Time: March 14, 2018, 15:00–17:00
Place: G-salen, Svante Arrenius väg 20C, Frescati

A reception in honour of Professor von Koss Torkildsen will follow the lecture.


As infants and toddlers have a limited language production, it can be challenging to obtain reliable data about how they learn and understand words. During the past decades, electrophysiological techniques have been established as a window into the inner workings of the developing language system, enabling both the study of language knowledge and the learning process as it unfolds in real time. Studies using these techniques have shown robust associations between productive vocabulary and neural correlates of receptive word processing. Moreover, children at risk for language or reading disorders have a neural signature of word processing that differs from their peers already in the first years of life. These individual differences in language processing may be related to the ability to extract statistical cues from the linguistic environment. Thus, tailoring the linguistic input to support optimal functioning of the child’s statistical learning mechanisms may be a promising avenue for developing effective language interventions.

Janne von Koss Torkildsen has a Master’s degree in cognitive science and a PhD in linguistics from the University of Oslo. Before starting her current position as a Professor at the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Oslo, she worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Arizona and an Associate Professor at the University of Bergen. Her research focuses on the cognitive and neural foundations of language acquisition and language disorders. Based on this basic research, she has also developed a computerized vocabulary intervention program for children together with colleagues at the Department of Special Needs Education.

This Honorary Lecture is arranged by the Department of Linguistics in collaboration with the Nobel Institute for Neurophysiology and the Department of Clinical Science at Karolinska Institute