My Research Interests

I specialize in early cognitive and social development. My research focus is on integrating cognitive phenomena across domains in language acquisition through methods from neuroscience and behavioral psychology.

#Cognitive_Psychology, #Developmental_Psychology, #Psycholinguistics, #Phonology, #Neurolinguistics

a child’s toy

Curriculum Vitae

Academic Education

Postgraduate studies in Linguistics, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Doctoral Dissertation “Do manners matter? On the acquisition of manner of articulation features”

Graduate studies in Linguistics and Psychology, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany.
M.A. thesis “The acquisition of German rhyme structure”, summa cum laude

Academic Positions

since 2017
Assistant Professor for Developmental Psychology, Department of Psychology, Johannes-Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany

Deputy Associate Professor for Psychology of Language, Department of Psychology, Georg-August-University Göttingen, Germany

Postdoctoral Researcher, Research Group Early Social Development, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany

Postdoctoral Research, Research Group Language Acquisition, Department of Psychology, Georg-August-University Göttingen, Germany

Doctoral Researcher, Baby Research Centre, Department of Dutch Language and Culture, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands



  • Altvater-Mackensen, N. (2010): Do manners matter? Asymmetries in the acquisition of manner of articulation features. Dissertation, Radboud Universitat Nijmegen, Netherlands

Articles in International Journals [impact factor]

  • Hosemann, J., Mani, N., Herrmann, A., Steinbach, M. & Altvater-Mackensen, N. (2020). Signs activate their written word translation: an ERP study on cross-modal co-activation in German Sign Language. Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics, 5, 57. [IF 1.318]
  • Altvater-Mackensen, N. & T. Grossmann (2018). Modality-independent recruitment of inferior frontal cortex during speech processing in human infants. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 34, 130-138. [IF 3.963]
  • Altvater-Mackensen, N., Jessen, S. & T. Grossmann (2017). Brain responses reveal that face identity discrimination is affected by statistical learning from distributional information in infants. Developmental Science, 20, e12393. [IF 3.808]
  • Missana, M., Altvater-Mackensen, N. & T. Grossmann (2017). Neural correlates of infants’ sensitivity to vocal expressions of peers. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 26, 39-44. [IF 3.963]
  • Schreiner, M., Altvater-Mackensen, N. & N. Mani (2016). Impact of extended exposure on infant& segmentation of words from infant- and adult-directed speech. Infancy, 21, 625-647. [IF 2.086]
  • Rajhans, P., Altvater-Mackensen, N., Vaish, A. & T. Grossmann (2016). Children' s altruistic behavior in context: The role of emotional responsiveness and culture. Scientific Reports, 6, 24089. [IF 5.578]
  • Altvater-Mackensen, N., Mani, N. & T. Grossmann (2016). Audiovisual speech perception in infancy: The influence of vowel identity and productive abilities on infants' sensitivity to (mis)matches between auditory and visual speech cues. Developmental Psychology, 52, 191-204. [IF 4.141]
  • Jessen, S., Altvater-Mackensen, N. & T. Grossmann (2016). Pupillary responses reveal infants' discrimination of facial emotions independent of conscious perception. Cognition, 150, 163-169. [IF 3.479]
  • Altvater-Mackensen, N. & T. Grossmann (2016). The role of left inferior frontal cortex during audiovisual speech perception in infants. Neuroimage, 133, 14-20. [IF 6.357]
  • Altvater-Mackensen, N. & T. Grossmann (2015). Learning to match auditory and visual speech cues: Social influences on the acquisition of phonological categories. Child Development 86, 362-378. [IF 4.061]
  • Altvater-Mackensen, N. & P. Fikkert (2015). A cross-linguistic perspective on the acquisition of Manner of Articulation contrasts in the productions of Dutch and German children. Language Acquisition 22, 2-39. [IF 1.379]
  • Altvater-Mackensen, N., Van der Feest, S. & P. Fikkert (2014). Asymmetries in children' s early word recognition: The case of stops and fricatives. Language Learning & Development, 10, 149-178.
  • Altvater-Mackensen, N. & N. Mani (2013). Word-form familiarity bootstraps infant speech segmentation. Developmental Science, 16, 980-990. [IF 3.808]
  • Altvater-Mackensen, N. & N. Mani (2013). The impact of mispronunciations on toddler word recognition: Evidence for cascaded activation of semantically related words from mispronunciations of familiar words. Infancy, 18, 1030-1052. [IF 2.086]
  • Fikkert, P. & N. Altvater-Mackensen (2013). Insights into variation across children based on longitudinal dutch data on phonological acquisition. Studio Linguistica, 67, 148-164.
  • Altvater-Mackensen, N. & P. Fikkert (2010). The acquisition of the stop-fricative contrast in perception and production. Lingua 120, 1898-1909. [IF 0.647]
  • Altvater-Mackensen, N. & P. Fikkert (2007). On the acquisition of nasals in Dutch and German. Linguistics in the Netherlands, 24, 14-24.
  • Altvater-Mackensen, N. et al. (2005). Science and technology in the region: The output of regional science and technology, its strengths and its leading institutions. Scientometrics, 63, 463-529. [IF 2.183]

Conference Proceedings

  • Altvater-Mackensen, N. & N. Mani (2013). Effects of pre-exposure to object and label during word-learning. In Baiz, S., Goldman, N. & Hawkes, R. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 37th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, Vol. 1, pp. 13-23. Sommerville: Cascadilla Press.
  • Altvater-Mackensen, N. & N. Mani (2011). Bilinguals activate words from both languages when listening to spoken sentences. Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.

Book Chapters

  • Altvater-Mackensen, N. (2020). Listen up! Developmental changes in perception in the first years of life. In Worthington, D. & Bodie, G. (Eds.), Handbook of Listening, pp.121-137. Wiley.
  • Benders, T. & N. Altvater-Mackensen (2017). Before the word: acquiring a phoneme inventory. In Westermann, G. & Mani, N. (Eds.), Current Issues in Developmental Psychology: Early Word Learning, pp. 1-14. Taylor & Francis.
  • Bobb, S.C., Drummond Nauck, L.Y.D., Altvater-Mackensen, N., Von Holzen, K. & N. Mani (2016). Listening with your cohort: Do bilingual toddlers co-activate cohorts from both languages when hearing words in one language alone? In Schwieter, J.W. (Ed.), Bilingual Processing and Acquisition: Cognitive Control and Consequences in the multilingual mind, pp. 47-69. John Benjamins.
  • Altvater-Mackensen, N. & N. Mani (2015). Phonological features mediate object-label retrieval and word recognition in the visual world paradigm. In Mishra, R.K., Srinivasan, N. & Huettig, F. (Eds.), Attention and vision in language processing, pp. 23-28. Springer.