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The Cognitive Neuroscience of Second Language Acquisition

Marianne Gullberg (Editor), Peter Indefrey (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-5542-7
356 pages
August 2006, Wiley-Blackwell
The Cognitive Neuroscience of Second Language Acquisition (1405155426) cover image
This volume explores the cognitive neuroscience of second language acquisition from the perspectives of critical/sensitive periods, maturational effects, individual differences, neural regions involved, and processing characteristics. The research methods used include functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), positron emission tomography (PET), and event related potentials (ERP).

  • The studies in this volume provide initial answers to core questions including: which brain areas are reliably activated in second language processing? Are they the same or different from those activated in first language acquisition and use? And what are the behavioral consequences of individual differences among brains?
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1. Age and second language acquisition: A selective overview.

2. L2 acquisition, age and generativist reasoning. Commentary on Birdsong.

3. Development of the human cortex and the concept of "critical" or '"sensitive" periods.

4. What we cannot learn from neuroanatomy about language learning and language processing. Commentary on Uylings.

5. Convergence, degeneracy and control.

6. The plastic bilingual brain: Synaptic pruning or growth? Commentary on Green, et al.

7. Executive control in bilingual language processing.

8. On language and the brain – Or on (psycho)linguists and neuroscientists? Commentary on Rodriguez-Fornells et al.

9. Novice learners, longitudinal designs, and event-related potentials: A means for exploring the neurocognition of second-language processing.

10. Strategies for longitudinal neurophysiology. Commentary on Osterhout et al.

11. L2 in a nutshell - The investigation of second language processing in the miniature language model.

12. Cracking the nutshell differently. Commentary on Mueller.

13. A meta-analysis of hemodynamic studies on first and second language processing: Which suggested differences can we trust and what do they mean?.

14. When does the neurological basis of first and second language processing differ? Commentary on Indefrey.

15. Summing up: Some themes in the cognitive neuroscience of second language acquisition

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John H. Schumann is Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has a doctoral degree in education with a specialization in human development from Harvard University. His research includes work on second language acquisition, the neurobiology of language, and the evolution of language. He is the author of The Neurobiology of Affect in Language (Blackwell, 1997) and is a co-author of The Neurobiology of Learning (2004).

Peter Indefrey is Principal Investigator at the F.C. Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging in Nijmegen and, together with Marianne Gullberg, Head of the research project "The Dynamics of Multilingual Processing" at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. He has a M.D. and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. His research is on first and second language processing and its neural correlates. Some of his favorite topics are syntactic and morphological processing, word production, reading, and the development of language processing in L2 learners. He has published in a variety of journals, including Cognition, PNAS, Neuroimage, Journal of Experimental Psychology, Brain and Language, and Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Marianne Gullberg is a Scientific Staff member at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen and, together with Peter Indefrey, Head of the research project "The Dynamics of Multilingual Processing" at this Institute. She holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Lund University, Sweden. Her research focuses on the processing of second and third languages, particularly at the earliest stages of acquisition and at the advanced or bilingual stage. Topics covered range from lexical semantics, implicit learning, cross-linguistic (bi-directional) influences, code-switching, and the production and comprehension of gestures in a cross-linguistic perspective. She has published in a variety of journals, including Language Learning, Journal of Child Language, and Pragmatics & Cognition.

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  • The studies in this volume provide initial answers to core questions including: which brain areas are reliably activated in second language processing? Are they the same or different from those activated in first language acquisition and use? And what are the behavioral consequences of individual differences among brains?

  • Explores the cognitive neuroscience of second language acquisition from the perspectives of critical/sensitive periods, maturational effects, individual differences, neural regions involved, and processing characteristics.

  • Utilizes research methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), positron emission tomography (PET), and event related potentials (ERP).
See More
“The work sets out to consider the neural evidence regarding L2 critical periods and related issues, a task in which it succeeds rather well.” Studies in Second Language Acquisition<!--end-->
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