Joint Conference on Language Evolution

Joint Conference on Language Evolution co-organized by Evolang, Protolang, and Evolinguistics will take place on September 5-8, 2022 in Kanazawa, Japan & Online!

Call for papers

Joint Conference on Language Evolution (Kanazawa, Japan & Online, September 5th-8th, 2022) co-organized by Evolang, Protolang, and Evolinguistics invites substantive contributions relating to the evolution of human language. This joint conference will provide an unprecedented opportunity to bring together all the language evolution research communities, enabling a global platform for interdisciplinary discussion. Submissions may be in any relevant discipline, including, but not limited to, anthropology, archeology, artificial life, biology, cognitive science, genetics, linguistics, modeling, neuroscience, paleontology, physiology, primatology, and psychology. We particularly welcome submissions with an interdisciplinary character. Normal standards of academic excellence apply.

The deadline for submission is February 1, 2022.

The submission system will open in December.

Submitted papers/abstracts should aim to make clear their own substantive claim, relating it to relevant, current scientific literature in the field of language evolution. Submitted papers/abstracts should briefly set out the method by which the claim is substantiated, the nature of the relevant data, and/or the core of the theoretical argument concerned. Submissions may be theory-based, but empirical studies should not rest on preliminary results. Submissions which do not have clear relevance to the field or do not adhere to the guidelines may be rejected without review.

Submissions can be made both for podium presentations (15 min talk + 5 min Q&A) and for poster presentations. They are limited to one first-authored podium presentation and one first-authored poster per person. There is no limit on second authored submissions. When submitting, please indicate whether your submission is to be considered for inclusion as a talk, as a poster, or as either of the two. Both podium and poster presentations can be held on site or online. Please indicate whether you are currently planning to present your work on site or online. (We are aware that this is your preliminary decision.)

For both podium and poster presentations, there are two possible types of submission: (a) Full papers, which can have a length of between 6 and 8 pages, and (b) Abstracts, which can be up to 2 pages long.

In addition to your submission, you will be asked to provide a 150-word summary of your contribution.

Please carefully read the submission guidelines to prepare your submission.

The conference language of Joint Conference on Language Evolution is English.

Call for workshop proposals

In addition to the general session, Joint Conference on Language Evolution will be able to host thematically focused workshops to be held during the conference. The time slot of 2 hours will be provided for each workshop. We encourage the organizers to host the workshop mainly onsite, but it is of course possible to do online workshops depending on the individual needs. The responsibility for the detailed scheduling of the workshops and for the quality of workshop contributions will rest with workshop organizers.

Workshop proposals should be submitted by January 5th, 2022.

Please carefully read the submission guidelines to prepare your submission.

Please spread the word!

Twitter: @JCoLE2022


Principled Explanations in Comparative Biomusicology – Toward a Comparative Cognitive Biology of the Human Capacities for Music and Language

My PhD thesis is finally available! Are you interested in the following topics?

  • Biomusicology
  • Cognitive biology
  • Comparative approach
  • Neurocognitive mechanisms
  • Syntax in language and music
  • Rhythmic syntax
  • ALE meta-analysis

Then, download it here:
Comments are welcome!


The current thesis tackles the question “Why is music the way it is?” within a comparative biomusicology framework by focusing on musical syntax and its relation to syntax in language. Comparative biomusicology integrates different comparative approaches, biological frameworks as well as levels of analysis in cognitive science, and puts forward principled explanations, regarding cognitive systems as different instances of the same principles, as its central research strategy. The main goal is to provide a preliminary answer to this question in form of hypotheses about neurocognitive mechanisms, i.e., cognitive and neural processes, underlying a core function of syntactic computation in language and music, i.e., mapping hierarchical structure and temporal sequence. In particular, the relationship between language and music is discussed on the basis of a top-down approach taking syntax as combinatorial principles and a bottom-up approach taking neural structures and operations as implementational principles. On the basis of the top-down approach, the thesis identifies computational problems of musical syntax, cognitive processes and neural correlates of music syntactic processing, and the relationship to language syntax and syntactic processing. The neural correlates of music syntactic processing are investigated by ALE meta-analyses. The bottom-up approach then studies the relationship between language and music on the basis of neural processes implemented in the cortico-basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuits. The main result of the current thesis suggests that the relationship between language and music syntactic processing can be explained in terms of the same neurocognitive mechanisms with different expressions on the motor-to-cognitive gradient. The current thesis, especially its bottom-up approach, opens up a possible way going toward comparative cognitive biology, i.e., a comparative approach to cognitive systems with a greater emphasis on the biology.

