New publication co-authored by members of our lab!
A new publication by Magdalena Łuniewska, Marta Wójcik, Joanna Kołak, Karolina Mieszkowska, Zofia Wodniecka and Ewa Haman is now available: Word knowledge and lexical access in monolingual and bilingual migrant children: Impact of word properties Click here for more information!
Word knowledge and the speed of word processing in monolingual children and adults are influenced by word properties, such as the age of acquisition (AoA), imageability, and frequency. Understanding how different properties of words contribute to the ease of processing by bilingual children is a critical step for establishing models of childhood bilingualism. However, a joint impact of these properties has not been so far assessed in bilingual children. Here, we compared the impact of AoA, imageability, and frequency on accuracy and response times in picture naming and picture recognition tasks in monolingual and bilingual children. We used Cross-Linguistic Lexical Tasks to test 45 monolingual children (aged 4 to 7 years) and 45 migrant bilingual children in their L1 (Polish). Word AoA, imageability, and frequency independently affected the accuracy and response times in both picture naming and picture recognition tasks. Crucially, bilingual children were more sensitive to word characteristics than their monolingual peers: Bilingual children’s accuracy was particularly low for words of high AoA (in the picture recognition task) and for words of low frequency (in the picture naming task). Also, the increase in response times for low-imageable and low-frequent words was particularly salient in bilingual children. The results suggest a new area of interest for further studies: the question of whether bilinguals and monolinguals show different sensitivity to psycholinguistic factors, and if so, does that sensitivity change with age or language exposure?
New publication co-authored by Kalinka Timmer and Zofia Wodniecka!
A new publication by Kalinka Timmer, Albert Costa and Zofia Wodniecka is now available: The source of attention modulations in bilingual language contexts Click here for more information!
Abstract:Bilinguals who switch from a monolingual context to a bilingual context enhance their domain-general attentional system. But what drives the adaptation process and translates into the observed increased efficiency of the attentional system? To uncover the origin of the plasticity in a bilingual’s language experience, we investigated whether switching between other types of categories also modulated domain-general attentional processes. We compared performance of Catalan-Spanish bilinguals across three experiments in which participants performed the Attentional Network Test in a mixed context and in two single contexts that were created by interleaving words with flankers. The contexts were related to switching (or not) between languages (Experiment-1) or between low-level perceptual color categories (Experiment-2) or between linguistic categories (Experiment-3). Both switching between languages and linguistic categories revealed increased target-P3 amplitudes in mixed contexts compared to single contexts. These findings can inform the Inhibitory Control model regarding the locus and domain-generality of attentional adaptations.
Join “The Multilingual Mind: Online lecture series on multilingualism across disciplines”!
The lecture series will take place Tuesdays from 17.00 until 18.30 (CET/UTC+01) starting on the 2nd of November. The first talk will be held by Sergio Soares (University of Konstanz) on “Neurophysiological oscillatory correlates of heritage bilingualism”.
To attend the lecture series please visit and register here !
You should receive an email with the link immediately.
If you would like to listen to the talks but cannot attend any of the lectures, recordings will be available on MultiMind’s YouTube channel
New publication co-authored by the members of our lab!
A new publication by Agnieszka Otwinowska, Marta Marecka, Alba Casado, Joanna Durlik, Jakub Szewczyk, Marcin Opacki and Zofia Wodniecka is now available: Does L2 Proficiency Impact L2-L1 Transfer While Reading L1 Collocations? Evidence From Behavioral and ERP Data Click here for more information!
Abstract:Multi-word expressions (MWEs) are fixed, conventional phrases often used by native speakers of a given language (L1). The type of MWEs investigated in this study were collocations. For bilinguals who have intensive contact with the second language (L2), collocational patterns can be transferred from the L2 to the L1 as a result of cross-linguistic influence (CLI). For example, bilingual migrants can accept collocations from their L2 translated to their L1 as correct. In this study, we asked whether such CLI is possible in native speakers living in the L1 environment and whether it depends on their L2 English proficiency. To this end, we created three lists of expressions in Polish: (1) well-formed Polish verb-noun collocations (e.g., ma sens – ∗has sense), (2) collocational calques from English (loan translations), where the English verb was replaced by a Polish translation equivalent (e.g., ∗robi sens – makes sense), and, as a reference (3) absurd verb-noun expression, where the verb did not collocate with the noun (e.g., ∗zjada sens – ∗eats sense). We embedded the three types of collocations in sentences and presented them to L1 Polish participants of varying L2 English proficiency in two experiments. We investigated whether L2 calques would (1) be explicitly judged as non-native in the L1; (2) whether they would evoke differential brain response than native L1 Polish equivalents in the event-related potentials (ERPs). We also explored whether the sensitivity to CLI in calques depended on participants’ level of proficiency in L2 English. The results indicated that native speakers of Polish assessed the calques from English as less acceptable than the correct Polish collocations. Still, there was no difference in online processing of correct and calques collocations as measured by the ERPs. This suggests a dissociation between explicit offline judgments and indices of online language processing. Interestingly, English L2 proficiency did not modulate these effects. The results indicate that the influence of English on Polish is so pervasive that collocational calques from this language are likely to become accepted and used by Poles.
New publication co-authored by Kalinka Timmer!
