What does it mean to be human, and what’s language got to do with it?

The Cognitive Biology of Language Group is led by Cedric Boeckx (ICREA Research Professor) and it’s based at the University of Barcelona. The group focuses on the neurobiological foundations of the human capacity to naturally acquire grammatical systems. As such, we don’t study languages, and focus instead of the neurobiological scaffolding that shapes our ability to learn them.
We believe that the human capacity for language is the result of a complex interplay between nature and nurture, and that the mosaic nature of this capacity demands a broad comparative method, recognizing the mental richness of other species. It also demands an analysis bridging several levels of description: the molecular, the cellular, the cognitive, and ultimately the behavioral.
In doing so, we want to contribute to an integrative research program for the language sciences.