April 2012




membershipMembership Open for SNL 2012


The new Society for the Neurobiology of Language website is live and membership is open for the 2012 year. You must renew your membership for 2012 to be eligible to submit an abstract and to receive discounted registration rates. Membership is on a calendar year basis.


To renew your membership or join SNL, go to www.neurolang.org.


ProgramNLC 2012 Scientific Program


Consistent with our developing tradition, the fourth annual meeting of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language to be held October 25-25 in San Sebastian, Spain will present two keynote speakers and two scintillating debates about the role of the insula in speech and language and the role of the angular gyrus in semantic processing.


State-of-the-art keynotes will be delivered by Barbara L. Finlay and Nikos K. Logothetis.


Keynote Session #1


Barbara K. Finlay

Beyond columns and areas: developmental gradients and regionalization of the neocortex and their likely consequences for functional organization.


Barbara Finlay is a Professor of Psychology, Cornell University. Professor Finlay holds the William R. Kenan Chair of Psychology and is co-Editor of Brain and Behavioral Sciences. Finlay is an expert on the evolution and development of sensory systems and the cerebral cortex.


Keynote Session #2


Nikos K. Logothetis

In vivo Connectivity: Paramagnetic Tracers, Electrical Stimulation & Neural-Event Triggered fMRI


Nikos Logothetis is the Director of the Department of Cognitive Processes at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tubingen, Germany. Logothetis is well known for his studies of the physiological mechanisms underlying visual perception and object recognition as well as his more recent work on measurements of how the functional magnetic resonance imaging signal relate to neural activity.


Discussion Panel #1


Nina F. Dronkers vs Julius Fridriksson

What is the role of the insula in speech and language? 


Nina Dronkers is the Director of the Center for Aphasia and Related Disorders, and Adjunct Professor of Neurology and Language, U.C. Davis, California. Dronkers is an expert in the Aphasia and more generally the cerebral localization of language.


Julius Fridriksson is a Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of South Carolina, and Director of the Aphasia Laboratory, UNC. Fridriksson is well known for his work in aphasia - neuroimaging and treatment.


Discussion Panel #2


Matthew Lambon Ralph vs Jeffrey R. Binder

Role of Angular Gyrus in Semantic Processing


Matt Lambon Ralph is a Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Associate Vice-President Research, University of Manchester, U.K. His lab uses neuropsychology, computational modeling, TMS, and functional neuroimaging to investigage semantic memory, language, recovery, rehabilitation, and neuroplasticity.


Jeffrey Binder, M.D. is a Professor of Neurology at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Director of the Language Imaging Laboratory. Professor Binder has made important contributions on the neural basis of language (esp. speech and word recognition) and is the incoming president of SNL.

Upcoming Dates & Deadlines


Cal for Submissions 

April 13, 2012 



Submissions Deadline
June 25, 2012



NLC 2012 

San Sebastian, Spain

October  25-27, 2012 





In This Issue


 April Job Postings and Announcements



Job Postings & Announcements

If you have a job posting, general announcement or a conference/workshop posting you would like to include in the SNL newsletter,

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JobsJob Postings and Announcements


Postdoctoral Position/Cognitive Neuroscience Language Lab/U. Maryland

Applications are solicited for a postdoctoral position in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Language lab at the University of Maryland Department of Linguistics to conduct fMRI research on written and spoken language comprehension. This postdoctoral fellow will work with Dr. Ellen Lau to implement fMRI research projects, oversee the establishment of fMRI analysis pipelines, and provide support to PhD students conducting fMRI experiments. The appointment would be for one year beginning in Fall or Winter 2012, with possibility of renewal for a second year. Applicants should have a PhD in cognitive neuroscience, psychology, linguistics, or a related field, and demonstrated experience conducting language processing research with fMRI. International applicants are welcome.  


