NCL21 Neurocognition of Language (Winter 2021/22)


The ultimate aim of the neurocognition of language is to understand how, when, and where in the brain meaning is computed from linguistic input. In this seminar, we will first explore:

From here, we will then develop the course according to your interests. Each of you will first give one oral presentation on a topic/paper of choice (in consultation). For the remaining slots (if any), we will collectively pick papers that we will discuss reading group style.

course overview

Neurocognition of Language is a seminar taught in the Department of Language Science and Technology at Saarland University. It is open for both (advanced) bachelor-level and master-level students.

Lecturer: Harm Brouwer <>

Time: Monday 12:15-13:45
Place: Online (Microsoft Teams)
Start: 25.10.21

Credits: 4 CP (presentation), 7 CP (presentation + term paper)

Registration: Send me an email to enrol for the course


This is the course schedule. For the first lectures, see below for suggested background literature.

Date Topic Presenter

25.10.21 Introduction to the Neurocognition of Language (Brief) Harm Brouwer
01.11.21 (no class)
08.11.21 Electrophysiology of Language Processing I Harm Brouwer
15.11.21 Electrophysiology of Language Processing II Harm Brouwer
22.11.21 RI Theory—Anatomy: Brouwer and Hoeks (2013), Frontiers in Human Neuroscience Larisa Ivanova
29.11.21 RI Theory—Modeling: Brouwer et al. (2017), Cognitive Science Hannes Düe
06.12.21 Gesture: Gunther et al. (2015). Frontiers in Psychology Lea Seiler
Neuroatypicality—Schizophrenia: Kuperberg et al. (2006), Journal of Abnormal Psychology Polyxeni Souridi
13.12.21 Neuroatypicality—Dementia: Kempler and Goral (2008), Annual Review of Applied Linguistics Katharina Jana Christian
Neuroatypicality—Autism: Pijnacker et al. (2010), Neuropsychologia Lilas Lousie Marie Mauborgne
20.12.21 (no class)
27.12.21 (no class)
03.01.21 Advanced Data Analysis—MVPA: Heikel et al. (2018), Brain and Language Gokul Srinivasagan
10.01.22 Advanced Data Analysis—rERPs: Brouwer et al. (2021), European Journal of Neuroscience Haseon Park
17.01.22 Expectation-based Comprehension—Modeling: Brouwer et al. (2021), Frontiers in Psychology Tianai Dong
Expectation-based Comprehension—Evidence: Aurnhammer et al. (2021), PLoS ONE Duygu Bayram
24.01.22 Information Theoretic Analysis: Frank et al. (2015), Brain and Language Saad Obaid ul Islam
Functional Imaging of Bilingualism: Cargnelutti et al. (2019), Frontiers in Human Neuroscience Michael Vrazitulis
31.01.22 Neurocomputational Modeling: Hale et al. (2021), Annual Review of Linguistics Soniya Vijayakumar
Neuropragmatics: Hoeks and Brouwer (2014). In: Oxford Handbook of Language and Social Psychology Samvit Dammalapati
07.02.22 Bilingualism: Leivada et al. (2021). Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Keibina Xhafa

suggested literature

This is a inexhaustive list of suggested literature organized by lecture. For each lecture, the list is ordered in terms of the relevance/closeness of the articles to the material presented in that lecture. Articles marked with an asterisk (*) are (co-)authored by me.


  1. Hagoort, P. (2019). The neurobiology of language beyond single-word processing. Science 36(6461), pp. 55-58. doi: 10.1126/science.aax0289


  1. Kutas, M., van Petten, C., & Kluender, R. (2006). Psycholinguistics Electrified II: 1994-2005. In M. J. Traxler & M. A. Gernsbacher (Eds.), Handbook of psycholinguistics, 2nd ed. pp. 659-724. New York: Elsevier.
  2. Gazzaniga, M. S., Ivry, R. B., and Mangun, G. R. (2014). Methods of Cognitive Neuroscience. In: Gazzaniga, M. S., Ivry, R. B., and Mangun, G. R. (Eds.), Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biology of the Mind, 4th ed., pp. 71-119. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
  3. Kutas, M. and Federmeier, K. D. (2011). Thirty years and counting: Finding meaning in the N400 component of the event related brain potential (ERP). Annual Review of Psychology, 62:621-647.


  1. *Brouwer, H., Fitz, H. and Hoeks, J. C. J. (2012). Getting real about Semantic Illusions: Rethinking the functional role of the P600 in language comprehension. Brain Research, 1446, pp. 127-143. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2012.01.055
  2. Kuperberg, G. R. (2007). Neural mechanisms of language comprehension: Challenges to syntax. Brain Research, 1146, pp. 23-49. doi:
  3. Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, I., & Schlesewsky, M. (2008). An alternative perspective on semantic P600 effects in language comprehension. Brain Research Reviews, 59(1), 55-73. doi:
  4. Delogu, F., Brouwer, H., and Crocker, M. W. (2019). Event-related potentials index lexical retrieval (N400) and integration (P600) during language comprehension. Brain and Cognition, 135. doi: 10.1016/j.bandc.2019.05.007


  1. *Brouwer, H. and Hoeks J. C. J. (2013). A Time and Place for Language Comprehension: Mapping the N400 and the P600 to a Minimal Cortical Network. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 7:758. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00758
  2. Baggio, G. and Hagoort, P. (2011). The balance between memory and unification in semantics: A dynamic account of the N400. Language and Cognitive Processes, 26:1338-1367.
  3. Brouwer, H. and Crocker, M. W. (2017). On the proper treatment of the N400 and P600 in language comprehension. Frontiers in Psychology 8:1327. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01327


  1. *Brouwer, H., Crocker M. W., Venhuizen, N. J., and Hoeks, J. C. J. (2017). A Neurocomputational Model of the N400 and the P600 in Language Processing. Cognitive Science, 41(S6), pp. 1318-1352. doi: 10.1111/cogs.12461
  2. Laszlo, S. and Plaut, D. C. (2012). A neurally plausible parallel distributed processing model of event-related potential word reading data. Brain and Language, 120(3):271-281.
  3. Crocker, M. W., Knoeferle, P., and Mayberry, M. R. (2010). Situated sentence processing: The coordinated interplay account and a neurobehavioral model. Brain and Language, 112(3):189-201.