A new publication by Cong Liu, Lu Jiao, Kalinka Timmer and Ruiming Wang is now available: Structural brain changes with second language learning: A longitudinal voxel-based morphometry study Click here for more information!
The underlying mechanisms that adapt with L2 learning are still poorly understood. The present longitudinal study examined the effects of L2 learning on grey matter structure of Chinese college freshmen majoring in English. Participants were scanned twice, one year apart. Our voxel-based morphometry analyses revealed that gray matter volume (GMV) decreased in the left anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) after L2 learning for one year. Critically, these structural adaptations correlated with changes in participants’ language control ability across L2 learning. Moreover, age of acquisition of L2 was a significant predictor of volumetric change in the left ACC and L2 proficiency was a significant predictor of volumetric change in the right IFG. Overall, these findings enrich our understanding of the dynamic nature of structural brain adaptations, and the mechanisms these adaptations index, as a function of classroom L2 learning.
New publication co-authored by Patrycja Kałamała, Jonas Walther and Zofia Wodniecka!
A new publication by Patrycja Kałamała, Jonas Walther, Haoyun Zhang, Michele Diaz, Magdalena Senderecka and Zofia Wodniecka is now available: The use of a second language enhances the neural efficiency of inhibitory control: an ERP study Click here for more information!
This study investigated how natural language use influences inhibition in language-unbalanced bilinguals. We experimentally induced natural patterns of language use (as proposed by the Adaptive Control Hypothesis) and assessed their cognitive after-effects in a group of 32 Polish–English bilinguals. Each participant took part in a series of three language games involving real conversation. Each game was followed by two inhibition tasks (stop-signal task and Stroop task). The manipulation of language use in the form of language games did not affect the behavioural measures, but it did affect ERPs. Performance of the inhibition tasks was accompanied by a reduction of P3 and the N450 amplitude differences after games involving the use of L2. The ERP modulations suggest that for bilinguals living in an L1 context the use of L2 enhances neural mechanisms related to inhibition. The study provides the first evidence for a direct influence of natural language use on inhibition.
New publication co-authored by Sofia Castro!
A new publication by Sofia Castro, Marcin Bukowski, Juan Lupiáñez and Zofia Wodniecka is now available: Fast or Accurate? The Change of Goals Modulates the Efficiency of Executive Control Click here for more information!
In the present study, we analyse the influence of goal maintenance and goal change on the efficiency of executive control. Although there is empirical evidence on the impact of goal maintenance and task-switching on executive control, little is known about the consequences of changing between processing goals (e.g., speed or accuracy goals). We assessed the influence of changing between speed and accuracy goals while performing a task-switching procedure that requires social categorization. Experiment 1 included frequent goal changes, whereas Experiment 2 included one goal change across the experimental session. The results showed that both goals influence general performance and flexibility. A comparison between experiments suggested that frequent goal change (Experiment 1) resulted in worse performance and lower flexibility overall, compared to sequential goal change (Experiment 2). Frequent goal change was also associated with increased difficulties in pursuing the accuracy goal. The implications regarding the role of goal maintenance and goal change on executive control are discussed, as well as new research possibilities.
New publication co-authored by Kalinka Timmer!
A new publication by Kalinka Timmer, Zofia Wodniecka and Albert Costa is now available: Rapid attentional adaptations due to language (monolingual vs bilingual) context Click here for more information!
Does our general attentional system adapt to the language context we are in? Bilinguals switch between contexts in which only one language is present or both languages are equiprobable. Previous research by Wu and Thierry (2013) suggested that the bilingual language context can modify the workings of inhibitory control mechanisms. Here we investigate whether this can be replicated and whether other attentional mechanisms (alerting and orienting) also adjust depending on whether we are in a bilingual or a monolingual situation. Bilinguals performed the Attentional Network Task (ANT) task, which allows us to measure three types of attentional processes: alerting, orienting and executive control. Crucially, while performing the ANT task, participants also saw words presented in only one language (e.g., Catalan; monolingual context) or in two languages (Catalan and Spanish; bilingual context); this allowed us to assess whether the three attentional processes would be modified by language context. Compared to the monolingual context, in the bilingual context the target-P3 amplitude was enhanced for the alerting and executive control networks but not for the orienting network. This suggests that bilinguals’ state of alertness was enhanced when surrounded by words from two languages. Exploratory analyses reveal that within the bilingual context, language switches have an alerting effect, as indexed by a greater target-N1, thus impacting upcoming visual processing of the flanker. Response hand activation is speeded up for congruent trials in a similar way that arbitrary alerting cues speed them up. This speed-up was reflected in a greater LRP in the bilingual context, but it was not reflected in behavioral measures (RTs or ACC). Thus, a bilingual context can enhance attentional capacity towards non-linguistic information. It also reveals how flexible the cognitive system is.
The Karuza Lab at The Pennsylvania State University is recruiting participants
for a study!
The Karuza Lab at The Pennsylvania State University (USA — http://karuzalab.la.psu.edu) is recruiting adult participants (ages 18-30)for a study on how people learn and use language. Activities will be
conducted remotely using your personal computer.
