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March 27 and 28th, 2015

organized by Jasmin Pfeifer and Silke Hamann


Traditionally, language and music have been regarded as two separate domains. Growing evidence, however, suggests that these two domains share at least certain processes. Part of what makes this field so exciting is that there are still two very different perspectives: Those who emphasize the differences between music and language and those who emphasize the similarities

Not only behavioral paradigms but more and more neurophysiological techniques are used to test hypotheses arising from those different perspectives and to investigate the neural underpinnings of possibly shared cognitive processes. At the same time, disorders that affect either faculty but supposedly spare the other, such as amusia and aphasia, are of great interest, as they can lead to insights on what is shared by both domains and what is not.

This workshop aims at bringing together scientists from as diverse fields as linguistics, musicology, psychology, neurology and biology in order to foster an interdisciplinary dialogue that might create a better understanding of the shared processes in music and language.

The workshop’s official website, with speakers and a detailed program (including abstracts), is here.

Invited speakers

Prof. Dr. Usha Goswami, University of Cambridge, UK
Director of the Centre for Neuroscience in Education, which uses EEG and fNIRS to explore the developing brain. Key research projects include the neural basis of developmental dyslexia, the neural basis of speech and language impairments, and the neural basis of rhythmic motor behaviour.

Dr. Daniela Sammler, Max Planck Institute for Human, Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany
Leader of the research group “Neural Bases of Intonation in Speech”. Her research includes the neurocognitive architecture of intonation, neural bases of song perception, co-localisation of syntax processing in music and language, and syntax in (musical) action.

Dr. Victoria Williamson, University of Sheffield, UK
Vice Chancellor’s Fellow for the Arts and Humanities (Music Department) at the University of Sheffield and Visiting Fellow for the School of Advanced Study at the University of London. Research on earworms, music memory, and memory function in people with congenital amusia.