Language in Interaction Book

The Language in Interaction consortium has collaborated on the publication “Human Language: From Genes and Brains to Behavior”, edited by Peter Hagoort. The book provides a unique overview of the current state-of-the-art knowledge on human language.

The book is available through MIT Press (more information here). Employees of Language and Interaction can receive discounts on the purchase price of the book (please inquire with the Language in Interaction office).

Summary from MIT Press:

A unique overview of the human language faculty at all levels of organization.

Language is not only one of the most complex cognitive functions that we command, it is also the aspect of the mind that makes us uniquely human. Research suggests that the human brain exhibits a language readiness not found in the brains of other species. This volume brings together contributions from a range of fields to examine humans’ language capacity from multiple perspectives, analyzing it at genetic, neurobiological, psychological, and linguistic levels.

In recent decades, advances in computational modeling, neuroimaging, and genetic sequencing have made possible new approaches to the study of language, and the contributors draw on these developments. The book examines cognitive architectures, investigating the functional organization of the major language skills; learning and development trajectories, summarizing the current understanding of the steps and neurocognitive mechanisms in language processing; evolutionary and other preconditions for communication by means of natural language; computational tools for modeling language; cognitive neuroscientific methods that allow observations of the human brain in action, including fMRI, EEG/MEG, and others; the neural infrastructure of language capacity; the genome’s role in building and maintaining the language-ready brain; and insights from studying such language-relevant behaviors in nonhuman animals as birdsong and primate vocalization.

Section editors: Christian F. Beckmann, Carel ten Cate, Simon E. Fisher, Peter Hagoort, Evan Kidd, Stephen C. Levinson, James M. McQueen, Antje S. Meyer, David Poeppel, Caroline F. Rowland, Constance Scharff, Ivan Toni, Willem Zuidema.