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Simultaneous Interpreting Through the Eyes of a Neuroscientist

22. Oktober 2019

Talk by Prof. Alexis Hervais-Adelman, University of Zurich, Department of Psychology, Neurolinguistics

Simultaneous interpreting requires the concurrent execution of multiple processes: listening, comprehension, conversion of a message from one language to another, speech production, and self-monitoring. This requires the deployment of an impressive array of linguistic and cognitive control mechanisms that must coordinate the various brain systems implicated in handling these tasks. Indeed, we might argue that simultaneous interpreting is one of the most demanding linguistic tasks that there is. Given that we normally use only one language at a time, even if we engage in dense code-switching, using two at once (as is essential for successful simultaneous interpretation) is an extraordinary feat. How does the brain handle the challenge of juggling two languages? How is the extreme language control capacity required during interpreting implemented?

In this talk, Alexis Hervais-Adelman tries to answer these questions. He will give a brief introduction to the brain and methods in cognitive neuroscience, and then discuss neuroimaging experiments that give us insights into the interpreting brain.

Alexis Hervais-Adelman is professor of neurolinguistics at the University of Zurich’s psychology department and his research focuses on brain plasticity and, in this context, also on the neural underpinnings of simultaneous interpreting.


Von: 22. Oktober 2019, 17.45 Uhr
Bis: 22. Oktober 2019, 19.00 Uhr


Theaterstrasse 15c, Winterthur, Room: SM O4.25


IUED Institute of Translation and Interpreting