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Evolinguistics Workshop 2019

Hierarchy, intention sharing, and language evolution: Beyond interdisciplinary conceptual barriers

May 25th and 26th, 2019, Tokyo, Japan


University of Tokyo, Komaba I Campus, KOMCEE EAST K211 & K212 (Map)

  • May 25th from 13:00 to 17:40 (Reception 18:00 - 20:00)

  • May 26th from 09:30 to 17:30

Download program and abstracts

This event is funded by Evolinguistics project (http://evolinguistics.net/), but organized in cooperation with the Language and Music in Cognition (as a part of digital learning)!

Evolinguistics is a new interdisciplinary research field focusing on co-creative language evolution, with hierarchy and intention sharing as two core concepts. Integrating theoretical, empirical-experimental, modelling and other approaches, it tackles hard challenges including the mind/brain interface problems (Poeppel and Embick 2005; Embick and Poeppel 2015) and broad cross-species comparative studies of cognition (De Waal and Ferrari 2010).

This workshop on evolinguistics aims to promote interdisciplinary communication between researchers and students of a variety of relevant fields, including but not limited to linguistics, psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, biology, anthropology, archaeology and computer modeling, in the hope of integrating research methods and findings from these different disciplines.

Among major topics to be discussed will be:
-    Origins and evolution of human language
-    Hierarchy in language and other domains of human and/or non-human cognition
-    Intention sharing in humans and/or non-human animals
-    Hierarchy, intention sharing, and recursion

Of particular interest is:
-    Understanding hierarchy and intention sharing from an integrative perspective

Structure of the workshop

Invited talks:
Cedric Boeckx (ICREA/U Barcelona)
John Du Bois (UC Santa Barbara)
Sabrina Engesser (U Zurich)
Erin Hecht (Harvard)
Julia Udden (Stockholm U)

Oral presentations of original works by participants

Discussions to work out some basic concepts of hierarchy and intention sharing for language evolution research on the basis of the presentations

Call for proposals – Oral presentation (Closed)
You can still submit online presentation!

The workshop provides two formats for the oral presentation:
-    Short talks: 20 min (e.g., 15 min talk + 5 min discussion)
-    Long talks: 40 min (e.g., 30 min talk + 10 min discussion)

Please submit an abstract (no more than 300 words) by using the template by April 26th, 2019 (23:59, UTC+1, Central European Time). We may stop receiving submissions even before the deadline if there are already ample abstracts accepted.

Please use this template for your abstract
Please apply here <https://airtable.com/shrcUnI15EsoFjnBA>

Note 1: Please submit your abstract in English.
Note 2: The oral presentation can be given in English or Japanese. (Please make your slides in English regardless of your oral presentation language.)
Note 3: The word limit refers to the main text body. It does not apply to the title, author information, and references.
Note 4: Please use the file name “FirstName_FamilyName.pdf” (ex. John_Smith.pdf).
Note 5: Please include the author information in the abstract.

If you cannot make it for coming to Japan, but would like to contribute to this workshop via online materials (e.g., short video talks or posters with audio guide), please submit your abstract and indicate this in the submission form.

All abstracts will be peer reviewed. You will get the notification of acceptance as soon as we got the reviewers’ comments.

If you have any question regarding the abstract submission, please contact Rie Asano (rie.asanoSpamProtectionuni-koeln.de)!

This workshop is funded by Evolinguistics: Integrative Studies of Language Evolution for Co-creative Communication, and organized by Koji Fujita (Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan) and Rie Asano (University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany)

Contact: Koji Fujita (fujita.koji.3xSpamProtectionkyoto-u.ac.jp)

+++Vergangene Veranstaltungen (Past events)+++

Workshop: Neuroscientific methods in language and music cognition research

November 22nd, 2018, 12-18h

Alter Seminarraum, Musikwissenschaftliches Institut, Hauptgebäude der Universität zu Köln (Map)

Registration: https://airtable.com/shrdFeDJMbuVJbtmZ

This workshop introduces to different methods of cognitive neuroscience used in language and music cognition research for investigating language and music as neurocognitive systems, i.e., information processing systems in the mind/brain. The workshop serves as platform facilitating communication between researchers and students from the arts, the humanities, and the sciences. It strives for an integrative approach in language and music cognition research, i.e., how to integrate empirical findings from different disciplines and how to foster cross-disciplinary theoretical understanding. Topics of discussion are methodological questions concerning the relation of empirical neurocognitive research to clinical applications as well as to theoretical perspectives, and concerning ways how neurocognitive processes might be examined in future research.

