Professor William Marslen-Wilson PhD FBA

Emeritus Fellow

  • Honorary Professor of Language & Cognition, University of Cambridge

William Marslen-Wilson’s research interests are in the cognitive science and neuroscience of language. With support from the MRC, the EPSRC and the European Research Council, he studies the comprehension of spoken language in the mind and the brain using interdisciplinary techniques aimed at identifying the neural processing streams that support the immediate interpretation of spoken utterances. His current research brings together behavioural, neuropsychological and neuroimaging data from contrasting languages (such as Arabic, Polish, and English) to determine the underlying general properties of human language as a neuro-cognitive system, located in its broader neurobiological and evolutionary context.

Educated at Oxford and at MIT, his research career has included posts at the University of Chicago, the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands, the University of Cambridge, the MRC Applied Psychology Unit in Cambridge, and Birkbeck College in the University of London. He was Director of the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge from 1997 to 2010, moving back to a research post in the University of Cambridge in 2011.

He is a Fellow of the British Academy and the Academia Europaea, and Honorary Professor of Language and Cognition at the University of Cambridge.