Dr. Zhenghan Qi will be presenting a CBBC Seminar titled "Neural preparedness and plasticity of language acquisition" next Friday, October 21stfrom 12-1 p.m. in room 130 Moore Building. The title and abstract can be found below:
Neural Preparedness and Plasticity of Language Acquisition
The majority of us easily picked up our mother tongue as we started to make sense of the world. However, it is not always the case that language learning happens effortlessly. Some children struggle to master their first language for effective communication, and almost all adults find it challenging to learn a new language. In this talk, I will describe my investigations into the human language network that either constrains or supports language learning by focusing on the most basic element of language: phonology. I will start with some behavioral and neural evidence of typical phonological development. Then I will present two challenging cases of phonological learning: 1) children with autism who suffers from language-related learning difficulty and 2) adults who need to learn a foreign language in a classroom setting. Together, these studies speak to the hemispheric specialization underlying language learning and have important implications for the neurobiological models of language disorders.