To participate you must:
Be between 18 and 30 years old
Be fluent in English AND at least one other language
Have completed at least a high school (secondary) education
Have normal or corrected-to- normal hearing and vision (like glasses)
Have no history of neurological injury or disease
Eligible participants will complete:Be between 18 and 30 years old; Be fluent in English AND at least one other language; Have completed at least a high school (secondary) education; Have normal or corrected-to-
normal hearing and vision (like glasses); Have no history of neurological
injury or disease.
Eligible participants will complete: One testing session that lasts 60-90 minutes and a language history questionnaire and some language learning tasks.
There is an initial screening for this study. Eligible participants will be compensated the equivalent of 10 USD per hour.
For more information please contact: Dr. Elisabeth Karuza at email@example.com. This work is supported by the Partnerships for International Research and Education and in collaboration with Dr. Zofia Wodniecka of Jagiellonian University.
New publication co-authored by Alba Casado!
A new publication by Alba Casado, Alfonso Palma and Daniela Paolieri is now available: The scope of grammatical gender in Spanish: Transference to the conceptual level Click here for more information!
The aim of the present study was to explore under what circumstances we could observe a transference from grammatical gender to the conceptual representation of sex in Spanish, a two-gender language. The participants performed a lexical decision task and a gender decision task in the auditory modality, including words referencing inanimate entities associated with males or females. The sex stereotype could be congruent (falda [skirt], feminine) or incongruent (corbata [tie], feminine) with the grammatical gender. If the transfer from grammatical gender to conceptual information related to sex is settled, we should observed faster access for the congruent words compared with the incongruent ones both in the gender decision task and in the lexical decision task. The results showed a facilitation while processing congruent vs. incongruent words where attention to gender was mandatory during the adapted gender decision task. However, there was a lack of transference during the lexical decision task that might have been caused by the absence of direct conceptual activation by the time the decision was made. Additionally, we found that grammatical gender and sex-related information are closely connected, such as the indexical information about the sex of the speaker primes the activation of information related to sex at the conceptual (sex stereotype) and also at the lexical level (grammatical gender). Altogether, the results indicate that gender congruency effect is magnified by direct gender activation.
New paper co-authored by Alba Casado!
A new paper by Ana B. García-Gámez, Óscar Cervilla, Alba Casado and Pedro Macizo is now available: Seeing or acting? The effect of performing gestures on foreign language vocabulary learning Click here for more information!
We evaluate the impact of gestures during the teaching of vocabulary in a foreign language (FL). Spanish speakers learned words in a FL in four gesture conditions according to the relationship between the meaning of the words and the gestures (congruent gestures, incongruent gestures, gestures without meaning, and no gestures). The participants learned the words by performing gestures (‘do’ teaching group) or by observing the gestures performed by others (‘see’ teaching group). Compared to the meaningless gesture condition, the processing of congruent gestures facilitated the recall of second language (L2) words in the ‘see’ and ‘do’ teaching groups. However, the interference effect associated with the processing of incongruent gestures was greater in the ‘see’ teaching group than in the ‘do’ teaching group. Thus, the performance of gestures seems to mitigate the negative impact that the use of gestures may have on the teaching of vocabulary in a foreign language.
Congratulations to Patrycja Kałamała-Ligęza!
We are happy to announce that Patrycja Kałamała-Ligęza, our lab memeber, has been awarded the scholarship for exceptionally skilled young scientists by the Polish Ministry of Education and Science. Congratulations!
In partnership with 7 European universities, we are starting a new project TEAM!
It aims at preparing teachers and other educators to better deal with language and cultural diversity in their work environment.
New paper co-authored by Sofía Castro!
A new paper by Sofía Castro and Pedro Macizo is now available: All Roads Lead to Rome: Semantic Priming Between Language and Arithmetic Click here for more information!
This study evaluated the existence of universal principles of cognition, common to language and arithmetic. Specifically, we analysed cross-domain semantic priming between affirmative sentences and additions, and between negative sentences and subtractions. To this end, we developed and tested a new priming procedure composed of prime sentences and target arithmetic operations. On each trial, participants had to read an affirmative or negative sentence (e.g., “The circle is red”, “The square is not yellow”) and select, between two images, the one that matched the meaning of the sentence. Afterwards, participants had to solve a one-digit addition or subtraction (e.g., 7 + 4, 6 – 3), either by selecting the correct result between two possible alternatives (Experiment 1), or by verbalizing the result of the operation (Experiment 2). We manipulated the task difficulty of both the sentences and the operations by varying the similarity between the response options for the sentence (Experiment 1 and 2), and the numerical distance between the possible results for the operation (Experiment 1). We found semantic priming for subtractions, so that participants solved subtractions faster after negative versus affirmative sentences, and this effect was modulated by the difficulty of the operation. This is the first study reporting semantic priming effects between language and arithmetic. The outcomes of this work seem to suggest a shared semantic system between both cognitive domains.
MultiMind lecture series!
We are happy to invite you to join a series of open lectures on multilingualism. The first lecture by Erika Hoff (Florida Atlantic University): Why bilingual development is not easy, but possible will take place online via Zoom on 13.04.2021 at 17.00 – 18.30 (CET/UTC+01).
The talk is part of the MultiMind project, of which we are pleased to be a partner.
More details, including link to the Zoom meeting, can be found here
Congratulations to Kalinka Timmer!
We are happy to announce that Kalinka Timmer, our lab memeber, is the winner of the first competiton for minigrants of one of the excellence initiatives at Jagiellonian University: the POB Heritage! Congratulations!
