For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!
You are using a browser that is no longer supported by Microsoft. Please upgrade your browser. The site may not present itself correctly if you continue browsing.

Dr M.E.P. (Monique) Flecken

Assistant Professor
Faculty of Humanities
Capaciteitsgroep Taalwetenschap

Visiting address
  • Spuistraat 134
Postal address
  • Postbus 1642
    1000 BP Amsterdam
Contact details
  • Profile

    I am a psycho-/neurolinguist and I do experimental research on the relation between language and cognition. In particular, I investigate how the specific language(s) that we use influence(s) the way in which we perceive, understand, describe and memorize events.  By events, I mean everyday-type dynamic situations with beginning and end points, e.g., cycling to uni, eating a 'kroket', drinking a beer, etc. Perceiving and understanding events is a core capacity of human cognition. Further, we often use language to communicate about the events in our lives with other people. Understanding exactly how language shapes and guides event cognition, as well as documenting general cognitive biases (unrelated to language use) in event cognition, is the central aim of my research. 

    To shed light on this issue, I focus on linguistic variation in event description.  I do crosslinguistic research, contrasting languages with different lexical/grammatical means to describe events (see the paper on Estonian and Dutch event cognition below; Sakarias & Flecken, 2019). I also study variation within a given language, and how speakers of one and the same language can be steered to perceive or memorize an event in a particular way (see the paper on grammatical aspect in English below; Misersky et al., 2021). 

    I teach in the BA Linguistics (Psycholinguistics, Neurolinguistics), the BSc Cognition, Language and Communication (CLC in Research Papers, Bachelorthesis research) and the rMA Linguistics and Communication (Perspectives on language and communication) at the UvA. 




  • Short bio

    I completed my PhD in 2010 on event conceptualization in early bilinguals (Radboud University/Heidelberg University). I carried out the research on Dutch-German bilinguals in Heidelberg, Germany (see the website of my former lab:

    After that (2012-2015), I received an NWO Veni grant to carry out postdoctoral research at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour (Donders Centre for Cognition, Radboud University Nijmegen).

    Then (2015-2020), I was a senior investigator in the Neurobiology of Language department at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. 

  • Publications


    • Isasi-Isasmendi, A., Andrews, C., Flecken, M., Laka, I., Daum, M. M., Meyer, M., Bickel, B., & Sauppe, S. (2023). The Agent Preference in Visual Event Apprehension. Open Mind, 7, 240-282.
    • Slivac, K., & Flecken, M. (2023). Linguistic Priors for Perception. Topics in Cognitive Science, 15(4), 657-661.





    • Flecken, M., & van Bergen, G. (2019). Can the English stand the bottle like the Dutch? Effects of relational categories on object perception. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 37(5-6), 271-287.
    • Sakarias, M., & Flecken, M. (2019). Keeping the Result in Sight and Mind: General Cognitive Principles and Language-Specific Influences in the Perception and Memory of Resultative Events. Cognitive Science, 43(1).
    • van Bergen, G., Flecken, M., & Wu, R. (2019). Rapid target selection of object categories based on verbs: Implications for language-categorization interactions. Psychophysiology, 56(9), e13395.


    • Flecken, M. E. P. (2017). Sprache und Kognition: Sprachvergleichende und lernersprachliche Untersuchungen. In S. Schimke, & H. Hopp (Eds.), Sprachverarbeitung im Zweitspracherwerb Mouton de Gruyter.
    • van Bergen, G., & Flecken, M. (2017). Putting things in new places: Linguistic experience modulates the predictive power of placement verb semantics. Journal of Memory and Language, 92, 26-42.


    • Gerwien, J., & Flecken, M. E. P. (2016). First things first? Top-down influences on event apprehension. In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J. Trueswell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 2633-2638).


    • Flecken, M., Athanasopoulos, P., Kuipers, J. R., & Thierry, G. (2015). On the road to somewhere: Brain potentials reflect language effects on motion event perception. Cognition, 141, 41-51.
    • Flecken, M., Carroll, M., Weimar, K., & Von Stutterheim, C. (2015). Driving along the road or heading for the village? Conceptual differences underlying motion event encoding in French, German, and French-German L2 users. Modern Language Journal, 99(S1), 100-122.
    • Flecken, M., Walbert, K., & Dijkstra, T. (2015). 'Right Now, Sophie (∗)Swims in the Pool?!': Brain Potentials of Grammatical Aspect Processing. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1764.
    • Gerwien, J., & Flecken, M. (2015). There is no prime for time: the missing link between form and concept of progressive aspect in L2 production. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 18(5), 561-587.


    • Flecken, M. E. P., von Stutterheim, C., & Carroll, M. (2014). Grammatical aspect influences motion event perception: Evidence from a cross-linguistic non-verbal recognition task. Language and Cognition, 6(1), 45-78.


    • Behrens, B., Flecken, M., & Carroll, M. (2013). Progressive attraction: On the use and grammaticalization of progressive aspect in Dutch, Norwegian, and German. Journal of Germanic Linguistics , 25(2), 95-136.
    • Flecken, M. E. P., & Gerwien, J. (2013). Grammatical aspect modulates event duration estimations: findings from Dutch. In M. Knauff, M. Pauen, N. Sebanz, & I. Wachsmuth (Eds.), Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 2309-2314). The Cognitive Science Society.
    • Flecken, M. E. P., & Gerwien, J. (2013). Grammatical aspect modulates event duration estimations: findings from Dutch. In M. Knauff, M. Pauen, N. Sebanz, & I. Wachsmuth (Eds.), Proceedings of the 35th annual meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (35 ed., pp. 2309-2314).
    • Flecken, M., Von Stutterheim, C., & Carroll, M. (2013). Principles of information organization in L2 use: Complex patterns of conceptual transfer. IRAL - International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 51(2), 229-242.
    • Van Beek, G., Flecken, M., & Starren, M. (2013). Aspectual perspective taking in event construal in L1 and L2 dutch. IRAL - International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 51(2), 199-227.


    • Carroll, M., Weimar, K., Flecken, M., Lambert, M., & Von Stutterheim, C. (2012). Tracing trajectories: Motion event construal by advanced L2 French-English and L2 French-German speakers. LIA Language, Interaction and Acquisition, 3(2), 202-230.
    • Flecken, M. E. P., & Carroll, M. (2012). Language production under time pressure: insights into grammaticalisation of aspect (Dutch, Italian) and language processing in bilinguals (Dutch, German). In B. Ahrenholz (Ed.), Einblicke in die Zweitspracherwerbsforschung und Ihre methodischen Verfahren (pp. 49-76). Mouton de Gruyter.
    • Von Stutterheim, C., Andermann, M., Carroll, M., Flecken, M., & Schmiedtová, B. (2012). How grammaticized concepts shape event conceptualization in language production: Insights from linguistic analysis, eye tracking data, and memory performance. Linguistics, 50(4), 833-867.



    • Flecken, M. E. P. (2008). The role of aspectual distinctions in event encoding: Implications for second language acquisition. In S. Muller-de Knop, & T. Mortelmans (Eds.), Pedagogical grammar (pp. 357-384). Mouton de Gruyter.



    • Faghiri, P., Flecken, M. E. P., & van Lier, E. H. (2022). Lexical bias in Persian light verb constructions. Poster session presented at Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing, York, United Kingdom.

    Prize / grant

    • Flecken, M. & Bosman, C. (2023). Amsterdam Brain and Cognition (ABC) Support grant.
    • Flecken, M. (2022). Aspasia premie (NWO).
    • Flecken, M. & Bosman, C. (2021). Data Science Centre Interdisciplinary PhD grant (UvA).

    Journal editor

    • Flecken, M. (editor) (2024). Language and Cognition (Journal).

    Talk / presentation

    • Flecken, M. (speaker) (1-12-2023). Events in language and cognition, AcqVA Aurora, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway..
    • Zaaijer, R. (speaker), Meyer, C. (speaker) & Flecken, M. (speaker) (9-8-2023). Glorp is plipping: verbal labels facilitate novel event learning, International Cognitive Linguistics Conference, Düsseldorf.
    • Flecken, M. (speaker) (24-2-2023). Events in language and cognition, Leiden University.
    • Flecken, M. (speaker), Slivac, K. (speaker), Hervais-Adelman, A. (speaker) & Hagoort, P. (speaker) (8-10-2022). Talk this way, walk this way!, Cognitive Neuroscience of Language Embodiment and Relativity, Poznan.
    • Faghiri, P. (speaker), Flecken, M. (speaker) & van Lier, E. (speaker) (6-10-2022). Investigating lexical bias in Persian light verb constructions: What can we learn from priming experiments?, Linguistic Evidence 2022, Paris.
    • Flecken, M. (speaker) (29-9-2022). Event construal in L1 and L2: linguistic and cognitive perspectives., L2 acquisition of non-equivalent linguistic and cognitive categories in Romance and Germanic languages: Transfer revisited, Salzburg.
    • Faghiri, P. (speaker), Flecken, M. (speaker) & van Lier, E. (speaker) (13-9-2022). Priming Persian light verb constructions, Crosslinguistic perspectives on processing and learning, Zurich.


    • Athanasopoulos, P. (organiser), Flecken, M. (organiser) & Vanek, N. (organiser) (7-8-2023 - 11-8-2023). International Cognitive Linguistics Conference, Düsseldorf. Theme session: Ad hoc cognition and the Whorfian question: towards an experiential and situated model of language-thought interactions (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    No ancillary activities