Workshop: Computational approaches in language and music cognition research

August 30th and 31st, 2019
University of Cologne, Germany



Investigating language and music in the field of cognitive science means studying them as (computational) neurocognitive systems, i.e., information processing systems in the mind/brain.

Thus, language and music cognition research deals with the following questions:

  • What is computed in the mind/brain and why?
  • How is a particular computation realized in terms of algorithms or neural implementation?

Formal-mathematical theory of language and music mainly contributed to the former question, while computer simulations of cognitive and neural processes rather tackled the latter question. The current workshop discusses different computational approaches and aims at clarifying the role of computational modelling to advance mechanistic explanations to language and music cognition.

The topics of the workshop are:

  • Computational and conceptual neurocognitive models of language and music processing
  • Models of interaction and situated music and language cognition
  • Computational music theory and computational linguistics

Overall, this workshop also aims at fostering computational thinking as a core competence enabling interdisciplinary communication and welcomes students and  researchers interested in modelling cognition of music and language.

Invited speakers:
Alexander Clark (King’s College London, UK)
Richard Cooper (Birkbeck University of London, UK)
Peter Ford Dominey (INSERM U846 Stem Cell and Brain Research Institute & Université de Lyon, France)
David Temperley (Eastman School of Music, USA)
…more tba

Spring School 2019 “Language & Music in Cognition” in Cologne, Germany

We are happy to announce our spring school of “Language and Music in Cognition” taking place in Cologne, Germany, from February 2nd to 8th, 2019.

If you wish to participate in this spring school, please apply until November 30th, 2018.
For more details, please visit our homepage:

Important details are also summarized below.

Best regards,

Rie Asano

Organization committee
Language and Music in Cognition, Cologne, Germany


Event title: Spring School “Language and Music in Cognition”
Location: University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
Dates: February 2nd – 8th, 2019
Language: English
Application Deadline: November 30th, 2018 23:59 (UTC+1, Central European Time)

“Language and Music in Cognition” is an international spring school held from February 2nd to 8th, 2019 at University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany. The spring school is open for Bachelor and Master students, PhD students, and Post-doc researchers. Participation in the spring school is free of charge.

If you are interested in participating in this spring school, please submit your application (motivation letter and CV) until November 30th, 2018.
You can find information about the application process here:

This spring school offers lectures given by experts in different research areas. The topics include:

  • Marr’s three levels and Tinbergen’s four questions;
  • Syntax, prosody, and dance;
  • Human neurogenetics and comparative genomics;
  • Evo-devo and niche construction;
  • Action and social cognition;
  • Computational neurocognitive modeling.

In addition to the lectures, there will be workshops, group work sessions, discussion sessions, and a poster session. Applicants are invited to contribute their own work to the poster session. An abstract of the poster can be also submitted via the application form until November 30th, 2018.

Confirmed Lecturers:
Michael A. Arbib, Cedric Boeckx, Steven Brown, Simon E. Fisher, Sascha Frühholz, Etienne Koechlin, David Poeppel, Kai Vogeley, Kate E. Watkins, …

Seminars & Lectures in WT18/19

During the upcoming winter term, the interdisciplinary project „Language and Music in Cognition“ once again offers many interesting courses for Bachelor and Master students. Find attached an overview of all lectures and seminars, amongst others an introductory lecture series and methodological seminars discussing EEG data analysis or empirical research in linguistics.