The Department of Linguistics (http://ling.umd.edu) is part of a large and vibrant community of language scientists across the UMD campus (http://languagescience.umd.edu/). The 3T MRI scanner was installed on campus last year as the centerpiece of the new Maryland Neuroimaging Center, and the department also houses state-of-the-art facilities for conducting EEG and MEG research.


Applicants should send a cover letter, a statement of research interests, relevant manuscripts and publications, and 3 letters of reference to Dr. Ellen Lau at ellenlau@umd.edu.


The information in this e-mail is intended only for the person to whom it is addressed. If you believe this e-mail was sent to you in error and the e-mail contains patient information, please contact the Partners Compliance HelpLine at http://www.partners.org/complianceline . If the e-mail was sent to you in error but does not contain patient information, please contact the sender and properly dispose of the e-mail.


Several Post-bac Positions Available at the University of Maryland   

The University of Maryland is looking to fill up to five full-time positions for post-bac researchers. Starting date: Summer/Fall 2012. Salary competitive, with benefits. The positions are ideal for graduates interested in gaining research experience in a very active lab as preparation for a research career. US or Canadian citizens or permanent residents only; BA or BS required by time of appointment. The ability to interact comfortably with a wide variety of people (and machines) is a distinct advantage. Applicants may request to be considered for all five positions. Positions are open until filled, but best consideration date is April 20th.


Positions #1-#2: Baggett Research Fellowships


Baggett Fellowships are full-time positions. Fellows can pursue research in linguistics, cognitive (neuro-)science, or computational modeling of language. 1-2 positions are available for 2012-2013. Positions are for 1 year and not renewable. Contact: Andrea Zukowski, zukowski@umd.edu. Further details including faculty mentor list at: http://www.ling.umd.edu/baggett


Position #3: Research Assistant in Psycholinguistics/Cognitive Neuroscience


This person will be involved in studies of language comprehension using behavioral and electrophysiological techniques (training provided). The person will also contribute to Maryland's IGERT training program in Language Science, http://languagescience.umd.edu. Previous research experience preferred. 1 year initial appointment, possibility of extension. Contact: Colin Phillips, colin@umd.edu.


Position #4: Research Assistant in Psycholinguistics/Cognitive Neuroscience


This person will be involved in projects examining language comprehension with behavioral and neurophysiological methods including ERP, MEG, and fMRI (training provided). Previous experience in linguistics and/or language processingis preferred; reasonable comfort with basic programming and statistics is a significant plus. 1 year initial appointment with possibility of extension. Contact: Ellen Lau, ellenlau@umd.edu.


Position #5: MEG Laboratory Manager


This person will play a leading role in the operation of an MEG facility managed by the Department of Linguistics but serving researchers from many departments. The person will be trained as an expert user and will guide other users, coordinate resources, and manage the smooth daily operation of the lab. The person will also help to coordinate the relocation of the lab to the new Maryland Neuroimaging Center. Opportunities to participate in research projects and a range of other intellectual activities in language and cognitive neuroscience. Previous lab experience preferred. Prior experience with MEG is NOT required. 1 year initial appointment, with the possibility of extension.

Contact: lab co-directors Colin Phillips (Linguistics, colin@umd.edu) or Jonathan Simon (Electrical Engineering, jzsimon@umd.edu).


Applicants for any of the positions should submit a cover letter outlining relevant background and interests, including potential faculty mentors; current CV; writing sample; names and contact information for 3 referees. Letters are not needed for the initial application. All application materials should be submitted electronically. Individuals may submit one application and specify which positions they are interested in. 


The Department of Linguistics has facilities for testing of infants, children and adults, 2 eye-tracking labs, ERP and MEG labs. The department is part of a vibrant language science community of 200 researchers across 10 departments.




