Sonja C. Vernes, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, The Netherlands
Sonja Vernes runs the Neurogenetics of Vocal Communication Lab at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and is a Principal Investigator at the Donders Institute in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Her work spans molecular, neurobiological and clinical studies, using a range of model systems to understand how genes influence speech and language from developmental, functional and behavioural perspectives. A major focus is the study of vocal learning in bats at a neurogenetic level to understand the biological encoding and evolution of human spoken language. Dr Vernes is also a director of the Bat1k genome project which aims to sequence the genomes of all living bat species, which will contribute to our understanding not only of vocal learning but the many other rare and wonderful traits exhibited by bats.
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