Skip to main content

News from the RF Cognitive Sciences (UFSKW)


USFKW Newsletter

The December 2023 - January 2024 issue of the UFSKW Newsletter (in German) is available here.


UFSKW Newsletter

The September/October/November 2023 issue of the UFSKW Newsletter (in German) is available here.

Foto : Lena Staedler

Cognitive scientist Dr Lisa Schwetlick is awarded the 17th Potsdam Prize for Young Scientists

In recognition of her outstanding achievements in the field of cognitive science, Dr Lisa Schwetlick will be awarded the Potsdam Prize for Young Scientists at the Einstein Day of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Mayor Mike Schubert will present her with the €5,000 prize in the Nikolaisaal of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities on 1 December.

You can read the full press release (in German) here.

Foto : Lena Staedler

UFSKW Newsletter

The August 2023 issue of the UFSKW Newsletter (in German) is available here.

Guest Lectures: Judit Gervain (Università degli Studi di Padova, Italy)

Judit Gervain, a Mercator Fellow in the DFG Research Unit 2254 'Crossing the Borders' and a collaboration partner in the Excellence Cluster proposal DYCOBE, will visit Potsdam from June 12-16, 2023. She will give to guest lectures:

  • Monday, June 12th  at 12:30 (Language Acquisition Colloquium, Campus Golm, Building 14, Room 0.15): Neural oscillations in the service of speech processing and language learning during the first year of life
  • Tuesday, June 13th at 16:15 (joint Developmental Psychology and Neurolinguistics Colloquium, Campus Golm, Building 14, Room 0.47): What deaf infants’ speech perception abilities tell us about brain plasticity

In person attendence is preferred, but in urgent cases we can provide a Zoom link (please contact Caro Meier, sek.epsyuni-potsdamde). If you would like to join our self-payed dinner on Tuesday (13th) in the evening (Potsdam city center, ca. 19:00), please register before June 8th here.  If you would like to talk with Judit about your work, please send an email to isabell.wartenburgeruni-potsdamde.

More information on Judit's work here.

Tag der Kognitionswissenschaften 2023

This year's edition of the Tag der Kognitionswissenschaften will take place on June 12, from 14:00 in Campus Golm. We will start in Building 06 (room 1.01) with the presentations of the four PhD candidates currently being funded by the UFSKW (Friederike Contier, Pelin Celikkol, Monica Vanoncini and Marie Hansen). Then we will move to Building 14 (room 0.47), where the general meeting of the UFSKW members will take place.  This will be followed by a potluck.

You can view the programme and abstracts of the presentationshere.

Save the date!

Guest talk by Andriy Myachykov (Northumbria University) on 'Crosslinguistic Interplay and Cognitive Reserve in Bilinguals'.

Abstract: The mechanisms underlying second language learning and use remain at the center of research in psychology, linguistics, and neuroscience. On one hand, research continues to elucidate the interplay between the co-existing linguistic codes in a bilingual mind. On the other hand, while research has indicated that speaking more than one language leads to potential advantages related to cognitive control, memory, and healthy ageing, the exact neurocognitive mechanisms of this interplay remain unclear.
My talk will, therefore, have two parts. First, I will offer an overview of our behavioural and neurophysiological data providing new evidence about rapid cross-linguistic interplay in late/unbalanced bilinguals. Second, I will discuss our ongoing studies documenting the effect of L2 proficiency on the cognitive control function in late bilinguals. Most importantly, I will argue that bilingualism, operationalized as a continuous factor, can be viewed as an important contributor to neurocognitive reserve – an individual’s ability to compensate for age-related neural deterioration and optimize cognitive performance.

When/Where: April 14, 11:00-12:00 CEST, only on Zoom
Meeting-ID: 662 7314 2427
Password: 34990648


The Day of the UFSKW 2022

On Monday, June 13th, 2022, this year's day of the UFSKW with general assembley took place. We also heard exciting talks about the UFSKW-funded PhD projects - thank you for the great insights!

At the general assembley, the speaker, Birgit Elsner, and the board, consisting of Birgit Elsner, Ralf Engbert, Martin Fischer, Sebastian Reich, Isabell Wartenburger and Mathias Weymar, were re-elected. Congratulations!

Furthermore, the application for membership by Gerard de Melo (Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Systems) was unanimously approved - Welcome to the UFSKW!


Why do my feelings affect how much exercise I do?
Why is it so hard to converse with computers?
How does our language change with age?

Cognitive science researchers at the University of Potsdam are investigating such questions. So who wouldn't be better to answer these than the researchers themselves? On May 7th, 2022, at the Potsdam Science Day, the researchers provided answers to these and other exciting questions.


The 3rd UFSKW (postdoc) networking workshop took place on Friday, April 22nd, 2022. Twenty-four postdocs and advanced doctoral students were able to learn about the basics of a grant application. There was also a lively exchange with researchers from the UFSKW, who have already successfully acquired grants.



