Speaker Prof Jubin Abutalebi (Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan)
Date Tues 2nd October 2018
Time 17h00 – 18h15
Venue University of Reading, Edith Morley Building, Room G25
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Please join us for drinks and nibbles afterwards.
"In the last two decades there has been an upsurge of research on the bilingual mind and brain. Although the world is multilingual, only recently have cognitive and language scientists come to see that the use of two or more languages provides a unique lens to examine the neural plasticity engaged by language experience. But how? Bilinguals proficient in two languages appear to speak with ease in each language and often switch between the two languages, sometimes in the middle of a sentence. This uniquely bilingual ability necessitates efficient control resources in order to avoid unwanted interferences from the unrequested language. During my talk, I will first outline the neural bases of control that enable individuals to speak each of their two or more languages and will then focus on the consequences that these control mechanisms might hold more generally upon the brain. Evidences for structural and functional changes in the brains of young and older subjects who use two or more languages across their entire lives will be considered. I will assess the broader implications for what bilingualism tells us about life experience and brain plasticity in general."