant role of the left hemisphere for linguistic prosody processing. Here, we used two functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments to clarify the role of left and right hemispheres in the neural processing of linguistic prosody. In the first experiment, we sought to confirm previous findings showing that linguistic prosody processing compared to other speech-related processes predominantly involves the right hemisphere. Unlike previous studies, we controlled for stimulus influences by employing a prosody and speech task using the same speech material. The second experiment was designed to investigate whether a left-hemispheric involvement in linguistic prosody processing is specific to contrasts between linguistic and emotional prosody or whether it also occurs when linguistic prosody is contrasted against other non-linguistic processes (i.e., speaker recognition). Prosody and speaker tasks were performed on the same stimulus material. In both experiments, linguistic prosody processing was associated with activity in temporal, frontal, parietal and cerebellar regions. Activation in temporo-frontal regions showed differential lateralization depending on whether the control task required recognition of speech or speaker: recognition of linguistic prosody predominantly involved right temporo-frontal areas when it was contrasted against speech recognition; when contrasted against speaker recognition, recognition of linguistic prosody predominantly involved left temporo-frontal areas. The results show that linguistic prosody processing involves functions of both hemispheres and suggest that recognition of linguistic prosody is based on an inter-hemispheric mechanism which exploits both a right-hemispheric sensitivity to pitch information and a left-hemispheric dominance in speech processing.
    NeuroImage 07/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.07.038 · 6.13 Impact Factor
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    Hyeon-Ae Jeon, Alfred Anwander, Angela D. Friederici
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    ABSTRACT: Despite myriads of studies on a parallel organization of cortico-striatal-thalamo-cortical loops, direct evidence of this has been lacking for the healthy human brain. Here, we scrutinize the functional specificity of the cortico-subcortical loops depending on varying levels of cognitive hierarchy as well as their structural connectivity with high-resolution fMRI and diffusion-weighted MRI (dMRI) at 7 tesla. Three levels of cognitive hierarchy were implemented in two domains: second language and nonlanguage. In fMRI, for the higher level, activations were found in the ventroanterior portion of the prefrontal cortex (PFC), the head of the caudate nucleus (CN), and the ventral anterior nucleus (VA) in the thalamus. Conversely, for the lower level, activations were located in the posterior region of the PFC, the body of the CN, and the medial dorsal nucleus (MD) in the thalamus. This gradient pattern of activations was furthermore shown to be tenable by the parallel connectivity in dMRI tractography connecting the anterior regions of the PFC with the head of the CN and the VA in the thalamus, whereas the posterior activations of the PFC were linked to the body of the CN and the MD in the thalamus. This is the first human in vivo study combining fMRI and dMRI showing that the functional specificity is mirrored within the cortico-subcortical loop substantiated by parallel networks.
    The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 07/2014; 34(28):9202-9212. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0228-14.2014 · 6.75 Impact Factor
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    Sebastian Jentschke, Angela. D. Friederici, Stefan Koelsch
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    ABSTRACT: Music is a basic and ubiquitous socio-cognitive domain. However, our understanding of the time course of the development of music perception, particularly regarding implicit knowledge of music-syntactic regularities, remains contradictory and incomplete: Some authors assume that the acquisition of knowledge about these regularities lasts until late childhood, but there is also evidence for the presence of such knowledge in four- and five-year-olds. To explore, whether such knowledge is already present in younger children, we tested whether 30-month-olds (N = 62) show neurophysiological responses to music-syntactically irregular harmonies. We observed an early right anterior negativity in response to both irregular in-key and out-of-key chords. This indicates that 30-month-olds already have acquired implicit knowledge of complex harmonic music-syntactic regularities and process new musical information according to this knowledge. The N5, a brain response usually present in older children and adults, was not observed, indicating that processes of harmonic integration (as reflected in the N5) are still in development in this age group.
    Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience 07/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.dcn.2014.04.005 · 3.71 Impact Factor
  • Lars Meyer, Katrin Cunitz, Jonas Obleser, Angela D Friederici
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    ABSTRACT: The Arcuate Fasciculus/Superior Longitudinal Fasciculus (AF/SLF) is the white-matter bundle that connects posterior superior temporal and inferior frontal cortex. Its causal functional role in sentence processing and verbal working memory is currently under debate. While impairments of sentence processing and verbal working memory often co-occur in patients suffering from AF/SLF damage, it is unclear whether these impairments result from shared white-matter damage to the verbal-working-memory network. The present study sought to specify the behavioral consequences of focal AF/SLF damage for sentence processing and verbal working memory, which were assessed in a single patient suffering from a cleft-like lesion spanning the deep left superior temporal gyrus, sparing most surrounding gray matter. While tractography suggests that the ventral fronto-temporal white-matter bundle is intact in this patient, the AF/SLF was not visible to tractography. In line with the hypothesis that the AF/SLF is causally involved in sentence processing, the patient's performance was selectively impaired on sentences that jointly involve both complex word orders and long word-storage intervals. However, the patient was unimpaired on sentences that only involved long word-storage intervals without involving complex word orders. On the contrary, the patient performed generally worse than a control group across standard verbal-working-memory tests. We conclude that the AF/SLF not only plays a causal role in sentence processing, linking regions of the left dorsal inferior frontal gyrus to the temporo-parietal region, but moreover plays a crucial role in verbal working memory, linking regions of the left ventral inferior frontal gyrus to the left temporo-parietal region. Together, the specific sentence-processing impairment and the more general verbal-working-memory impairment may imply that the AF/SLF subserves both sentence processing and verbal working memory, possibly pointing to the AF and SLF respectively supporting each.
    Neuropsychologia 06/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2014.06.014 · 3.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: While the role of synchronized oscillatory activity in the gamma-band frequency range for conscious perception is well established in the visual domain, there is limited evidence concerning neurophysiological mechanisms in conscious auditory perception. In the current study, we addressed this issue with 64-channel EEG and a dichotic listening (DL) task in twenty-five healthy participants. The typical finding of DL is a more frequent conscious perception of the speech syllable presented to the right ear (RE), which is attributed to the supremacy of the contralateral pathways running from the RE to the speech-dominant left hemisphere. In contrast, the left ear (LE) input initially accesses the right hemisphere and needs additional transfer via interhemispheric pathways before it is processed in the left hemisphere. Using lagged phase synchronization (LPS) analysis and eLORETA source estimation we examined the functional connectivity between right and left primary and secondary auditory cortices in the main frequency bands (delta, theta, alpha, beta, gamma) during RE/LE-reports. Interhemispheric LPS between right and left primary and secondary auditory cortices was specifically increased in the gamma-band range, when participants consciously perceived the syllable presented to the LE. Our results suggest that synchronous gamma oscillations are involved in interhemispheric transfer of auditory information.
    NeuroImage 06/2014; 100. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.06.012 · 6.13 Impact Factor
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    Michael A Skeide, Jens Brauer, Angela D Friederici
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    ABSTRACT: An essential computational component of the human language faculty is syntax as it regulates how words are combined into sentences. Although its neuroanatomical basis is well-specified in adults, its emergence in the maturing brain is not yet understood. Using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a cross-sectional design, we discovered, that in contrast to what is known about adults 3-to-4- and 6-to-7-year-old children do not process syntax independently from semantics at the neural level already before these two types of information are integrated for the interpretation of a sentence. It is not until the end of the 10th year of life that children show a neural selectivity for syntax, segregated and gradually independent from semantics, in the left inferior frontal cortex as in the adult brain. Our results indicate that it takes until early adolescence for the domain-specific selectivity of syntax within the language network to develop.
    NeuroImage 06/2014; 100. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.05.080 · 6.13 Impact Factor
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    20th Annual Meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM) 2014; 06/2014
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    ABSTRACT: The emotional expression of the face provides an important social signal that allows humans to make inferences about other people's state of mind. However, the underlying brain mechanisms are complex and still not completely understood. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), we analyzed the spatiotemporal structure of regional electrical brain activity in human adults during a categorization task (faces or hands) and an emotion discrimination task (happy faces or neutral faces). Brain regions that are specifically important for different aspects of processing emotional facial expressions showed interesting hemispheric dominance patterns. The dorsal brain regions showed a right predominance when participants paid attention to facial expressions: The right parietofrontal regions, including the somatosensory, motor/premotor, and inferior frontal cortices showed significantly increased activation in the emotion discrimination task, compared to in the categorization task, in latencies of 350 to 550 ms, while no activation was found in their left hemispheric counterparts. Furthermore, a left predominance of the ventral brain regions was shown for happy faces, compared to neutral faces, in latencies of 350 to 550 ms within the emotion discrimination task. Thus, the present data suggest that the right and left hemispheres play different roles in the recognition of facial expressions depending on cognitive context.
