I am interested in cognitive and brain mechanisms of language acquisition. My current research interests include cognitive neuroscience of bilingualism and second language learning, computational modeling of language processing and representation, and neurocognitive and genetic bases of individual differences.
I have a broad range of research interests, including lexical access issues in bilinguals and second language learners and the influence of individual differences in non-linguistic domains on second language learning outcomes. I am also interested in the way various disciplines (neuroscience, psychology, and linguistics) approach these problems and how these approaches can be integrated.
I received my M.S. and B.S. in neuroscience from Tulane University. My research interests are in cognitive neuroscience with a concentration in bilingual language acquisition and processing. I am also very interested in studying learning and memory, specializing in studying the underlying mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease as well as language processing in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. I am currently working with neuroimaging techinques such as fMRI and DTI, but am always interested in learning new methodologies.
Though until recently I worked in microbial geochemistry and environmental science, I have redirected my career and am currently enrolled in the Neuroscience graduate program at Penn State University. My research focuses on the cognitive neuroscience of language learning with special regard to adult second language acquisition. Through my research, I hope to combine computational neural models with fMRI studies to better understand the optimal conditions for adults to become proficient in a second language.
While I am still refining my research interests, I am currently largely involved in the computational modeling of bilingual word learning and development. I am also interested in using results from computational neuroscience to model visual attention. I very much fancy the philosophies of science, language, and mind (and am currently acting president of the undergraduate philosophy club on campus), and I am all too willing to talk about how philosophy can help us to frame the questions we hope to resolve through research.