Genetics & Neurobiology of Language (CANCELED)
July 27 - August 2, 2020
Application & Materials Deadline: April 1, 2020


Simon Fisher, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, The Netherlands
David Poeppel, Max-Planck-Institute, Frankfurt & New York University
Kate Watkins, University of Oxford, UK


COVID-19: UPDATE April 6, 2020: It is with considerable regret that we announce the cancellation of this course for 2020 but it will be rescheduled to similar dates in 2021.


See the roll of honor - who's taken the course in the past


Why are children able to acquire highly sophisticated language abilities without needing to be taught? What are the neurobiological and neurophysiological processes that underpin human speech and language, and how do they go awry in developmental and acquired disorders? Which genetic factors contribute to this remarkable suite of human skills, and are there evolutionary precursors that we can study in other species? This unique CSHL course, in its fourth iteration, addresses these core questions about the bases and origins of speech and language, through talks, interactive sessions, keynotes and debates, involving leading experts from a range of disciplines. It integrates the state-of-the-art from complementary perspectives, including development, cognitive models, neural basis, gene identification, functional genomics, model systems and comparative/evolutionary studies.

Speakers 2020:

Florencia Assaneo, New York University, New York
Marina Bedny, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
Thomas Bourgeron, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
Karen Emmorey, San Diego State University, California
Evelina Fedorenko, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Julia Fischer, German Primate Center, Göttingen, Germany
Tecumseh Fitch, University of Vienna, Austria
Julius Fridriksson, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Asif Ghazanfar, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Erich Jarvis, Rockefeller University, New York
Christian Kell, Goethe University, Frankfurt , Germany 
Mairead MacSweeney, University College London, London, UK
Daniela Vallentin, MPI for Ornithology, Seewiesen, Germany
Sonja Vernes, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Netherlands

The course will be held at the Laboratory's Banbury Conference Center located on the north shore of Long Island. All participants stay within walking distance of the Center, close to tennis court, pool and private beach.

Support & Stipends

This course is supported with funds generously provided by: Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation

Stipends are available to offset tuition costs as follows:


Interdisciplinary Fellowships (transitioning from outside biology)  & Scholarships (transitioning from other biological disciplines) (Helmsley Charitable Trust)
International applicants (Howard Hughes Medical Institute)

Please indicate your eligibility for funding in your stipend request submitted when you apply to the course. Stipend requests do not affect selection decisions made by the instructors. 

Cost (including board and lodging): $2,850 

No fees are due until you have completed the full application process and are accepted into the course. Students accepted into the course should plan to arrive by early evening on July 26 and plan to depart after lunch on August 2.

Before applying, ensure you have 1) Personal statement/essay; 2) Letter(s) of recommendation; 3) Curriculum vitae/resume (optional); 4) Financial aid request (optional). More details

If you are not ready to fully apply but wish to express interest in applying, receive a reminder two weeks prior to the deadline, and tell us about your financial aid requirements, click below: