Neuroscience and Cognition

Theme Co-Leads: Dr Christos Pliatsikas and Dr Daisy Powell

Our research looks at how the brain manages to tackle the hard problem of using two or more languages, as is the case in various bi-/multilingual populations. We look at questions such as:

  • What happens to the brain when additional languages are acquired and processed?
  • Is the function and the architecture of the brain affected by the demanding task of suppressing the non-target language(s) at any given time?
  • If so, how does this interact with neurodegeneration in ageing and patient populations?
  • Also, are different aspects (grammar, meaning, phonology) of additional languages acquired and processed differently?
  • How does the age of acquisition and the amount of usage of additional languages affect how the brain responds to language learning?
  • How does the brain make sense of a string of sounds, letters or words and how does the brain manage the production of similar strings?

In other words, how is written or oral communication achieved, and what is the brain basis of it?

Crucially, because our work is also behavioural, we seek to understand how bringing together behavioural and neurological methodologies can provide clearer answers to questions pertaining to language acquisition, language processing, the links between language and cognition and language and neuroplasticity.

View our current research projects on Neuroscience and Cognition.