We are happy to announce that Sadiye Cankurtaran, our lab memeber, was selected for a student spotlight by Internatıonal Neuropsychology Society! She is the second place winner in their Mini-Webinar Series. Congratulations!
International Mother Tongue Day Celebrations with Bilingualism Matters!
We are glad to invite you to join this year’s International Mother Tongue Day (IMLD) celebrations on 21st February at 2 pm (UTC+1).
International Mother Language Day is a worldwide annual observance held on 21 February to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism. The MultiMind project will offer virtual events on the 21st February in the countries involved in MultiMind and in different languages to celebrate the day. The events will be aimed at anyone interested to learn more about multilingualism in general as well as multilingualism in the different countries.
The event will take place online via MS Teams on 21.02.2021 at 2pm (CET/UTC+01).
More details can be found on MultiMind project’s website
PolskaNorski inauguration conference!
We are glad to invite you to join an open conference Growing up with Polish in Norway: what do we know and what is yet to be discovered
The event will take place online via Zoom on 04.02.2021 from 10:15 AM to 4:30 PM (CET/UTC+01).
The conference will be the public inauguration of the PolskaNorski project (funded by Norway Funds). The project will be dedicated to investigation of the world knowledge and the development of language skills in both Polish-Norwegian multilingual children and monolingual speakers in Poland and Norway.
We are happy to invite you to join an open lecture by Prof Li Wei (University College London): Translanguaging: Transforming the way we think and talk about language, bilingualism and education
The lecture will take place online via Zoom on 02.02.2021 at 17.00 – 18.30 (CET/UTC+01).
The talk is part of the MultiMind project, of which we are pleased to be a partner.
More details, including link to the Zoom meeting, can be found here
Prof Prevost’s lecture on children with autism spectrum and bilingualism!
We are happy to invite you to join an open lecture by Prof Philippe Prevost (University of Tours): Is growing up with two languages particularly challenging for autistic children?
The lecture will take place online via Zoom on 26.1.2021 at 17.00 – 18.30 (CET/UTC+01).
The talk is part of the MultiMind project, of which we are pleased to be a partner.
More details, including link to the Zoom meeting, can be found here
Agata Wolna’s poster presentation awarded best amongst cognitive neuroscience posters!
We are happy to announce that Agata Wolna’s poster presentation ‘How does the second language affect the word retrieval in the native language’ has been awarded for the best poster presentation in cognitive neuroscience during this year’s edition of Neuronus 2020 IBRO Neuroscience Forum conference. Congratulations!
New paper co-authored by Marta Marecka!
A new paper by Marta Marecka, Alison McDonald, Gillian Madden and Tim Fosker is now available: Why learning foreign words is hard: evidence of shallower encoding for non-native than native sounding words. Click here for more information!
Research suggests that second language words are learned faster when they are similar in phonological structure or accent to the words of an individual’s first language. Many major theories suggest this happens because of differences in frequency of exposure and context between first and second language words. Here, we examine the independent contribution of accent and phonological structure on the speed of word learning and on the depth of semantic encoding while controlling for frequency of exposure and context. Fifteen participants learned novel words associated with abstract shapes in a paired associates task. The words systematically varied in their accent and phonological structure. Learning speed was measured for each word and the depth of semantic encoding was measured via a novel manipulation of the N300 ERP component in a Picture Recognition Task of the learned items. Both non-native structure and accent slowed word learning and differences in the N300 effect indicated that semantic encoding was shallower for words with a non-native than native phonological structure, despite almost ceiling levels of accuracy. These results are consistent with a model of second language learning that proposes both accent and phonological structure influence how fast and deep new language vocabulary is learnt.
New paper co-authored by Kalinka Timmer!
A new paper by Cong Liu, Lu Jiao, Zilong Li, Kalinka Timmer and Ruiming Wang is now available: Language control network adapts to second language learning: A longitudinal rs-fMRI study. Click here for more information!
The current longitudinal resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging study examined changes in language control network after one year of L2 English classroom learning. A group of Chinese college freshmen majoring in English underwent two scans, one before (i.e., Session 1) and one after (i.e., Session 2) the one-year L2 courses. Learners’ language control abilities were assessed via a behavioral language switching task. Our graph theory and functional connectivity analyses revealed that with increased exposure to the L2, nodal betweenness in language control areas, such as the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), decreased and connectivity between dACC and pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA) increased. Critically, these neural changes were correlated with participants’ behavioral performance on the language switching task. Taken together, these findings suggest that the language control network in resting brain could be modulated by long-term L2 learning in a naturalistic classroom setting, and that the dACC/pre-SMA complex appears to play a critical role in language control.
Our new paper in Cognition!
A new paper by Marta Marecka, Jakub Szewczyk, Agnieszka Otwinowska, Joanna Durlik, Małgorzata Foryś-Nogala, Katarzyna Kutyłowska and Zofia Wodniecka is now available: False friends or real friends? False cognates show advantage in word form learning. Click here for more information!
We explored the acquisition of three types of second language (L2) words in a paired–associates learning task. Seventy–six Polish participants were presented with 24 nonwords paired with pictures; they completed 8 interleaving test blocks of form production and meaning recognition, both followed by feedback. The nonwords included “cognates” (nonwords resembling the Polish word for the object depicted in a given picture), “false cognates” (resembling a different Polish word than depicted), and “non–cognates” (nonwords different from Polish words). We measured the learning trajectories for all word types across the blocks. Cognates were fastest to learn in the recognition blocks as well as in the production blocks. Compared to non–cognates, false cognates were learned equally fast in the recognition blocks, but faster in the production blocks. This suggests the learning of false cognates benefits from the overlap in L1–L2 form and is not harmed by L1 interference, while the learning of cognates benefits from both form overlap and conceptual overlap. The study is unique as it examines how learners acquire both the form of new words, and the link between the L2 forms and their meanings. It also explores the dynamics of the learning process.
Webinar on bilingualism
We are happy to announce that this Tuesday Dr. Zofia Wodniecka conducted the online training ‘What and how to speak (to the child and his parents) to achieve bilingualism? Some thoughts from a cognitive psychologist’ [‘Co i jak mówić (do dziecka i jego rodziców), żeby osiągnąć dwujęzyczność? Kilka refleksji psychologa poznawczego’].
The webinar has been organized by a training centre ‘Ośrodek Doskonalenia Nauczycieli Stowarzyszenia Wspólnota Polska’ and was dedicated to Polish teachers from all over the world – we were glad to welcome participants from Australia, USA, Hungary, Great Britain, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, France, Italy, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Belgium, Netherlands and Canada!
Join our webinars!
Do you want to learn how to adjust your communication style when engaging with diverse audiences or about Bilingualism Matters history, inner workings, and projects?
Then join our webinars this Monday (28.9) and Tuesday (29.9)!
1. Making research relevant to diverse audiences: REGISTER
2. Bilingualism Matters Network – Academic collaboration beyond research: REGISTER
Bilingualism Matters Research Symposium 2020
We are happy to invite you to attend the Bilingualism Matters Research Symposium 2020. BMRS2020 is an annual interdisciplinary research conference organised by the Bilingualism Matters (BM) network and open to researchers at any stage of their career, irrespective of their affiliation to Bilingualism Matters. BMRS2020 forms part of a larger Bilingualism Matters Conference, featuring training events and general network meeting, which are exclusive to BM network members and partners. The conference was originally scheduled to take place on in Krakow, Poland on 22 September 2020, but due to COVID-19 disruptions the symposium will now be held online. The conference is adjecent to training school that was also scheduled to take part in Krakow.
Our plenary speaker at the BMRS 2020 will be Prof. Judith Kroll, a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Language Science at the University of California, Irvine. She is a Fellow of the AAAS, the APA, the APS, the Psychonomic Society, and the Society of Experimental Psychologists.
To access links to oral presentations and posters before the symposium as well as the links to live conference, please register here.
The registration is free and remains open until the end of Sunday 20th September 2020 (BST).
We are very proud to inform that Patrycja Kałamała from our lab received NCN Etiuda grant for the project titled: “Behavioural and neuronal estimates of response inhibition in the face of conflict – a study of bilingual population.” What is more, Patrycja was first in the Etiuda ranking!
We invite you to join the open lecture by prof. Judith F. Kroll (University of California, Irvine): “The fate of the native language in second language learning: A new hypothesis about bilingualism, mind and brain”. The lecture is part of MultiMind‘s 4th training school and co-hosted by Bilingualism Matters Krakow. It will be offered online via Zoom on Tuesday, 14 July 2020, 16:00 – 17:30 CEST/UTC+02.
You can register following this link until Sunday, 12 July 2020.
Abstract: An enduring question about second language (L2) learning is why there are apparent constraints on the ability of adult learners to understand and speak the L2. Past research suggests that these constraints reflect characteristics of adult learners and the nature of the language learning contexts available to them. We propose a new hypothesis that shifts the focus to consider how a model of proficient adult bilingualism may provide new insights into late L2 learning. The critical observation is that proficient bilinguals are not monolingual-like in their native language. The new hypothesis is that successful adult L2 learners are individuals who are able to effectively change the native language to accommodate the L2 and to negotiate the cross-language competition that characterizes proficient bilingualism. The hypothesized changes may involve processing costs that initially slow the native language and make performance more error prone, make learners less sensitive to some features of the native language, and that open the native language to the influences of the L2. We review evidence from studies of language processing and brain imaging in bilinguals and L2 learners. High levels of cognitive resources and immersion in the L2 may enhance successful learning but what is hypothesized to be fundamental is change to the native language that functionally allows the L2 to develop as part of the language system. That process also gives rise to the ability to regulate the native language in a manner that may provide a basis for understanding some of the cognitive and neural consequences of bilingualism.
A new paper by Patrycja Kałamała, Jakub Szewczyk, Adam Chuderski, Magdalena Senderecka and Zofia Wodniecka is now available: Patterns of bilingual language use and response inhibition: A test of the adaptive control hypothesis. Click here for more information!
Given prior studies that provided inconsistent results, there is an ongoing debate on the issue of whether bilingualism benefits cognitive control. We tested the Adaptive Control Hypothesis, according to which only the intense use of different languages in the same situation without mixing them in single utterances (called dual-language context) confers a bilingual advantage in response inhibition.
