Northwestern University

Fri 12:00 PM

How Bilingualism Changes Linguistic, Cognitive, and Neural Function

recurring see all events in this series

When: Friday, October 26, 2018
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM  

Where: Rebecca Crown Center, Hardin Hall, 633 Clark Street, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

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

Contact: Dylan Peterson   847.467.2770

Group: Buffett Institute for Global Studies

Category: Global & Civic Engagement


The majority of the world population is bilingual or multilingual. In this talk, Viorica Marian will review evidence showing that learning another language results in profound changes to the human linguistic, cognitive, and neural architectures. She will show that a bilingual's two languages constantly interact and influence each other. Bilinguals’ experience managing their two languages translates to changes not only in the domain of language (such as advantages in language learning), but also to changes in other domains (such as executive function and visual search), and influences brain activation. Using eye-tracking, mouse-tracking, EEG, and fMRI data, Marian suggests that the highly interactive and dynamic nature of bilingualism changes cognition and the brain.

Prof. Marian is the Sundin Endowed Chair of Communication Sciences and Disorders and Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University. Since 2000, Prof. Marian directs the Bilingualism and Psycholinguistics Research Group, funded by the National Institutes of Health. Her research on bilingualism and its consequences for cognition, language, and the brain receives extensive press coverage.

The Buffett Institute Faculty & Fellows Colloquium brings together an interdisciplinary audience to build awareness of global research on campus. This series promotes dialogue on scholarship and develops a deeper sense of community among Buffett Institute affiliates. Each meeting lasts one hour; lunch is provided. 

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