Institut für Kognitionswissenschaft

Institute of Cognitive Science


Osnabrück University navigation and search


Main content

Top content

Evolution of Language

Why do people use language for communication and thinking? The ability to speak is unique in the animal kingdom. However, some parts of the language may not be. For example, many birds can form complex sound sequences and primates can communicate with different gestures and sounds. We are concerned with the question of which learning processes involved in language acquisition can be found in other related and non-related species. In this way, we want to better understand how the brain has acquired the ability to speak in the course of evolution.

A list of selected publications:

Mueller, J.L., ten Cate, C. & Toro, J. (2018). A comparative perspective on the role of acoustic cues in detecting language structure. Topics in Cognitive Science.
http://doi.org/10.1111/tops.12373

Mueller, J.L., Milne, A.E., Männe,l C.: Non-adjacent auditory sequence learning across development and primate species. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 2018, 21:112–119 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cobeha.2018.04.002

Milne, A. E., Mueller, J. L., Männel, C., Attaheri, A., Friederici, A. D. & Petkov, C. I. (2016). Evolutionary origins of non-adjacent sequence processing in primate brain potentials. Scientific Reports 6, 36259.
https://doi.org/10.1038/srep36259