In a large-scale correlational study, we attempted to circumvent several pitfalls of previous research on the bilingual advantage by testing a relatively large sample of participants and employing a more reliable and valid measurement of constructs (i.e., latent variable approach accompanied by Bayesian estimation). Our results do not support the Adaptive Control Hypothesis’ prediction: the intensity of the dual-language context experience was unrelated to the efficiency of response inhibition in bilinguals.
The results suggest that the Adaptive Control Hypothesis is not likely to account for the inconsistent results regarding the bilingual advantage hypothesis, at least in the case of the response-inhibition mechanism. At the same time, the study points to the problem of measuring the response-inhibition construct at the behavioral level. No evidence for a robust response-inhibition construct adds to the growing skepticism on this issue in the literature.
New paper in Psychology of Learning and Motivation!
A new paper authored by our lab members – prof. Zofia Wodniecka, dr Alba Casado, Patrycja Kałamała (PhD candidate), dr Marta Marecka, dr Kalinka Timmer and Agata Wolna (PhD candidate) – is now available: The dynamics of language experience and how it affects language and cognition.
Abstract: Although research on bilingualism has attracted great scientific interest in recent decades, we still do not fully understand how bilinguals’ language experience impacts language access and cognitive functioning. Our goal is to demonstrate that being exposed to one language, even for a short time, can influence the ability to use the other language and also affect how efficiently we process non-linguistic information. In this chapter, we focus on two types of effects related to the prior language experience of bilinguals (so-called language after-effects): (1) the impact of exposure to the second language on native language processing; (2) the impact of bilinguals’ patterns of language use on cognitive control. For each topic, we review the available behavioral and neuropsychological evidence and discuss the possible sources of inconsistencies in the literature. Furthermore, we consider the implications of the available evidence for the current models of language “after-effects” and speculate about the possible convergence of mechanisms related to short- and long-term language experience.
Click here for more information!
New paper in Studies in Second Language Acquisition!
Our new paper is now available: AN EAR FOR LANGUAGE: SENSITIVITY TO FAST AMPLITUDE RISE TIMES PREDICTS NOVEL VOCABULARY LEARNING.
Abstract: This study tested whether individual sensitivity to an auditory perceptual cue called amplitude rise time (ART) facilitates novel word learning. Forty adult native speakers of Polish performed a perceptual task testing their sensitivity to ART, learned associations between nonwords and pictures of common objects, and were subsequently tested on their knowledge with a picture recognition (PR) task. In the PR task participants heard each nonword, followed either by a congruent or incongruent picture, and had to assess if the picture matched the nonword. Word learning efficiency was measured by accuracy and reaction time on the PR task and modulation of the N300 ERP. As predicted, participants with greater sensitivity to ART showed better performance in PR suggesting that auditory sensitivity indeed facilitates learning of novel words. Contrary to expectations, the N300 was not modulated by sensitivity to ART suggesting that the behavioral and ERP measures reflect different underlying processes.
Click here for more information!
START stipend for Patrycja Kałamała from our lab!
We are happy to inform that Patrycja Kałamała from our lab has been awarded the START scholarship for young, talented researchers funded by the Foundation for Polish Science!
New paper in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition!
A new paper by dr Jakub Szewczyk and prof. Zofia Wodniecka is now available: The mechanisms of prediction updating that impact the processing of upcoming word: An event-related potential study on sentence comprehension. Click here for more information!
Our new paper in Neuropsychologia is now available: When a second language hits a native language. What ERPs (do and do not) tell us about language retrieval difficulty in bilingual language production*. Click here to read it!
Postdoctoral Position in Neuroscience of Bilingualism, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
Applications are invited for a full-time post-doctoral position in the Psychology of Language and Bilingualism Lab at the Institute of Psychology, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. The position is funded by the Polish National Science Centre grant Mechanisms of language control underlying bilingual speech production: fMRI investigation (PI: Dr. Zofia Wodniecka; the Co-Investigators are: Dr. Marcin Szwed and Dr. Jakub Szewczyk (University of Illinois) and Dr. Michele Diaz (Penn State University, USA).
The project investigates neural bases of language production in bilinguals and its primary methodology is fMRI. The focus will be on Polish-English bilinguals; some knowledge of Polish will be an asset, but is not essential. Most importantly, we are looking for an innovative postdoctoral candidate with a strong background in cognitive neuroscience, computer science or related fields. The length of the appointment will depend on the start date of employment, but at least 2 year commitment is required.
Requirements: Candidates must have a Ph.D in Psychology, Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, Computer Science or a related field, or they must have completed the Ph.D by the time of appointment. Other requirements include: prior experience in fMRI and sMRI data acquisition and analyses, strong scientific record (including high quality dissertation, publications in peer-reviewed journals), research interests in neurobiology of cognitive functions, advanced statistical knowledge, extensive experience in planning and conducting experiments in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience, fluency in English, and a documented ability to work well both independently and in a team. Prior experience in fMRI technique is strongly preferred. Strong statistical and programming skills (including knowledge of Unix commands) is a plus.
Applications should include: 1) a CV (with min. 3 reference contacts and a publication record); 2) a cover letter with a statement of research experience, interests and the motivation to contribute to the project; 3) a copy of the diploma or statement about the dissertation progress and a planned date of its completion (signed by the Ph.D. supervisor); 4) pdfs of two most important publications.
