Neural origins of language and communication (Neurocom)

The Neurocom project is an international collaboration funded by the European Commission from 2005 to 2008. The partners were G. Orban (Leuven), S. Dehaene, C. Pallier and G. Dehaene-Lambertz (Orsay), G. Rizzolatti and L. Fogassi (Parma), G. Gergely (Budapest) and E. Dupoux and F. Ramus (Paris).

This project investigates the neural substrate of language and communication faculties in adult humans, babies and monkeys. The project focuses on the neural substrates of different communication channels (speech, calls, emotional utterances and gestures), the neural processing of action interpretation and of communicative referential cues. Finally, the core of language (recursion) will be investigated by studying hierarchical structure in language and grammar at the behavioural and neural level. The expected result is an informed view on what is uniquely human in the language faculty and a deeper understanding of the homology between human and monkey cortex.

Joly, O., Pallier, C., Ramus, F., Pressnitzer, D., Vanduffel, W., & Orban, G. A. (2012). Processing of vocalizations in humans and monkeys: A comparative fMRI study. NeuroImage, 62, 1376-1389.

Joly, O., Ramus, F., Pressnitzer, D., Vanduffel, W., & Orban, G. A. (2012). Interhemispheric differences in auditory processing revealed by fMRI in awake rhesus monkeys. Cerebral Cortex, 22, 838-853. 

Minagawa-Kawai, Y., van der Lely, H. K. J., Ramus, F., Sato, Y., Mazuka, R., & Dupoux, E. (2011). Optical brain imaging reveals auditory general and language-specific processing in early infant development. Cerebral Cortex, 21, 254-261.preprint