The interdisciplinary spring school “Language, music, and cognition: Organizing events in time” was held from February 26 to March 2, 2018 at the Institute of Musicology of the University of Cologne. Language, speech, and music as events in time were explored from different perspectives including evolutionary biology, social cognition, developmental psychology, cognitive neuroscience of speech, language, and communication, as well as computational and biological approaches to language and music. There were 10 lectures, 4 workshops, and 1 student poster session.
Overall, the spring school investigated language and music as neurocognitive systems and focused on a mechanistic approach exploring the neural substrates underlying musical, linguistic, social, and emotional processes and behaviors. In particular, researchers approached questions concerning cognitive processes, computational procedures, and neural mechanisms underlying the temporal organization of language and music, mainly from two perspectives: one was concerned with syntax or structural representations of language and music as neurocognitive systems (i.e., an intrapersonal perspective), while the other emphasized social interaction and emotions in their communicative function (i.e., an interpersonal perspective). The spring school not only acted as a platform for knowledge transfer and exchange but also generated a number of important research questions as challenges for future investigations.