The Day of the UFSKW 2021

On June 06, 2021 the day of the UFSKW took place. For the first time, we decided to combine the day of the UFSKW with our annual members meeting. In addition, Prof. Dr. Martin Butz (University of Tübingen) visited us for a guest lecture on "Generative Event-Predictive Cognitive Models". Both events took place hybrid, so participation was possible both online and on-site. Afterwards, all members were invited to a get-together in a cozy atmosphere.


The UFSKW is participating  with 7 contributions from 6 working groups at this year's digital Potsdam Days of Science (PTDW). The contributions can be accessed on the PTDW website throughout the whole year. 

To the PTDW website

In addition, Prof. Dr. Birgit Elsner (Developmental Psychology) and Hannah Wortmann (Beratungspsychologie) were selected as an experts for "Ask a Scientist".  

Birgit Elsner talks about the development of thining in early childhood (Video "Ask a Scientist")

Hannah Wortmann talks about "Food Neophilie" and healthy eating  (Video "Ask a Scientist")

Article: „Wir waren exotisch!“ – Der Linguist Gisbert Fanselow und der Psychologe Reinhold Kliegl im Gespräch über löchrige Dächer, schwierige Anfänge und die richtigen Forschungsfragen

published in Universitätsmagazin Portal 1/2021, published online April 13, 2021

to the article (German)

To give current cognitive science research from the Research Foucs a special stage, the RFCS will select a Paper of the Month every month in 2021. Members are invited to propose their own papers. The Paper of the Month will be selected by the Board of Directors from all submissions. 

 The winners of the RFCS Paper of the Month



Prof. Dr. Isabell Wartenburger was elected by the Faculty Council on October 21, 2020 as the new Vice Dean of the Faculty of Human Sciences. She will take over this function from 2021.

To the website of Prof. Dr. Isabell Wartenburger

An updated version of the list of laboratory equipment is online. UFSKW members can access the list of laboratory equipment in the internal section of the UFSKW website.

To the internal area

Prof. Dr. Doreen Georgi, whose junior professor position has been financed by the UFSKW since September 2016, took up the W2 professorship for "Variation and Variability in Morphosyntax/Morphological Systems" on November 01, 2020. This professorship was established to support the SFB 1287 "Limits of Variability in Language".

To the website of Prof. Dr. Doreen Georgi

Postdoc activities

The first UFSKW Postdoc-Workshop took place on October 09, 2020. The aim of the workshop was to facilitate networking on the level of postdocs. The online workshop was perceived as very successful by the 16 postdocs and also by the organizers, Claudia Felser, Matthias Weymar and Isabell Wartenburger. Both during and after the workshop there was a lively exchange between the postdocs, and even the first joint projects were planned. Due to the positive feedback the board of the UFSKW decided to carry out further activities on postdoc level in the future.

As a first step, a moodle page was created, where the Potsdocs can continue networking (virtually), ask questions to other postdocs, and also find information about events in the UFSKW or funding opportunities at the University of Potsdam.

Postdocs from the UFSKW can ask for the access data to the Moodle-Page via e-mail: michaela.schinkoeth[at]


AMLaP 2020

All AMLaP 2020 talks are now online at mediaUP!

day 1

day 2

day 3

The UFSKW congratulates Carlos Ventura-Bort on the successful completion of his doctoral thesis on " Temporo-spatial Dynamics of the Impact of Emotional Context on Visual Processing and Memory". Carlos was supervised by Prof. Dr. Mathias Weymar (Biological Psychology and Affective Science).

9th General Assembly of the RFCS

The RFCS invites all members to the annual general meeting. The general meeting takes place on Monday, 08. June 2020 at 4:00 p.m.

To the minutes (for members only: internal area)

The RFCS congratulates Mary Chimaobi Amaechi on the successful completion of her doctoral thesis on "A'-movement dependencies and their reflexes in Igbo"! Mary Chimaobi Amaechi was a PhD-student at the Department of Linguistics and was supervised by Prof. Dr. Doreen Georgi.

Call for applications:

PhD student (TV-L 13, 65%) in the project: "Research on graphic and linguistic communication with methods of cognitive psychology and machine learning" (Supervisors: Dr. Jochen Laubrock and Prof. Dr. David Schlangen)

More information

The UFSKW is funding three interdisciplinary cognitive science PhD-projects (TV-L 13, 65%). The selection of the final projects is now completed.

To the article: The RFCS is funding interdisciplinary PhD-projects (German)

Further information about the selected projects

The RF Cognitive Science thanks Christine Schipke for her great enthusiasm and support as the scientific coordinator of the RFCS. From January 2020 on, Michaela Schinkoeth will assume the function of the scientific coordinator.

More information about Michaela Schinkoeth

Further notifications

The 3rd Day of Cognitive Sciences was successfully held on 25.10.2019. The aim was to intensify the exchange of all members of the UFSKW, to get to know each other and to further identify interfaces in joint research.

Impressions of the productive and happy day:


After the successful first five years, the UFSKW enters the second funding period: Start of the next period with ceremonial presentation of the certificate on 23.07.2019 (duration until 30.06.2023).