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The LIBC Hotspots


How do people acquire language? How can you train your brain? What is the effect of stress on an unborn child?

The LIBC is a multi-disciplinary, research and training center dedicated to understanding the relation between brain and cognition from interdisciplinary perspectives using advanced neuroscientific research tools. LIBC research topics range from language processing to cognitive robotics, and from psychiatric disorders to neuro-pharmacology. 
The research topics are organised in several main areas, called Hotspots: 


One of the greatest challenges for human science is to understand how the human mind evolves and develops from infancy to adolescence, and how children learn to cope with the challenges of adulthood and acquire the complex cognitive, motivational and emotional abilities that enable humans to adapt to a variety of environments. LIBC-Junior scientists are excited about the possibility of taking developmental neuroscience to the next level by joining forces and combining perspectives.


Language is part of human behavior and probably one of the most complex cognitive skills. Within the LIBC hotspot Language, a group of researchers is working on a better understanding of language functions and their neural basis.  The research being carried out ranges from studying how people acquire language, auditory processing of speech, reading aloud, speech production to multilingualism and it includes clinical aspects as well (hearing impairment, stuttering, aphasia, etc.).


How do drugs effect the brain? We use pharmacological manipulations to study the effect on cognition. We develop and apply brain imaging methods to study the influence of various pharmacological compounds on brain function and behaviour.


It is well-known that acute stress can lead to acute disturbances in cognition, mood and behaviour, and is a major precipitating and maintenance factor for long lasting disturbances like affective disorders and in the case of severe traumatic stress, posttraumatic stress disorder.  Stress related disorders are among the most frequent medical disorders, with a huge impact on people’s life and society.  Furthermore, research has shown that exposure to chronic stress during childhood, like emotional maltreatment, has detrimental effects on a child’s psychological and biological development.

LIBC-Human Potential

People aim at optimizing their health and well-being, for example by changing the way how to manage their lifestyle, and they try to maximize their current mental and physical health. The aim of this LIBC Hotspot's research is to support them in doing so by developing and evaluating strategies and procedures to increase, optimize, maintain, or regain one's mental and physical resources and performance.


Humans are fundamentally a social species, rather than individualists. As such, people create organizations beyond the individual—structures that range from dyads, families, and groups to cities, civilizations, and cultures. The LIBC-social hotspot is interested in social neuroscience.

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