The Centre for Neurolinguistics and Psycholinguistics (CNPL) (https://www.neurolinguist.net/) was founded in 2016 by Prof. Jubin Abutalebi to pursue high-quality research devoted to the study of language as related to mind and brain. Language is the trait that most prominently distinguishes the human species from other species, and it is grounded on complex interactions between biological and cognitive functions. Understanding how language is cognitively processed in real time and how it is computed in the brain represents one of the critical challenges in contemporary human sciences. To face this challenge, CNPL uses a highly interdisciplinary approach that comprises cognitive neuroscience, experimental psychology, linguistics and neuropsychology, as well as a number of complementary non-invasive tools such as behavioral measures, functional (fMRI) and structural neuroimaging (VBM, DTI), and neurostimulation (tDCS).
One of the major research topics CNPL focuses on is bilingualism. The regular use of more than one language is an ever-increasing phenomenon in modern globalized societies. However, we still know very little about the differences between bilinguals and monolinguals in terms of neural representation and processing as well as on the impact such differences might have in the course of life (e.g. in terms of maintenance of neurocognitive functions in the elderly). The mechanisms underlying bilingual brain functioning are at the centre of intense research at CNPL.
Besides bilingualism, our research activities extend to several issues, including the nature of the linguistic and conceptual representations, the relationship between language and the sensory-motor system, language and executive functions; language, brain and gender differences, linguistic and cognitive control; psycholinguistic of language production and reading; language function in neurological disease.
Science is a collective and cumulative process, so its progress and benefits to society hinge critically on multiple scientists testing and building on each others’ work. We strongly believe that science advances only if knowledge is shared. Accordingly, we are very committed to promote education, internship programs and international collaborations.