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Neurocognition of Language

Group Members

Isabell Wartenburger


Professur für Patholinguistik

Email: isabell.wartenburger[at]uni-potsdam.de

Phone: ++49-331-9772928

Fax: ++49-331-9772095



Since June 2013: Professorship Patholinguistik

2007 - 2013: Junior Professorship Neurocognition of Language/ Neurolinguistics1 , University of Potsdam

2006 - 2009: Group Leader Neuroscience Research Center, Charité Berlin

2004 - 2007: Postdoctoral Fellow and Group Leader Berlin NeuroImaging Center, Charité Berlin

1999 - 2004: Doctoral student Berlin NeuroImaging Center, Charité Berlin

1998: Psychology Diploma University of Bielefeld

Research interests

Neural basis and development of higher cognitive functions and language processing by use of psychophysiological and brain imaging methods (fMRI, NIRS, EEG) across the life span.


Current projects in

FOR Crossing the Borders 


SFB 632





Zakariás, L., Keresztes, A., Marton, K., Wartenburger, I. (accepted). Positive Effects of a Computerized Working Memory and Executive Function Training on Sentence Comprehension in Aphasia. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation.

Holzgrefe-Lang, J., Wellmann, C., Petrone, C., Räling, R., Truckenbrodt, H., Höhle, B., Wartenburger, I. (accepted). How pitch change and final lengthening cue boundary perception in German: Converging evidence from ERPs and prosodic judgments. Language, Cognition & Neuroscience.

Gotzner, N., Wartenburger, I., Spalek, K. (2016). The impact of focus particles on the recognition and rejection of contrastive alternatives. Language and Cognition, 1-37. FirstView. doi:10.1017/langcog.2015.25

Lausberg, H., Kazzer, P., Heekeren, HR., Wartenburger, I. (2015). Pantomiming tool use with an imaginary tool in hand as compared to demonstration with tool in hand specifically modulates the left middle and superior temporal gyri. Cortex 71: 1-14. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2015.05.021.

Räling, R., Holzgrefe-Lang, J., Schröder, A. Wartenburger, I. (2015). On the influence of typicality and age of acquisition on semantic processing: Diverging evidence from behavioural and ERP responses. Neuropsychologia 75: 186-200. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2015.05.031.

Bos, LS., Hanne, S., Wartenburger, I., Bastiaanse, R. (2014). Losing track of time? Processing of time reference inflection in agrammatic and healthy speakers of German. Neuropsychologia 65: 180-190. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2014.10.026.

Burmester, J., Spalek, K. & Wartenburger, I. (2014). Context updating during sentence comprehension: The effect of aboutness topic. Brain and Language 137: 62-76. doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2014.08.001.

Spalek, K., Gotzner, N., Wartenburger, I. (2014). Not only the apples: Focus sensitive particles improve memory for information structural alternatives. J. Mem. Lang. 70: 68-84. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2013.09.001.

Holzgrefe, J., Schröder, C., Petrone, C., Truckenbrodt, H., Höhle, B., Wartenburger, I. (2013). Brain response to prosodic boundary cues depends on boundary position. Front. Psychology4:421. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00421.

Passow, S., Müller, M., Westerhausen, R., Hugdahl, K., Wartenburger, I., Heekeren, H., Lindenberger, U.,& Li, SC. (2013). Developement of attentional control of verbal auditory perceprtion from middle to late childhood: Comparisons to healthy aging. Dev. Psychol. 49(19), 1982.1993. doi: 10.1037/a0031207.

Mehnert, J., Akhrif, A., Telkemeyer, S., Rossi, S., Schmitz, C., Steinbrink, J., Wartenburger, I., Obrig, H., Neufang, S. (2012). Developmental changes in brain activation and functional connectivity during response inhibition in the early childhood brain. Brain Dev. V. doi:10.1016/j.braindev.2012.11.006

Wellmann, C., Holzgrefe, J., Truckenbrodt, H., Wartenburger, I. Höhle, B. (2012). How each prosodic boundary cue matters: Evidence from German infants. Front. Psychology 3:580. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00580doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00580.

