Northwestern Events Calendar


Pepper Lecture: Bilingualism and its Consquences for Cognition, Language and the Brain

When: Wednesday, April 13, 2016
4:30 PM - 7:00 PM  

Where: Frances Searle Building, Room 3-417, 2240 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Tricia David   847.491.5312

Group: Forum for Languages and Cultures (Buffett Institute)

Category: Academic


Lecture by Professor Viorica Marian, Ph.D.,
Ralph and Jean Sundin Endowed Chair in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Professor of Psychology

The majority of the world population is bilingual or multilingual. Research on language, cognition and the brain must take into account linguistic diversity in order to obtain a more accurate and more complete understanding of human function. In this talk, I will show that a bilingual's two languages constantly interact and influence each other and that bilinguals maintain both languages active in parallel during comprehension. This experience with language co-activation translates to changes not only in the same domain (such as language learning", but also to domain-general differences in cognitive function (such as inhibitory control and visual search), and is also reflected in patterns of neural activation in the bilingual brain. Using eye-tracking, mouse-tracking,, EEG and FMRI data, I will suggest that the highly interactive and dynamic nature of the bilingual linguistic architecture changes cognitive and neural function.


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