Invited Speakers

  • Andrea E. Martin (MPI for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen)
  • Jan Niklas Petry-Schmelzer (Department of Neurology, University Hospital Cologne)
  • Michael Schwartze (Neuropsychology and Psychopharmacology, Maastricht University)
  • Edna Cieslik (Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine – Brain Behaviour, Research Centre Jülich)


12:00    Registration
12:15    Introduction
12:30    Jan Niklas Petry-Schmelzer
"An introduction to the anatomy of the brain"
13:30    Edna Cieslik
"How to perform a neuroimaging meta-analysis"
14:30    Coffee break
15:00    Michael Schwartze
"Predictive adaptation to change in audition: principles, event-related-potentials, lesion-symptom mapping"
16:00    Andrea E. Martin
"How artificial and cortical neural networks can learn and compute hierarchy from time (in a compositional way)"
17:00    Short break
17:15    Discussions
17:45    Closing remarks


Rie Asano (rie.asanoSpamProtectionuni-koeln.de) and Doris Mücke (doris.mueckeSpamProtectionuni-koeln.de)


Poster entworfen von Michelle Kühn (Poster designed by Michelle Kühn)

Brain mechanisms for hierarchical structure building in language and mathematics

Michiru Makuuchi
Neuropsychology, National Rehabilitation Center
for Persons with Disabilities, Japan

July 5th, 2018
Alter Seminarraum
Musikwissenschaftliches Institut,
Hauptgebäude der Universität zu Köln

The room of the talk is still subject to change.

Registration: Rie Asano (rie.asanoSpamProtectionuni-koeln.de)


The hallmark of language is hierarchical structure, which organizes words into phrases and phrases into clauses to determine the meaning of the sentence. Compared to rather simple animal sound communication, human language has more complex structure, e.g., centre embedding structure. Uniquely human centre embedding structure is generated by context-free grammar which is theoretically more complex than regular grammar that both humans and animals have. fMRI studies revealed that centre embedding structures, in symbol sequence and in natural language, are processed in Broca’s area, suggesting the language centre in the brain may serve as a processor for hierarchical structures in a broader range. These results naturally led us to conjecture that hierarchical structures in other cognitive domains such as mathematics and music may be treated in Broca’s area in the same vein. Using fMRI, we demonstrated that Broca’s area is involved in hierarchical structure building in mathematics as well as in language.

Workshop on Evolutionary Simulation using NetLogo

This workshop introduces neophytes to evolutionary simulation and computation using NetLogo 6.0.2. NetLogo is a programming and simulation environment for multi-agent based modeling and allows us to simulate natural or social phenomena interactively. Evolutionary simulation uses algorithms inspired by biological dynamics that evolve adaptively to an environment. Research questions are conceived of as optimization problems. This approach to problem solving is used to search for (quasi-)optimal solutions according to a fitness function.

Requirements: This course is for beginners. No experience in programming, agent-based modeling, or evolutionary simulation is required.

Workshop language: English
Lecturer: Genta Toya (Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST), Japan)

Date: November 3–4, 2017 / 10:00-17:00
Room: Systematischer Arbeitsraum, Institute of Musicology, University of Cologne, Albertus-Magnus-Platz, 50923 Köln

Workshop plan:

Day 1 10:00-16:30
10:00-11:30: Introduction to Evolutionary Simulation and Genetic Algorithms (1.5 hour)
12:00-13:30: Tutorial: NetLogo (1.5 hour)
15:00-16:30: "Predatory & Prey" using Evolutionary Simulation (1.5 hour)

Day 2 10:00-16:30
10:00-11:30: Programming Agent’s Behavior (1.5 hour)
12:00-13:30: Programming Evolutionary Simulation (1.5 hour)
15:00-16:30: Modification (1.5 hour)

Please include full name + Matrikelnummer


Installing Netlogo

Download link:

1. We use the newest version of NetLogo, i.e. NetLogo 6.0.2.
2. After providing you name, organization and E-Mail, you can proceed to download NetLogo for your respective operating system (Win 64/32-Bit, Linux, Mac OSX).
3. Run the downloaded installer and install NetLogo in the desired folder/directory.

An introduction to NetLogo will be given by Marvin Heimerich during the workshop.