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Brain and Cognitive Sciences
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Jeanette Scheaffer

I teach the elective Cognition and Language Development, a fascinating course, because it brings together different disciplines (cognition, linguistics, neuroscience) and students from various backgrounds. I also sometimes guide Research Projects in the RMA Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and give guest lectures in other master’s courses.

I am a linguist, with a PhD from UCLA in language acquisition. I investigate the language development of typical and atypical child populations, and am particularly interested in the interplay of different components of language (for example, syntax and pragmatics), and of language and other part of cognition (Theory of Mind, Executive Function, Intelligence, ....).

The interdisciplinarity of the RMA Brain and Cognitive Sciences is one of its strongest aspects. As I mentioned above, the interdisciplinarity in my elective Cognition and Language Development is enhanced by the different backgrounds of the students: logicians, linguists, cognitive and neuroscientists, and students from artificial intelligence exchange ideas, bringing their knowledge of cognition and linguistics to a higher level, resulting in novel ideas for future research on cognition and language.