    PLoS ONE 02/2014; 9(2):e88628. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0088628 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Lars Meyer, Katrin Cunitz, Jonas Obleser, Angela D. Friederici
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Arcuate Fasciculus/Superior Longitudinal Fasciculus (AF/SLF) is the white-matter bundle that connects posterior superior temporal and inferior frontal cortex. Its causal functional role in sentence processing and verbal working memory is currently under debate. While impairments of sentence processing and verbal working memory often co-occur in patients suffering from AF/SLF damage, it is unclear whether these impairments result from shared white-matter damage to the verbal-working-memory network. The present study sought to specify the behavioral consequences of focal AF/SLF damage for sentence processing and verbal working memory, which were assessed in a single patient suffering from a cleft-like lesion spanning the deep left superior temporal gyrus, sparing most surrounding gray matter. While tractography suggests that the ventral fronto-temporal white-matter bundle is intact in this patient, the AF/SLF was not visible to tractography. In line with the hypothesis that the AF/SLF is causally involved in sentence processing, the patient's performance was selectively impaired on sentences that jointly involve both complex word orders and long word-storage intervals. However, the patient was unimpaired on sentences that only involved long word-storage intervals without involving complex word orders. On the contrary, the patient performed generally worse than a control group across standard verbal-working-memory tests. We conclude that the AF/SLF not only plays a causal role in sentence processing, linking regions of the left dorsal inferior frontal gyrus to the temporo-parietal region, but moreover plays a crucial role in verbal working memory, linking regions of the left ventral inferior frontal gyrus to the left temporo-parietal region. Together, the specific sentence-processing impairment and the more general verbal-working-memory impairment may imply that the AF/SLF subserves both sentence processing and verbal working memory, possibly pointing to the AF and SLF respectively supporting each.
    Neuropsychologia 01/2014; · 3.45 Impact Factor
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    Jens Brauer, Alfred Anwander, Daniela Perani, Angela D Friederici
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    ABSTRACT: The dorsal and ventral information streams between inferior frontal and temporal language regions in the human brain are implemented by two fiber connections that consist of separable tracts. We compared the maturation of the two connections including their subcomponents in three different age groups: newborn infants, 7-year-old children, and adults. Our results reveal a maturational primacy of the ventral connection in the language network associating the temporal areas to the inferior frontal gyrus during early development, which is already in place at birth. Likewise, a dorsal pathway from the temporal cortex to the premotor cortex is observable at this early age. This is in contrast to the dorsal pathway to the inferior frontal gyrus which matures at later stages in development and might play a role in more complex language functions.
    Brain and Language 11/2013; 127(2):289–295. DOI:10.1016/j.bandl.2013.03.001 · 3.31 Impact Factor
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    Claudia Männel, Angela D Friederici
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    ABSTRACT: Language acquisition has long been discussed as an interaction between biological preconditions and environmental input. This general interaction seems particularly salient in lexical acquisition, where infants are already able to detect unknown words in sentences at 7 months of age, guided by phonological and statistical information in the speech input. While this information results from the linguistic structure of a given language, infants also exploit situational information, such as speakers' additional word accentuation and word repetition. The current study investigated the developmental trajectory of infants' sensitivity to these two situational input cues in word recognition. Testing infants at 6, 9, and 12 months of age, we hypothesized that different age groups are differentially sensitive to accentuation and repetition. In a familiarization-test paradigm, event-related brain potentials (ERPs) revealed age-related differences in infants' word recognition as a function of situational input cues: at 6 months infants only recognized previously accentuated words, at 9 months both accentuation and repetition played a role, while at 12 months only repetition was effective. These developmental changes are suggested to result from infants' advancing linguistic experience and parallel auditory cortex maturation. Our data indicate very narrow and specific input-sensitive periods in infant word recognition, with accentuation being effective prior to repetition.
    Cortex 09/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.cortex.2013.09.003 · 6.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It has long been debated which aspects of music perception are universal and which are developed only after exposure to a specific musical culture. Here we investigated whether "iconic" meaning in Western music, emerging from musical information resembling qualities of objects, or qualities of abstract concepts, can be recognized cross-culturally. To this end we acquired a profile of semantic associations (such as, for example, fight, river, etc.) to Western musical pieces from each participant, and then compared these profiles across cultural groups. Results show that the association profiles between Mafa, an ethnic group from northern Cameroon, and Western listeners are different, but that the Mafa have a consistent association profile, indicating that their associations are strongly informed by their enculturation. Results also show that listeners for whom Western music is novel, but whose association profile was more similar to the mean Western music association profile also had a greater appreciation of the Western music. The data thus show that, to some degree, iconic meaning transcends cultural boundaries, with a high inter-individual variance, probably because meaning in music is prone to be overwritten by individual and cultural experience.
