Philip Lieberman

George Hazard Crooker University Professor, Emeritus
(401) 863-1857
Office Location: 
Metcalf 243
Research Focus: 
Evolution of biological bases of language and thought

Read the recent interview in Zurich with Professor Lieberman on his new book: The Unpredictable Species: What Makes Humans Unique.

I study the evolution of human linguistic and cognitive ability. In the 1970s my focus was on the evolution of the vocal anatomy that makes human speech possible. My current work concerns the neural circuits that regulate syntax, cognition as well as speech production and other aspects of motor control. These circuits, which involve the basal ganglia and other subcortical structures, are related through their evolutionary history. My research also involves applications such as voice monitoring cognition and emotion, and the assessment of Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases, and of verbal apraxia and its genetic bases in children.