Passow, S., Müller, M., Westerhausen, R., Hugdahl, K., Wartenburger, I., Heekeren, H., Lindenberger, U., Li, SC. (2012). Development of attentional control of verbal auditory perception from middle to late childhood: Comparisons to healthy aging. Dev. Psychol. doi: 10.1037/a0031207.

Passow, S., Westerhausen, R., Hugdahl, K., Wartenburger, I., Heekeren, H., Lindenberger, U., Li, SC. (2012). Electrophysiological Correlates of Adult Age Differences in Attentional Control of Auditory Processing. Cerebral Cortex. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhs306.

Schröder, A., Gemballa, T., Ruppin, S., Wartenburger, I. (2012). German norms for semantic typicality, age of acquisition, and concept familiarity. Behavior Research Methods 44(2): 380-394. (published online 2011) doi: 10.3758/s13428-011-0164-y.

Passow, S., Westerhausen, R., Wartenburger, I., Hugdahl, K., Heekeren, H., Lindenberger, U., Li, SC. (2012). Human aging compromises attentional control of auditory perception. Psychology and Aging 27(1): 99-105. (published online 2011) doi: 10.1037/a0025667.

Rossi, S., Telkemeyer, S.,  Wartenburger, I., Obrig, H. (2012). Shedding light on words and sentences: Near-infrared spectroscopy in language research. Brain and Language 121(2): 152-163. (published online 2011) doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2011.03.008.

Telkemeyer, S., Rossi, S., Nierhaus, T., Steinbrink, J., Obrig, H., Wartenburger, I. (2011). Acoustic processing of temporally modulated sounds in infants: evidence from a combined near-infrared spectroscopy and EEG study. Frontiers in Psychology 1(62). doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00062.

Sassenberg, U., Foth, M., Wartenburger, I., van der Meer, E. (2011). Show your hands – are you really clever? Reasoning, gesture production, and intelligence. Linguistics, 49(1): 105-134. doi: 10.1515/ling.2011.003.

Preusse, F., van der Meer, E., Deshpande, G., Krueger, F., Wartenburger, I. (2011). Fluid intelligence allows flexible recruitment of the parieto-frontal network in analogical reasoning. Frontiers Hum Neurosci. 5(22). doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2011.00022.

Rossi, S., Jürgenson, I.B. Hanulikova, A., Telkemeyer, S., *Wartenburger, I., *Obrig, H. (2010). Implicit processing of phonotactic cues: evidence from electrophysiological and vascular responses. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. Published online 28.7.2010. *equal contribution. (IF 2009: 5.382) doi:10.1162/jocn.2010.21547.

Obrig, H., Rossi, S., Telkemeyer, S., Wartenburger, I. (2010). From acoustic segmentation to language processing: evidence from optical imaging. Frontiers Neuroenerg., 2(13): 1-12. (peer-reviewed review article) doi: 10.3389/fnene.2010.00013.

Preusse, F., van der Meer, E., Ullwer, D., Brucks, M., Krueger, F., Wartenburger, I. (2010). Long-term characteristics of analogical processing in high-school students with high fluid intelligence. An fMRI study. ZDM - The International Journal on Mathematics Education. Published online 14.5.2010. doi: 10.1007/s11858-010-0259-4.

Bornemann, B., Horn, J., Foth, M., Ries, J., Kramer, J., Warmuth, E., Wartenburger, I., van der Meer, E. (2010). Mathematical cognition – Individual differences in resource allocation. ZDM - The International Journal on Mathematics Education. Published online 1.5.2010. doi: 0.1007/s11858-010-0253-x.

Friederici, A.D., Wartenburger, I. (2010). Language and brain. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 1(2): 150-159. (peer-reviewed review article) doi: 10.1002/wcs.9.

Wartenburger, I., Kühn, E., Sassenberg, U., Foth, M., Franz, E.A., van der Meer, E. (2010). On the relationship between fluid intelligence, gesture production, and brain structure. Intelligence, 38: 193-201. (IF 2008: 3.274) (published online 2009) doi:10.1016/j.intell.2009.11.001.

van der Meer, E., Beyer, R., Horn, J., Foth, M., Bornemann, B., Ries, J., Kramer, J., Warmuth, E., Heekeren, H.R., Wartenburger, I. (2010). Resource allocation and fluid intelligence: Insights from pupillometry. Psychophysiology, 47(1): 158-169. (IF 2008: 3.318) (published online 2009) doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2009.00884.x.