    PLoS ONE 09/2013; 8(9):e72500. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0072500 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Yun Nan, Angela D Friederici
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    ABSTRACT: Superior temporal and inferior frontal cortices are involved in the processing of pitch information in the domain of language and music. Here, we used fMRI to test the particular roles of these brain regions in the neural implementation of pitch in music and in tone language (Mandarin) with a group of Mandarin speaking musicians whose pertaining experiences in pitch are similar across domains. Our findings demonstrate that the neural network for pitch processing includes the pars triangularis of Broca's area and the right superior temporal gyrus (STG) across domains. Within this network, pitch sensitive activation in Broca's area is tightly linked to the behavioral performance of pitch congruity judgment, thereby reflecting controlled processes. Activation in the right STG is independent of performance and more sensitive to pitch congruity in music than in tone language, suggesting a domain-specific modulation of the perceptual processes. These observations provide a first glimpse at the cortical pitch processing network shared across domains. Hum Brain Mapp, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Human Brain Mapping 09/2013; 34(9). DOI:10.1002/hbm.22046 · 6.92 Impact Factor
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    Roland M Friedrich, Angela D Friederici
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    ABSTRACT: As a higher cognitive function in humans, mathematics is supported by parietal and prefrontal brain regions. Here, we give an integrative account of the role of the different brain systems in processing the semantics of mathematical logic from the perspective of macroscopic polysynaptic networks. By comparing algebraic and arithmetic expressions of identical underlying structure, we show how the different subparts of a fronto-parietal network are modulated by the semantic domain, over which the mathematical formulae are interpreted. Within this network, the prefrontal cortex represents a system that hosts three major components, namely, control, arithmetic-logic, and short-term memory. This prefrontal system operates on data fed to it by two other systems: a premotor-parietal top-down system that updates and transforms (external) data into an internal format, and a hippocampal bottom-up system that either detects novel information or serves as an access device to memory for previously acquired knowledge.
    PLoS ONE 08/2013; 8(1):e53699. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0053699 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In conversations, adults readily detect and anticipate the end of a speaker's turn. However, little is known about the development of this ability. We addressed two important aspects involved in the perception of conversational turn taking: semantic content and intonational form. The influence of semantics was investigated by testing prelinguistic and linguistic children. The influence of intonation was tested by presenting participants with videos of two dyadic conversations: one with normal intonation and one with flattened (removed) intonation. Children of four different age groups-two prelinguistic groups (6- and 12-month-olds) and two linguistic groups (24- and 36-month-olds)-and an adult group participated. Their eye movements were recorded, and the frequency of anticipated turns was analyzed. Our results show that (a) the anticipation of turns was reliable only in 3-year-olds and adults, with younger children shifting their gaze between speakers regardless of the turn taking, and (b) only 3-year-olds anticipated turns better if intonation was normal. These results indicate that children anticipate turns in conversations in a manner comparable (but not identical) to adults only after they have developed a sophisticated understanding of language. In contrast to adults, 3-year-olds rely more strongly on prosodic information during the perception of conversational turn taking.
    Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 07/2013; 116(2):264-277. DOI:10.1016/j.jecp.2013.06.005 · 3.12 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

21k Citations
1,926.67 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1995–2015
    • Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
      • • Department of Neuropsychology
      • • Department of Neurophysics
      Leipzig, Saxony, Germany
  • 2013
    • Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
      Berlín, Berlin, Germany
  • 2000–2013
    • University of Leipzig
      • Institute of Psychology
      Leipzig, Saxony, Germany
    • Universität Potsdam
      • Department Linguistik
      Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany
  • 2010
    • Birkbeck, University of London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2009
    • National Institutes of Health
      베서스다, Maryland, United States
    • Central Institute of Mental Health
      Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 2007
    • Universität des Saarlandes
      Saarbrücken, Saarland, Germany
    • University of Zurich
      Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2006
    • Forschungszentrum Jülich
      • Institut für Neurowissenschaften und Medizin (INM)
      Düren, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 2005
    • Bangor University
      Bangon, Wales, United Kingdom
    • National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
      Maryland, United States
  • 2004
    • University of Utah
      • Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute
      Salt Lake City, UT, United States
  • 2003–2004
    • Philipps University of Marburg
      • Institute for German Linguistics
      Marburg, Hesse, Germany
    • Harvard Medical School
      • Department of Neurology
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1997–1999
    • Max Planck Society
      München, Bavaria, Germany
  • 1998
    • Radboud University Nijmegen
      Nymegen, Gelderland, Netherlands
  • 1992–1993
    • Freie Universität Berlin
      • Institute of Psychology
      Berlin, Land Berlin, Germany
  • 1985–1990
    • Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
      Nymegen, Gelderland, Netherlands
  • 1988
    • Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
      Gieben, Hesse, Germany
  • 1981
    • Boston University
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1980
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States