Karsten Steinhauer


karsten.steinhauer [at] mcgill.ca (Email)

Neurocognition of Language Lab



MSc & PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) Neurobiology/Cognitive Neuroscience, Free University of Berlin and Max Planck Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience Leipzig (Germany)


Research interests

Research interests lie primarily in the areas of psycholinguistics and cognitive neuroscience. Current projects focus on the neural organization and temporal online dynamics of processes underlying language perception, particularly using event-related brain potentials (ERPs) and other brain imaging techniques. This includes interactions among syntactic, semantic, morphological and (overt or covert) prosodic information in listeners and readers, as well as links between speech and music processing. In addition, Dr. Steinhauer's work addresses issues of bilingualism and second language acquisition in adults, investigating both natural languages and a highly controlled artificial language. A more recent research program investigates the brain mechanisms underlying formal as compared to conceptual semantics, combining ERP and fMRI techniques.

Recent publications

Steinhauer, K. (2014). Event-related potentials (ERPs) in second language research: A brief introduction to the technique, a selected review, and an invitation to reconsider critical periods in L2. Applied Linguistics 35 (4), 393-417.

Molnar, M., Polka, L., Baum, S., & Steinhauer, K. (2014). Learning two languages from birth shapes the pre-attentive process of speech perception: Electrophysiological correlates of vowel discrimination in monolingual and simultaneous bilinguals. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 17, 526-541. [BLC-12-RA—0090]

Nickels, S., Opitz, B. & Steinhauer, K. (2013). ERPs show that classroom-instructed late second language learners rely on the same prosodic cues in syntactic parsing as native speakers. Neuroscience Letters, 577, 107-111.

Bowden, H.W., Steinhauer, K., Sanz, C. & Ullman, M.T. (2013). Native-like brain processing of syntax can be attained by university foreign language learners. Neuropsychologia, 51, 2492-2511. (NSY-D-12-00237)

Royle, P., Drury, J.E., Steinhauer, K. (2013). ERPs and Task Effects in the Auditory Processing of Gender Agreement and Semantics in French. The Mental Lexicon, 8(2) 216-244, Special issue on ‘The neural correlates of lexical processing’.

Courteau E, Royle P, Gascon A, Marquis A, Drury JE, Steinhauer K. (2013) Gender concord and semantic processing in French children: An auditory ERP study. In S Baiz, N, Goldman & R Hawkes (Éds.), Proceedings of the 37th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development. (Vol. 1, pp. 87-99). Boston: Cascadilla. Abstract

White, E.J., Genesee, F., & Steinhauer, K. (2012). Brain Responses Before and After Intensive Second Language Learning: Proficiency Based Changes and First Language Background Effects in Adult Learners. PLoS ONE, 7(12), e52318. [PONE-D-12-22453] Abstract

Royle, P., Drury, J.E., Bourguignon, N., & Steinhauer, K. (2012). The temporal dynamics of inflected word recognition: A masked ERP priming study of French verbs. Neuropsychologia, 50, 3542–3553. Doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2012.09.007, Pre-published at Science Direct

Klepousniotou, E., Pike, B., Steinhauer, K. & Gracco, V. (2012). Not all ambiguous words are created equal: An ERP investigation of homonymy and polysemy. Brain and Language, 123 (1), 11-21. [BRLN-11-153] Abstract

Bourguignon, N., Drury, J.E., Valois, D., & Steinhauer, K. (2012). Decomposing animacy reversals between Agents and Experiencers: An ERP study. Brain and Language, 122, 179-189. Abstract

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