This course is discontinued

PSY4306 – Neurolinguistics

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Course content

Neurolinguistics is the study of the neural mechanisms underlying the acquisition, use, comprehension, and production of language in the brain. This is an interdisciplinary field informed by theoretical linguistics and psycholinguistics as well as cognitive neuroscience, neuropsychology, computer science and evolutionary linguistics.

Learning outcome

The course gives an overview of elementary linguistics including syntactic organization and word classes, word formation and declension, valency and information structure in a cross-linguistic perspective, tying in with present-day knowledge on the neural substrates and functioning of central sub-disciplines of language competence. Neurolinguistic theories are discussed, as well as the major experimental techniques employed to investigate them. The course explores the anatomical basis for language in the human brain, also including more recent knowledge on the roles of frontal areas (for social function) and subcortical areas (for grammatical function). An introductory presentation to possible human specializations for language is offered including lateralization, genetics, and basic cross-species comparisons that furnish an evolutionary understanding of the human language faculty. Finally, we look at how stages of brain development parallels with first language acquisition.


The goal of this course is to enable the student to read, critically assess and present research papers within the field of neurolinguistics, so as to give an up-to-date overview of major topics and recent advances in the field, and provide a basis for writing a master’s thesis on a selected topic. Students are expected to organize in groups to present papers on given topics throughout the course.



Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Students should have passed the PSY2302 Brain and Cognition in the bachelor’s program or possess equivalent knowledge on brain functioning from other universities. It is also helpful if students have previous knowledge of any branch of linguistics and even if they master one or more foreign languages.


The teaching is organized in seminars and the students are required to present during the seminars.


The exam will be in the form of a term paper and an approved oral presentation during course.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language