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Project group "Language Dynamics across the Life Span"

JunProf. Adriana Hanulikova (University of Freiburg); Dr. Alice Blumenthal-Dramé (University of Freiburg); Dr. Tonio Ball (University of Freiburg); Prof. Dr. Evelyn Ferstl (University of Freiburg)

Over the last years, cognitive aging has attracted a great deal of scholarlyattention, partly due to the global demographic trend towards aging populations and the economic, medical and social challenges this poses. While cognitive aging research has mostly focused on age-related deficits, it has also been acknowledged that certain cognitive functions might be preserved or even improved as a function of age. A possible candidate for a cognitive ability that might remain largely intact across the life span is language comprehension.However, the neuro-functional underpinnings and the pervasiveness of this presumed resilience to age (both across individuals and across language levels like sounds, meaning and grammar) are still a matter of debate. The present project addresses this topic by joining forces between Freiburg researchers from different disciplines with a common interest in language processing. Using complementary brain-mapping and behavioral methods, the team members will compare age groups on the basis of a novel battery of tests, exchange with guest researchers and make the topic accessible to a broader university public.