Research groups of the Department funded by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) starting 1 July 2017

Ilona Kovács, Institute of Psychology

Maturation and experience in adolescent brain development topic received HUF 25 Mio./year, for 5 years

Adolescence is the transitional state between childhood and adulthood, characterized by physical and psychological changes, as well as the rearrangement of the cerebral cortex. Similarly to childhood, adolescence is considered a sensitive period when the brain opens up to new experiences, but it is highly vulnerable too. The description of the maturational process of the adolescent brain is particularly important as it enables the development of educational strategies to enhance healthy development; and the development of early intervention strategies for those with developmental disorders. Our research, therefore, is addressing public health issues and major societal problems.

The aim of the research is to investigate the role of biological age in cognitive functioning and in the development of functional networks within the cerebral cortex. Research in the area of adolescence has not yet seriously considered the individual variability in puberty onset time. The role of neuroendocrine maturation as opposed to experience is unknown in the structural and functional changes of an adolescent brain. We attempt to address this issue employing a novel method that enables us to dissociate the roles of biological maturation versus experience in the developmental processes. Behavioral and electrophysiological measurements shall be conducted in the selected adolescent sample. The behavioral tests include the assessment of mental age, response inhibition, cognitive flexibility, and procedural learning. The electrophysiological measurements include resting state activity, synchonization patterns during sleep, and sleep-dependent learning. These enable an independent mapping of maturation and experience-dependent functional networks.

This project is unique in Hungary and at the international level as it distinguishes between the biological and experience-dependent elements of adolescent development for the first time. This new paradigm will not only rewrite the relevant chapters of cognitive developmental psychology, but provides an oppotrtunity for a wide spectrum of applications to be tested from talent management to the treatment of mental problems.

Kornél Szovák, Institute of History

received 20M HUF/year, for further five years (MTA-ELTE-PPKE Classical Studies Research Group)

Main subprojects are the Dictionary of Medieval Latin, the Janus Pannonius text edition and editing medieval sources

The Research Centre is going to continue working in the fields of the previous grant cycle, i.e.: 1) detailed philological analysis of Greek and Latin texts, promoting the understanding of  Antiquity and its legacy in a changing environment; 2) performing clearly defined tasks closely connected to the aims of point 1), i.e. compiling a complete dictionary of medieval Latin used in Hungary; critical edition of Janus Pannonius’ texts, and 3) training the next generation of researchers in the fields of Classical Philology, Byzantinology and Medieval Studies for independent scholarly and academic work.

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences decided to establish the Research Centre for Classical Studies in the framework of the Faculty of Humanities at ELTE, and the Centre has been there since 1962. Research activities were headed by well-known Hungarian scholars specialized in the various subfields of Classical Studies: Imre Trencsényi Waldapfel (1958–1968), János Harmatta (1968–1988) and Miklós Maróth (1988–2012). The aim of the oldest project dating back to 1934 is to discover, collect and make a dictionary of the medieval Latin vocabulary of Hungary, as well as to provide this information for a monumental international project (Novum Glossarium Mediae Latinitatis). This project was led by prominent Hungarian scholars: József Huszti (1987–1954), János Horváth, jr. (1911–1977) and Iván Boronkai (1933–1995). The edition of Janus Pannonius’ oeuvre has a long history, too. The work of the Research Centre, also filling gaps in Hungarian research, is supervised by the relevant MTA Commission and the Union Academique International. Since 1990 the Research Centre has been included in the MTA grant system; now it is a joint research group of ELTE and PPCU, funded by MTA. Since 1990 research has primarily been focused on projects such as the Medieval Latin dictionary, the Janus Pannonius text edition, and the bibliography of Ancient Studies in Hungary. During the decades of its existence the Research Croup presented notable results in training the new generations of scholars who according to their professional abilities participated in university education while fulfilling their duties in publishing and projects. The Research Centre edits the new series of the Studies on Latinity in Hungary (Értekezések a Magyarországi Latinság Köréből) founded by József Huszti.

