Languages of Emotion

Languages of Emotion is located in the "Rostlaube", Freie Universität Berlin's central site.
Languages of Emotion is located in the "Rostlaube", Freie Universität Berlin's central site.
Image Credit: LoE

The research center Languages of Emotion conducts research on the interplay between emotions, media, and signs in social life, in music, literature, and film, or in the experience of the individual person. It brings together scholars from the humanities, the natural sciences, and social sciences at Freie Universität Berlin. Researchers from disciplines as diverse as philology and neuroscience, psychology, and anthropology work closely together.

The research center is based in the Department of Philosophy and Humanities - in close cooperation with the Departments of Education and Psychology, Political and Social Sciences, as well as History and Cultural Studies. In addition to internal research projects, a considerable number of projects have attracted external funding. The centre works closely with renowned research institutions such as the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW).

Main Research Areas

The question of the interplay between signs, media, and emotion is studied from various research perspectives: in everyday communication and the arts, taking into account differences between individuals and the specific form taken by this interplay in different areas of society and in different cultures. Because of this special emphasis on emotions in conjunction with semiotic practices, the humanities play a prominent role in "Languages ​​of Emotion".

The other main areas of research include the following:

  • The study of decision-making processes using neuro-scientific methods is central to the work of the group led by Prof. Dr. Hauke ​​Heekeren.
  • Emotion and processes of migration are being studied from the perspective of the social sciences and cultural studies by Prof. Dr. Birgitt Röttger-Rössler.
  • Prof. Dr. Friedemann Pulvermüller focuses on the interface between linguistics and neuroscience, examining the forms of language processing in the brain.

Cluster of Excellence

Languages of Emotion is funded from 2007 to 2014 by the Excellence Initiative. As from October 2012, Languages ​​of Emotion is being transformed into an interdisciplinary research center. Scholarly publications and a wide range of interdisciplinary studies document the collaborative work of the researchers. This close cooperation will continue in the research center, albeit in a different form.