All applications should be sent to Dr. Zofia Wodniecka at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The start date: AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Interviews with selected candidates will be held either at the Institute of Psychology or via Skype. For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Zofia Wodniecka.
Lecture by Prof. Janet van Hell from Pennsylvania State University!
We invite you to attend a lecture by our guest – Prof. Janet van Hell – on Thursday, June 27th, at 2 p.m. (room 2.15, Institute of Psychology, Ingardena 6)!
Title: Understanding accented speech: the role of speaker identity and listener experience
Abstract: Current everyday communication is a cultural and linguistic melting pot. There are hundreds of millions of speakers of English as a second language in the world, so we are likely to encounter speakers who have a foreign accent when speaking English. We are also likely to interact with people from different ethnic backgrounds, who may or may not have a foreign accent. Research has shown that foreign-accented speech can challenge language comprehension. Although behavioral studies suggest that listeners adapt quickly to foreign-accented speech, neurocognitive studies have shown distinct neural mechanisms in processing foreign-accented relative to native-accented sentences. I will present a series of recent behavioral and EEG/ERP experiments in which we examined how speaker identity and listener experience affect the comprehension of foreign-accented and native-accented sentences. More specifically, we studied how faces cuing the speaker’s ethnicity (e.g., Asian face) create language expectations (here, Chinese-accented English), and how these biases impact the neural and cognitive mechanisms associated with the comprehension of American- and Chinese-accented English sentences. We also examined how listeners’ experience with foreign-accented speech modulates accented-speech comprehension by testing different groups of listeners (young and older adult monolinguals with little experience with foreign-accented speech, listeners immersed in foreign-accented speech, and bilingual (foreign-accented) listeners). Implications of the findings will be discussed by integrating neuropsychological theories of language comprehension with linguistic theories on the role of socio-indexical cues and linguistic stereotyping.
Lecture by Dr. Kalinka Timmer: Bilingualism: the flexible link between language and executive control
The current view is that the ongoing experience of language switching, associated with bilingualism, modifies the neural networks involved in switching during nonverbal tasks. In agreement, our ERP results demonstrated that bilingualism modifies crucial brain networks, possibly by integrating pathways generally used for different domains. However, the extent to which bilingual language control (BLC) and domain-general executive control (EC) share some of their mechanisms is still a debated issue. We investigate the question of cross-talk by addressing an important problem, namely the reliability of the measures used to investigate cross-talk, as well as by taking a novel approach, using short-term language switching training. We found that BLC and EC share some of their underlying mechanisms and seems to depend on the type of context one is in. For example, when driving on a highway, less EC is necessary than when we are driving downtown with pedestrians and cyclists around. Similarly, we ask if language context can also affect our control mechanisms. We show that control adjusts depending on the language context a bilingual is in. Thus, BLC and EC show some cross-talk and flexibly adapt to the context at the current moment. This short-term flexibility might underlie the long-term effects bilingualism has on EC.
WEDNESDAY June 5th, 13-14.30, Institute of Psychology UJ, ul. Ingardena 6, room 2.15
I obtained the doctoral degree from Leiden University (The Netherlands) in 2013 investigating the underlying process of reading aloud during monolingual- and bilingual language processing with event-related brain potentials (ERPs). In 2012, I continued with the investigation of speech planning between alphabetic and non-alphabetic languages as a post-doctoral fellow. Following this post-doc, I worked at York University (Canada) from 2014, where I investigated whether bilingualism influence domain general control processes. After receiving the Rubicon grant from the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) I have started working at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Spain) where I am investigating the relation between language- and task switching for different types of bilinguals with the Juan de la Cierva grant from the Spanish government (MINECO).
Professor Zofia Wodniecka – leader of LangUsta Lab and Bilingualism Matters in Kraków – and Professor Ewa Haman from University of Warsaw will conduct Bilingualism Workshops organised by Stowarzyszenie Dwa Skrzydła and the Embassy of Poland in Denmark.
Professor Zofia Wodniecka – the leader of our lab – is giving a lecture at the University of Lancaster today!
Talk title: Life in two languages – a cognitive perspective.
Anyone who has experienced speaking another language for a long time is familiar with the feeling of difficulty related to returning to one’s own native language. In extreme instances, the feeling is subjectively experienced as if the native language has been temporarily ‘lost’. We study this and other related effects in laboratory settings using various methodologies to better understand the mechanisms and consequences of bilingualism. In this talk, I will present a set of behavioral and psychophysiological studies conducted in my lab with the aim to better understand cognitive underpinnings of bilingual language use and theoretical models that can account for the data.
Applications are invited for a full-time post-doctoral position on cognitive science and bilingualism
Applications are invited for a full-time post-doctoral position in the Psychology of Language and Bilingualism Lab (langusta.edu.pl/en) at the Institute of Psychology, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. The position is funded by the Polish National Science Centre grant “Competition or coordination? Impact of short-term and long-term language experience on language regulation and cognitive functions in bilinguals” (PI: Dr. Zofia Wodniecka). The project investigates Polish-English bilinguals both in Poland and in the UK; some knowledge of Polish will be an asset, but is not essential. Most importantly, we are looking for an innovative postdoctoral candidate with a background in cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, psycholinguistics, or linguistics who will play a key role in a project examining how different forms of language experience influence cognitive and neural processing. The project’s methodology combines behavioral, ERP, fMRI and eye-tracking paradigms.
