Peter Hagoort studied psychology and biology at the Universities of Utrecht and Nijmegen. He received his PhD from the latter university. His PhD thesis was on language deficits in aphasia. Currently he is director of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics (since November 2006), and the founding director of the Donders Institute, Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (DCCN,1999), a cognitive neuroscience research centre at the Radboud University Nijmegen. In addition, he is professor in cognitive neuroscience at the Radboud University Nijmegen. For his scientific contributions, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts Sciences (KNAW) awarded him with the Hendrik Mullerprijs in 2003. In 2004 he was awarded by the Dutch Queen with the “Knighthood of the Dutch Lion”. In 2005 he received the NWO-Spinoza Prize (M(Euro) 1.5). In 2007 the University of Glasgow awarded him with an honorary doctorate in science for his contributions to the cognitive neuroscience of language. In 2008 he was awarded with the Heymans Prize. In 2012 the KNAW awarded his career contribution to the cognitive neuroscience with the Academy Professorship Prize (M? 1.0). Peter Hagoort is member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), of The Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen, and of the Academia Europaea.

Research Interests

Hagoort's research interests relate to the domain of the human language faculty and how it is instantiated in the human brain. In his research he applies neuroimaging techniques such as ERP, MEG, TMS and fMRI, as well as behavioural methods in a Virtual Reality Lab, to investigate the different components of the language system and their impairments as in aphasia, dyslexia and autism. The focus of his Neurobiology of Language laboratory is on the study of language production, language comprehension, and language acquisition from a cognitive neuroscience perspective. A central research target of the lab is to characterize the neural and cognitive infrastructure for the combinatorial operations that allow languages to create and understand new utterances on the fly. In Hagoort's view these combinatorial operations occur at the levels of phonology, syntax and semantics. This hallmark of human language is grounded in specific aspects of the neural architecture of the human brain. The lab connects insights about the cognitive architecture of speaking, reading and listening to our understanding of key organizational features of the human brain.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 52: Psychological and Cognitive Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 28: Systems Neuroscience