Speakers:

Vincent DeLuca - Vincent is Associate Professor in the Neurocognition of Bilingualism and co-director of the Psycholinguistics of Language Representation (PoLaR) lab in the AcqVa Aurora Centre at UiT-The Arctic University of Norway. His research is focused on how different aspects of bilingual language experience variably impact brain structure, function, and several cognitive processes. His work focuses on how these neural and cognitive adaptations dynamically shift over time and with changes to patterns of language use.

Toms Voits - Toms is a Postdoctoral Researcher at UiT the Arctic University of Norway. He is affiliated with the Psycholinguistics of Language Representation (PoLaR) lab and the AcqVA Aurora Center in the Department of Language and Culture at UiT. His work is primarily focused on investigating the effects of bilingualism on neurocognition, with a particular interest in examining bilingualism as a contributing factor to cognitive and brain reserves in the later years of life.

 

Jason Rothman - Jason is Professor of Linguistics at UiT the Arctic University of Norway and Senior Researcher in Cognitive Science at Universidad Nebrija (Spain). He is deputy director of the AcqVA Aurora Center at UiT, where he co-leads the center’s theme/concentration on the Neurocognition of Bilingualism. Professor Rothman also co-directs the center’s Psycholinguistics of Language Representation (PoLaR) lab. A linguist by training, he has worked extensively on language acquisition, linguistic processing and language-associated links to domain general neurocognition across the lifespan of varioustypes of bi-/multilingual populations. He is founding editor of the journal Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism and serves as executive editor of the book series Studies in Bilingualism.

Title: Neurocognitve effects of bilingual experience

Abstract: Much research over the past two decades shows that bilingualism affects brain structure, function, and potentially domain-general cognition (see e.g., Bialystok 2017; Pliatsikas 2019). The specificity of these effects, however, has become the subject of significant debate in recent years, in large part due to variability of findings across studies (see Leivada et al. 2020 for review). In this talk, we will introduce our research programs within the Psycholinguistics of Language Representation (PoLaR) lab that addresses the juxtaposition of data and argumentation. Our work is guided by the principle that although bilingual effects are existent, they are conditional. In other words, bilingualism per se is not a sufficient condition for relevant effects on neurocognition. We will review our work that is generally designed to test the hypothesis that specific experience-based factors (EBFs) variably affect neural activity and plasticity in brain regions and pathways implicated in language- and executive control across the lifespan. We present results from a series of MRI studies showing a specificity of neural adaptations to different EBFs (DeLuca, Rothman, and Pliatsikas 2019; DeLuca et al. 20192020) in younger adults. We will also present data from older adults, showing similar EBF effects in healthy cognitive ageing (Tms Voits, Robson, and Pliatsikas, n.d.) and with mild cognitive impairment (Toms Voits et al., n.d.). EBFs related to duration of bilingual language use correlate to neurocognitive adaptations suggesting increased efficiency in language control, whereas those related to extent of additional language use correlate with adaptations suggesting increased control demands. Considered together, these data suggest that the brain strives to be maximally effective and efficient in language processing and control, which in turn affects domain-general cognitive processes proportionally to degree of engagement with bilingual experiences. The work in older populations leads to the conclusion that degree of engagement with bilingualism is a catalyst for cognitive/brain reserve and thus has some real-world benefits in aging.

 

About The Language Technology and Data Analysis Laboratory (LADAL) Webinars 2021

The Language Technology and Data Analysis Laboratory (LADAL) is school-based support infrastructure for computational humanities research established and maintained by the UQ School of Languages and Cultures. The LADAL is part of the ARDC Australian Text Analytics Platform (ATAP) which represents a nation-wide attempt to foster computational skills in HASS. It collaborates with and shares expertise with several Australian and international centres, institutions, researchers, and experts.

The LADAL consists of a specialist computing lab for language-based computational and experimental work (the Computational and Experimental Workshop) and an online virtual lab (the LADAL website). The LADAL website offers self-guided study materials and hands-on tutorials on topics relating to digital tools, computational methods for data extraction and processing, data visualization, statistical analyses of language data, and provides links to further resources and short descriptions of digital tools relevant for digital HASS research. In addition, the LADAL offers face-to-face consultations and specialized workshops. SLC researchers are encouraged to contact LADAL staff for advice and guidance on matters relating to digital research tools, data visualization, various statistical procedures, and text analytics.  As such, the LADAL offers pathways to new research possibilities in HASS with a focus on computational quantitative text analytics.

 

Venue

Zoom link https://uqz.zoom.us/j/6388735320
Room: 
Online