Candidates must have a Ph.D in Psychology, Neuroscience, Experimental Linguistics, or a related field, or they must have completed the Ph.D by the time of appointment. Other requirements include: strong scientific record (including high quality dissertation, publications in peer-reviewed journals), extensive experience in planning and conducting experiments in cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience and psycholinguistics, preferably in the areas connected to the topic explored in the project (language comprehension and production, attention, executive functions, etc.), good knowledge of statistics, fluency in English (knowledge of Polish will be an asset but is not a must), and a documented ability to work well both independently and in a team. Prior experience EEG, fMRI and eye-tracking techniques is strongly preferred. Strong programming and statistical skills is a plus.
The postdoctoral scholar will be expected to design, coordinate and conduct experiments as well as statistical analyses. They will present data at scientific meetings, write manuscripts, participate in lab meetings and events, and engage in the training of junior lab members. There will be many opportunities to interact with other research labs at the Institute of Psychology (http://www.psychologia.uj.edu.pl) and beyond. The initial appointment will be for three years, with the possibility of renewal in total. Salary and benefits are based on the National Science Center guidelines, the total gross monthly salary (including benefits; so called “brutto brutto”) will be 7000-10000 PLN, based on qualification, experience and scope.
Applications should include: 1) a CV; 2)a cover letter with a statement of research experience, interests and the motivation to contribute to the project; 3) two letters of recommendation; 4) a copy of the diploma or statement about the dissertation progress and a planned date of its completion (signed by the Ph.D. supervisor). All applications should be sent to Dr. Zofia Wodniecka at email@example.com.
Apart from the documents mentioned above, the candidate will be required to fill in Polish application forms. Therefore if you are interested in the position, contact the PI as soon as possible to receive assistance with their preparation.
Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until August 15th, 2018 or until the position is filled. The preferable start date of the appointment is October 1st, 2018 but some flexibility is also possible. Interviews with selected candidates will be held either at the Institute of Psychology or via Skype. For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Zofia Wodniecka at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A new grant from National Science Center in LangUsta laboratory!
Joanna Durlik – a member of our lab – received a new grant from National Science Center. The project title is: “How does language proficiency and immersion experience modulate interference between languages? Mechanisms underlying language processing in multilinguals.”
EARLY STAGE RESEARCHER (ESRS)/PHD STUDENT POSITION
Full-time early stage researcher/PhD student position available to work on social cognition and bilingualism.
Applications are invited for a full-time Early Stage Researcher/PhD student position in Psychology of Language and Bilingualism Lab, led by Zofia Wodniecka, at the Institute of Psychology at Jagiellonian University (Krakow), http://langusta.edu.pl/en/. The position is part of The Multilingual Mind project (MultiMind), https://www.multilingualmind.eu/wp4-project-descriptions. MultMind is an international, multidisciplinary and multisectorial training network on multilingualism and is funded by the European Union’s Horizon2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska Curie grant agreement No 765556. https://www.multilingualmind.eu/
More on the research project (ESR Project (ESR9)
Title: The flexibility of social categorization: How bilingual experience influences social information processing
Main supervisor: Zofia Wodniecka; ESR9 Committee: Marcin Bukowski (Jagiellonian University); Juan Lupiáñez (University of Granada)
We search for a person holding a degree in Psychology, with experience in experimental cognitive and social research, advanced statistical methods (e.g. moderation & mediation analyses, mixed models approach, etc.), knowledge of programs for experimental research (e.g. E-Prime, PsychoPy, Inquisit etc.). Strong programming and statistical skills is a plus. Knowledge of Polish will be an asset, but it’s optional. Evidence of academic achievements, documented ability to work independently and in a team, experience in conducting psychological research will be an asset. Knowledge of cognitive psychology and social cognition is fundamental. Cultural competences, self-discipline and high work motivation are also essential.
Starting date for all ESRs: 1st September 2018 (negotiable)
Duration of the research employment: 36 months
Salary: The ESR will receive a Living Allowance (€3,110 per month multiplied by the country correction coefficient for Poland: 76.4% which is approximately €2376) and a Mobility Allowance (€600 per month). ESRs who have a family at the beginning of their employment will also receive a family allowance (€500 per month).
The initial closing date for the positions will be June 30, 2018, but applications will continue to be considered until suitable candidates have been appointed.
We are looking for a PhD candidate in the field of multilingualism. For more information go to MultiMind program website (project ESR9).
New big project!
We are starting our new attrition project – Polski na Emigracji! Our goal is to explore effects of a long-term immersion in the second language and a short-term reimmersion in the first language.
For more details, please visit our website (in Polish).
Another publication co-authored by a member of Langusta Laboratory – dr Jakub Szewczyk. We encourage you to read the text on the impact of computer games on reading abilities in children with dyslexia published in Scientific Reports.
The survey is part of a study on multilingualism and the associated cognitive effects being conducted by researchers at the University of Cambridge and Radboud University Nijmegen. The survey is entirely anonymous and should take approximately 10 – 15 minutes to complete although there is no time limit and we appreciate your thoughtful consideration. The data will only be used for the purposes of this research. You can withdraw from the survey at any time while you are answering the questions by simply closing your browser.