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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2021/22 Prof. Dr. Evelyn C. Ferstl

Prof. Dr. Evelyn C. Ferstl

University of Freiburg
Cognitive Science and Gender Studies

Internal Senior Fellow
October 2021 - July 2022

Room 01 028
Phone +49 (0)761 203 97342
Fax +49 (0)761 203 97451


After studying mathematics in Munich, Evelyn Ferstl moved to the US to pursue a degree in Cognitive Science. She received a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Colorado in Boulder, USA,  in 1995. At the Max-Planck-Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience in Leipzig, and the Day Clinic for Cognitive Rehabilitation in Leipzig, she expanded her research interests in discourse comprehension and communication to include neurolinguistic patient studies and neuroimaging methodology. After her habilitation in 2006 and a fellowship at the Hanse-Institute of Advanced Studies in Delmenhorst, she held an appointment as Senior Lecturer for Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Sussex in Brighton, UK, from 2006-2010. Since 2011, Evelyn Ferstl has been professor for Cognitive Science and Gender Studies at the Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg.


Selected Publications

  • Ferstl, E. C. (2021, in press). Context in Language Comprehension. To appear in K. Federmeier & L. Sahakyan (Eds.), The Context of Cognition: Emerging Perspectives, Psychology of Learning and Motivation, Vol. 75.
  • Schmitt, J. M., Auer, P. & Ferstl, E. C. (2019). Understanding fairy tales spoken in dialect: An fMRI study. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 34(4), 440-456. doi:10.1080/23273798.2018.1533139.
  • Ferstl, E. C. (2018). Text comprehension. In S.-A. Rueschemeyer & G. Gaskell (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Psycholinguistics, 2nd ed. (pp. 197-216). Oxford, Oxford University Press.
  • Ferstl, E. C., Israel, L., & Putzar, L. (2017). Humor facilitates text comprehension: Evidence from eye movements. Discourse Processes, 54(4), 259-284. doi:10.1080/0163853X.2015.1131583
  • Ferstl, E. C. & Kaiser, A. (2013). Sprache und Geschlecht: Wie quantitative Methoden aus der Experimental- und Neuropsychologie einen Beitrag zur Geschlechterforschung leisten können. GENDER: Zeitschrift für Geschlecht, Kultur und Gesellschaft, 5(3), 9-25.


FRIAS Research Project

Diversity in Language and Cognition

Language use is greatly influenced by a variety of individual characteristics of the communication partners, such as age, gender, or the linguistic and/or cultural background. A better understanding of the impact of such diversity dimensions on language processing is crucial, since institutions strive for creating an inclusive environment, but struggle with the challenges posed by the resulting diversity. This research focus aims to explore how the experimental language sciences can be enriched by including individual person characteristics. Neuro- and psycholinguistic research on the respective diversity dimensions has been conducted in rather separate research communities. In contrast, scholars in gender studies have stressed the importance of integrating the dimensions and considering them in concert. Intersectionality, as this approach is termed, has been applied in qualitative studies on inequality and discrimination in society, but its potential for quantitative studies on language has not yet been discussed. By bringing together researchers from linguistics, cognitive science and gender studies we aim to promote the interdisciplinary exchange about diversity in language.