The lexicographical database, managed, maintained and developed by the Research Centre, includes hundreds of thousands of records. Currently it serves two purposes: firstly, it is the basis of the ongoing dictionary compilation, secondly, it provides a complex vocabulary index of Latin documents in Hungary, which supports research in medieval studies. Processing is aided by a thematic branch library of ca. 7,000 volumes collected for the project, as well as an extensive modern digital infrastructure.


Péter Tusor, Institute of History

Relationship of Hungary and the Holy See (15 to 20th century);

Systematic text research and publication based on Rome, papal, state and private collections topic received HUF 22 Mio./year, for 5 years

HAS-PPCU “Fraknói” Ecclesiastical History Research Group

The research program Historical research in the Vatican (15 to 20th c.) follows the successful method of the Impetus project. It focuses on the systematic, institutionalizing reorganization of prominent Hungarian research in the Vatican, highlighted by Vilmos Fraknói.

The research of the historical relationship between Hungary and the Holy See, the systematic source analysis with the traditions of the Hungarian historical research methods and with international horizons, are areas of possibilities and challenges. The series “Collectanea Vaticana Hungariae” publishing the results was established in 2004 at PPCU; and it has been co-published with HAS in the frame of the Impetus program since 2012.

21 volumes have already been published. Cf. →

Following the German model, the research branches off into three major directions: Late Middle Ages, Early Modernity and 20th century. They can be utilized in manifold ways, partly interdisciplinary; and are characterized by a church, diplomacy, culture and politics (also military) history in international context. Among the historical “internal” subdisciplines archontology and prosopography, monasteryology and local history can benefit from these works.

The prior mission and aim of the HAS-PPCU Ecclesiastical History Research Group are to carry out scholarly research and university teaching based on it. Apart from training the next generation of scholars, it is the group’s identity-specific raison d’etre at the Department of Humanities of PPCU. The research fellows and assistants, and PhD candidates are all excellent former graduates of ecclesiastical history at PPCU.

The financial support for five years, until 2022, granted by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences is the recognition of the research/teaching of two decades at the Department of Humanities of PPCU.


Judit P. Vásárhelyi, Institute of Hungarian Language and Literature  (PPCU)

The ” MTA–PPKE Research Group on Baroque Literature and Spirituality” received HUF 20 Mio/year, for 5 years

The HAS-PPCU Baroque Literature and Spirituality Research Group aims to continue the research work started in 2012. The group studies the sources of literature and spirituality in the Carpathian Basin in the 17th and 18th century and publishes the results. The members of the group build three databases: one of prayers, one of sermons and one of church songs. Each database contains around ten thousand entries. The research group updates and publishes bibliographies of printed source materials and secondary sources relating to the topics of spirituality in cooperation with the bibliographic works at the National Széchényi Library (Bibliography of Early Hungarian Printings 1473-1700 (RMNy) and Bibliography of Hungarica in the 18th century (Petrik)). In agreement with the Institute for Literary Studies of the Research Centre for the Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences the research group undertakes the editing of the lacking volume from the 17th century section of the Hungarian Poets series (working title: RMKT 17th century – Catholic hymns in the last two decades of the century). The group advances the cooperation between researchers in the Carpathian Basin through organizing two conferences per annum. The conference volumes, publications presenting the results of ongoing research of the group members, the source publications and bibliographies are also published on the website of the group. Special emphasis is laid on the secularization in the 18th century and on the emergence of secular topics in connection with spiritual literature. The group members participate in monthly lectures to introduce their research area to a wider audience. The next generation of scholars trained at the Doctoral School of PPCU are also involved in the research work.

Péter Pázmány has always been a recurring author in the topics and source materials (prayers, meditations, sermons, representations) of the research group. It is therefore evident that the project shall include the oeuvre of Péter Pázmány in the research program of the next cycle. This will undoubtedly strengthen the research profile of the group. The detailed research program describes how the current Pázmány research continues and complements the previous studies of the extensive oeuvre of 40 literary works.