Aix-en-Provence, France, 3-5 September 2012

Second call for communications - Website: http://isics2012.sciencesconf.org/



In the course of a conversational interaction, the behavior of each talker often tends to become more similar to that of the conversational partner. Such convergence effects have been shown to manifest themselves under many different forms, which include posture, body movements, facial expressions, and speech. Imitative speech behavior is a phenomenon that may be actively exploited by talkers to facilitate their conversational exchange. It occurs, by definition, within a social interaction, but has consequences for language that extend much beyond the temporal limits of that interaction. It has been suggested that imitation plays an important role in speech development and may also form one of the key mechanisms that underlie the emergence and evolution of human languages. The behavioral tendency shown by humans to imitate others may be connected at the brain level with the presence of mirror neurons, whose discovery has raised important issues about the role that these neurons may fulfill in many different domains, from sensorimotor integration to the understanding of others' behaviour.


The focus of this international symposium will be the fast-growing body of research on convergence phenomena between speakers in speech. The symposium will also aim to assess current research on the brain and cognitive underpinnings of imitative behavior. Our main goal will be to bring together researchers with a large variety of scientific backgrounds (linguistics, speech sciences, psycholinguistics, experimental sociolinguistics, neurosciences, cognitive sciences) with a view to improving our understanding of the role of imitation in the production, comprehension and acquisition of spoken language.


The symposium is organized by the laboratoire Parole et Langage, CNRS and Aix-Marseille University, Aix-en-Provence, France (www.lpl.univ-aix.fr). It will be chaired by Noell Nguyen (LPL) and Marc Sato (GIPSA-Lab, Grenoble), and will be held in the Maison Medditerranenne des Sciences Humaines.



Luciano Fadiga, University of Ferrara, Italy

Maeva Garnier, GIPSA-Lab, Grenoble, France

Simon Garrod, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom

Beatrice Szczepek Reed, University of York, United Kingdom



Papers are invited on the topics covered by the symposium. Abstracts not exceeding 2 pages must be submitted electronically and in pdf format by 15 April 2012 (http://isics2012.sciencesconf.org/). They will be selected by the Scientific Committee on the basis of their scientific merit and relevance to the symposium. Notifications of acceptance/rejection will be sent to the authors by 31 May 2012.



- 15 April 2012: Abstract submission deadline

- 31 May 2012: Notification of acceptance / rejection

- 30 June 2012: Early registration deadline


13th Neural Computation and Psychology Workshop (NCPW13) to be held in San Sebastian (Spain) from July 12-14, 2012

We cordially invite you to participate in the 13th Neural Computation and Psychology Workshop (NCPW13) to be held in San Sebastian (Spain) from July 12-14, 2012: http://www.bcbl.eu/events/ncpw13


This well-established and lively workshop aims at bringing together researchers from different disciplines such as artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer science, neurobiology, philosophy and psychology to discuss their work on models of cognitive processes. Previous themes have encompassed categorisation, language, memory, development, action. There will be no specific theme, but papers must be about emergent models -- frequently, but not necessarily -- of the connectionist/neural network kind, applied to cognition. These workshops have always been characterised by their limited size, high quality papers, the absence of parallel talk sessions, and a schedule that is explicitly designed to encourage interaction among the researchers present in an informal setting.


Furthermore, this workshop will feature a unique set of invited speakers:


- Mark Seidenberg. University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.

- Jeffrey Elman. University of California, San Diego. USA.

- Randall C. O'Reilly. University of Colorado. USA.

- Kim Plunkett. University of Oxford, UK.


Important dates to remember:


Abstract deadline: March 31st, 2012

Notification of abstract acceptance: May 1st, 2012

Early registration deadline: June 1st, 2012

Online registration deadline: July 1st, 2012

Conference dates: July 12 - 14, 2012




The Rumelhart Memorial Travel awards, generously funded by Professor Jay McClelland, will provide funding to support travel costs for students presenting at the conference. Awards of US$250 are available to students from Western European countries, and US$750 for students from elsewhere. 



San Sebastian, Spain

October 25 - 27, 2012

San Sabastian, Spain


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Society for the Neurobiology of Language