Workshop on language evolution and diversity at the MPI in Nijmegen

The next few weeks are busy with several talks (and a grant resubmission). I'm in The Netherlands this week to speak at the a workshop on language evolution and diversity at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen. My talk was on the different ways in which we see variability in human neural responses to speech and language. For example, listeners processing speech that is acoustically challenging or linguistically complex, for example, typically show increased brain activity that can occur outside of traditional "speech" regions. Individual differences in listeners' abilities, such as level of hearing impairment, also impact the brain mechanisms required to successfully understand what has been said.

This is a fun conference because it brings together speakers with a wide variety of research interests. Today we heard about a proposed project on speech rate normalization (using oscillatory entrainment, which makes me happy), the variety of languages and multilingual speakers in Senegal and Peru, and consistency of how people act to "repair" speech across different cultures. I'm looking forward to more talks tomorrow!