Neuroplasticity and Second Language Learning: Identifying Functional and Structural Brain Changes

Symposium 2-4Time:15:00 - 16:30
Ping Li1
1Department of Psychology & Center for Brain, Behavior, and Cognition, Pennsylvania State University, USA

How does the learning of a new language change the brain when the brain is already committed to one’s native tongue? While mainstream cognitive research on language has previously focused on monolingual processing, recent years have seen a surge of interest in the neuroplasticity as a function of bilingual language experience. In this talk, I ask how second language experience shapes functional and neuroanatomical changes in the bilingual context, and address this question with evidence from a number of our training studies of students who learn Chinese as a second language. We attempt to identify (a) how neurocognitive changes occur as a function of learning contexts (traditional vs. 3D immersive virtual environment), (b) how such changes may capture learning success and effectiveness, and (c) whether such changes may be predicted based on individual learners’ neurocognitive profiles. Findings from our studies and other recent studies are beginning to provide insights into the understanding of neuroplasticity (e.g., how learning leads to domain-specific and domain-general brain changes), individual differences (e.g., how cognitive and linguistic abilities impact and predict learning success), and knowledge representation (e.g., how brain networks reflect knowledge and understanding in monolingual and bilingual contexts).

Online Submission Registration Conference Program

 Important Dates

Submissions Open:
December 10, 2016

Symposia submissions due:
March 1, 2017

Abstract submissions due:
April 10, 2017

Authors will be notified of decisions by:
May 20-22, 2017

Registration open:
May 21, 2017

September 1-3, 2017