Telkemeyer. S., Rossi, S., Koch, S.P., Nierhaus, T., Steinbrink, J., Poeppel, D., *Obrig, H., *Wartenburger, I. (2009). Sensitivity of newborn auditory cortex to the temporal structure of sounds. Journal of Neuroscience, 29(47): 14726-14733. *equal contribution. (IF 2008: 7.452) doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1246-09.2009.

Mell, T., Wartenburger, I., Marschner, A., Villringer, A., Reischies, F.M., Heekeren, H.R. (2009). Altered function of ventral striatum during reward-based decision making in old age. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 3 (34): 1-10. doi: 10.3389/neuro.09.034.2009.

Wartenburger, I., Heekeren, H.R., Preusse, F., Kramer, J., van der Meer, E. (2009). Cerebral correlates of analogical processing and their modulation by training. Neuroimage, 48(1):291-302. (IF 2008: 5.694) doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.06.025.

Mériau, K., Wartenburger, I., Kazzer, P., Prehn, Villringer, A., van der Meer, E., Heekeren, HR. (2009). Insular activity during passive viewing of aversive stimuli. Brain and Cognition, 69(1): 73-80. (IF 2008: 2.441) doi:10.1016/j.bandc.2008.05.006.

Prehn, K., Wartenburger, I., Mériau, K., Scheibe, C., Goodenough, O.R., Villringer, A., van der Meer, E., Heekeren, H.R. (2008). Individual differences in moral judgment competence influence neural correlates of socio-normative judgments. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 3(1): 33-46. (IF: not listed) doi: 10.1093/scan/nsm037.

*Heekeren, HR., *Wartenburger, I., Marschner, A., Mell, T., Villringer, A., Reischies, FM. (2007). Role of ventral striatum in reward-based decision making. Neuroreport 18 (10) 951-955.*equal contribution. (IF 2007: 2.163) doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3281532bd7.

Wartenburger, I., Steinbrink,.J., Telkemeyer, S., Friedrich, M., Friederici, AD., Obrig, H. (2007). The processing of prosody: Evidence of interhemispheric specialization at the age of four. Neuroimage 34 (1) 416-25. (IF 2007: 5.457) doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2006.09.009.

Scheibe, C., Wartenburger, I., Wuestenberg, T., Kathmann, N., Villringer, A., Heekeren, HR. (2006). Neural correlates of the interaction between transient and sustained processes – a mixed blocked/event-related fMRI study. Human Brain Mapping 27(7) 545:51. (IF 2006: 4.888) doi:10.1002/hbm.20199.

Mériau, K., Wartenburger, I., Kazzer, P., Prehn, K., Lammers, CH., van der Meer, E., Villringer, A., Heekeren, HR. (2006). A neural network reflecting individual differences in cognitive processing of emotions during perceptual decision-making. Neuroimage 33 (3) 1016-27. (IF 2006: 5.559) doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2006.07.031.

Mell, T., Heekeren, HR., Marschner, A., Wartenburger, I., Villringer, A., Reischies, FM. (2005). Effect of aging on stimulus-reward association learning. Neuropsychologia, 43 (4) 554:63. (IF 2005: 4.119) doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2004.07.010.

Marschner, A., Mell, T., Wartenburger, I., Villringer, A., Reischies, FM., Heekeren, HR. (2005). Reward-based decision-making and aging. Brain Research Bulletin, 67 (5) 382:390. (IF 2005: 2.481) doi:10.1016/j.brainresbull.2005.06.010.

Heekeren, HR., Wartenburger, I., Schmidt, H., Prehn, K. Schwintowski, HP., Villringer, A. (2005). Influence of bodily harm on neural correlates of semantic and moral decision-making. Neuroimage, 24 (3) 887:97. (IF 2005: 5.288) doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2004.09.026.

Wartenburger, I., Heekeren, HR., Burchert, F., Heinemann, S., De Bleser, R., Villringer, A. (2004). Neural correlates of syntactic transformations. Human Brain Mapping 22 72:81. (IF 2004: 4.815) doi: 10.1002/hbm.20021.

