Claudia Männel

Dr. Claudia Männel

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I am a Postdoc at the Neuropsychology department of the MPI-CBS in Leipzig. My research agenda focuses on the neurocognitive mechanisms of early language acquisition. Specifically, I study infants’ initial ability to extract phonological and statistical patterns from the speech input – as precursors of children’s lexical and syntax acquisition.

In the Leipzig-based project of P1, we will use eye-tracking and event-related potentials (ERPs) to study the developmental trajectory of children’s ability to extract and generalize abstract rules between non-adjacent elements in predictive sequences. Our previous ERP work revealed that 3- to 4-month-old infants can discriminate grammatical and ungrammatical non-adjacent dependencies following only brief exposure. In contrast, adults only showed grammar learning when they performed an explicit grammaticality judgment task, but not under passive listening (Friederici, Müller, & Oberecker, 2011; Mueller, Friederici & Männel, 2012). We postulate that these differences between infant and adult learning can be explained by a developmental shift from purely associative to more controlled learning. In the current project, we will determine when during children’s first three years of life this shift occurs and examine its relation to children’s cognitive development.


Prof. Dr. Angela Friederici (Max Planck Instititute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig)

Prof. Dr. Isabell Wartenburger (University of Potsdam)

Prof. Dr. Birgit Elsner (University of Potsdam)


Poster Publications

Adult processing of non-adjacent dependencies in the linguistic and non-linguistic domain (van der Kant, Männel, Paul, Höhle, Friederici & Wartenburger)