Workshop: Introducing Mobile Brain-Computer Interfaces to Music Research in Musicology

BCMI_Koeln_posterProgram (Day 1 & Day 2)

Dates: 24 April & 06 June 2015 (10:00-18:00)
Location: R. 1.416 (Alter Seminarraum)

Workshop language: German

Neuroscientific research methods have become increasingly popular in music research. Recent developments in Neuromusicology include two directions. On one hand, music is regarded as a neurocognitive system and its functional mind/brain architecture is investigated. On the other hand, brain signals (as recorded with the electroencephalogram, EEG) are used directly to generate music or more generally artistic interactions. The latter is closely related to the new field of Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs), which were originally developed to give severely paralyzed patients the ability to communicate or control devices such as artificial limbs or wheelchairs, but are also used in New Media Art. The area with a special focus on music is called „Brain-Computer Music Interfacing” (BCMI).

In this workshop, basic concepts of Neuromusicology and BCIs are introduced, which are accompanied by practical exercises on using BCIs. The contents are:

  • Introduction to neuroscience (focus on EEG)
  • Use of EEG in Neuromusicology
  • Different approaches in BCI research
  • Overview of application areas
  • Video lecture about neuroscience and music therapy (tbc. Jörg Fachner)
  • BCIs in artistic contexts such as New Media Art (talk and demonstration by media artist Claudia Robles)
  • Hands-on sessions with Emotiv EPOC+ system

This workshop is the first step towards introducing several fields of neuroscience of music to musicology and integrating them into cognitive musicology in order to understand music as a neurocognitive system.


Organizers: Clemens Maidhof, Rie Asano, & Uwe Seifert

Department of Systematic Musicology
Institute of Musicology
University of Cologne
Cologne, Germany

Upcoming events

CogSci 2015
July 22-25, 2015
Mind, Technology, and Society
Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena, CA, USA
Web / Call for papers (February 1, 2015)

SMPC 2015
August 1-5, 2015
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA
Web / Call for abstracts (Deadline: February 2, 2015)

ESCOM 2015
August 17-22, 2015
Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK
Web / Call for papers (closed)

September 17-19, 2015
Institut für Musikwissenschaft, Leipzig, Germany
Web / Call for papers (closed)

ICP 2016 (International Conference of Psychology)
July 24-29, 2016
Pacifico Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
Web / Call for abstracts

CogSci 2016
August 3-6, 2016
Recognizing and Representing Events:
Integrating Psychological, Philosophical, Linguistic, Computational and Neural Perspectives
Philadelphia Convention Center; Philadelphia, USA
Web / Call for papers

Evolang 11
New Orleans
Web / Call for papers

Studies in Cognitive Musicology

The first volume of Studies in Cognitive Musicology ed. by U. Seifert (University of Cologne) has been published!

This series focuses on the broad thematic and methodological fields relating to musicology. “Musicology has to cope with transdisciplinary challenges: In the 21st century linguistics, philosophy, cognitive neurosciences and psychology, information and media technology, biological anthropology and other disciplines have become increasingly interested in music research introducing new concepts, questions, methods and technologies for investigating music.” SysMus11, an international student conference of systematic musicology, was held in Cologne, 2011. This conference included several themes and approaches mentioned above to discuss about the nature of music. The proceeding Under Construction: Trans- and Interdisciplinary Routes in Music Research ed. by J. Wewers and U. Seifert introduces this new series.

For more information, please visit the publisher homepage (epOs-Music):



This homepage will provide you opportunity to inform yourself about all around MusiCoLinguistics – Science of Music and Language Cognition! Every useful information about music and language is gathered here. Enjoy yourself!

Please note that this homepage will be actualized frequently!

If you have any comments or questions, please contact me via the contact fomula!

Owner of this webpage is Rie Asano.

Last up-dated on July 14, 2019