o. D. CREUTZFELDT, Max-Planck-Institut fUr Biophysikalische Chern ie, D-3400 G6ttingen, FRG In the name of the European Brain and Behaviour Society (EBBS) and the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, I welcome you to this workshop on Hearing Mechanisms and Speech. It is the aim of EBBS, to tackle brain mechanisms of complex behavioral performances. Language is certainly a complex - haviour, and understanding of language as well. Through language an individual is able to express the internal p- cesses within his brain in symbols of this experience and communicate them to others. This implies also the description of the world in which we live in as far as this world induces, through the sensory organs, activities in our brains. This symbolical representation of the world is, in itself, a real world to which our brain relates itself, in creating and in understanding it (Creutzfeldt, 1979). Therefore, any s- cific language influences thinking and broader aspects of behaviour, and this may explain some of the differences as found between language populations (Herder, 1772iHumboldt, 1836). In as much as the function of language is a symbolical rep- sentation of reality, it must be able to describe this reality, sufficiently and generally. In so far, the rules to which any XIII language is subjected, are dictated by the reality to which we relate ourself through language. These rules are general, and therefore general rules or a universal grammar may be generated, common to all languages (Chomsky, 1965).