Heekeren, HR., Wartenburger, I., Schmidt, H., Schwintowski, HP., Villringer, A. (2003). An fMRI study of simple ethical decision-making. Neuroreport 14 (9) 1215:19. (IF 2003: 2.503) doi: 10.1097/01.wnr.0000081878.45938.a7.

Cannestra, AF., Wartenburger, I., Obrig, H., Villringer, A., Toga, AW. (2003). Functional assessment of Broca’s area using near infrared spectroscopy in humans. Neuroreport 14 (15) 1961:65. (IF 2003: 2.503) doi: 10.1097/01.wnr.0000091691.72892.a5.

Wartenburger, I., Heekeren, HR., Burchert, F., De Bleser, R., Villringer, A. (2003). Grammaticality judgments on sentences with and without movement of phrasal constituents - an event-related fMRI-study. Journal of Neurolinguistics (16) 301:14. (IF 2003: 1.571) doi:10.1016/S0911-6044(03)00028-9.

Wartenburger, I., Heekeren, HR., Abutalebi, J., Cappa, SF., Villringer, A., Perani, D. (2003). Early setting of grammatical processing in the bilingual brain. Neuron 37 (1) 159:70. (IF 2003: 14.109) doi:10.1016/S0896-6273(02)01150-9.


Books and book chapters

Wartenburger, I. (2011). Gehirn und Sprache - Wie wir Sprache(n) erlernen und verarbeiten. In: Deutsch bewegt - Entwicklungen in der Auslandsgermanistik und Deutsch als Fremd- und Zweitsprache, H. Barkowski, S. Demmig, H. Funk & U. Würz, Hrsg., Schneider Verlag Hohengehren: pp. 363-372.

Wartenburger, I. (2010). Mehrsprachigkeit. In: Psycholinguistik, B. Höhle, Hrsg., Studienbuch Sprachwissenschaft, Akademie Verlag Berlin. Wartenburger, I. (2010). Sprache und Gehirn. In: Psycholinguistik, B. Höhle, Hrsg., Studienbuch Sprachwissenschaft, Akademie Verlag Berlin.

Stadie, N., Drenhaus, H., Höhle, B., Spalek, K., Wartenburger, I. (2010). Forschungsmethoden der Psycholinguistik. In: Psycholinguistik, B. Höhle, Hrsg., Studienbuch Sprachwissenschaft, Akademie Verlag Berlin.

Fritzsche, T., Drenhaus, H., Wartenburger, I. (2010). Experimentalplanung. In: Psycholinguistik, B. Höhle, Hrsg., Studienbuch Sprachwissenschaft, Akademie Verlag Berlin.

Böhme, R., Burmester, J., Krajewski, M., Nager, W., Jungehülsing, G.J., Schröder, A., Wartenburger, I. & Jöbges, M. (2010). Transkranielle Gleichstromstimulation (tDCS) – Zur Entwicklung einer Therapiestudie in der Behandlung von aphasischen Störungen des mündlichen Bildbenennens. In: Spektrum Patholinguistik - Band 3, M. Wahl, C. Stahn, S. Hanne & T. Fritzsche, Hrsg., Universitätsverlag Potsdam: pp. 167-173.

Wartenburger, I. (2006). Wie verändert der (Fremd-)Spracherwerb das Gehirn? - Einfluss von Erwerbsalter und Sprachleistungsniveau auf die kortikale Repräsentation grammatikalischer und semantischer Verarbeitungsprozesse. In: Umbrüche, H. Barkowski and A. Wolff, eds., Fachverband Deutsch als Fremdsprache (FaDaF), Regensburg: pp. 55-71.


1funded by the Stifterverband für die Deusche Wissenschaft (Claussen-Simon-Stiftung)


Prof. Dr. Isabell Wartenburger
Universität Potsdam
Department of Linguistics
Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 24-25
14476 Potsdam


Tel: 0331-977 2946
Email: babylab@uni-potsdam.de


Tel: 0331-977 2753 (AB)
Email: Sprachlabor@uni-potsdam.de



Universität Potsdam, Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät, Institut für Linguistik - Professur für Neurolinguistik