We propose renewal of our interdisciplinary program in Language, Communication, and the Brain aimed at training a new breed of interdisciplinary, multi-method language scientist. The proposed program pulls together the expertise, ideas, populations and technologies available in abundance across this community, placing them at the disposal of young scientists interested in the mental and neural mechanisms underlying language learning, use, and disorders across the lifespan. The cross-departmental program (across 4 departments) for the next 5 years will be headed by an Executive Committee of 5 junior-senior director pairs (including program director, M. Kutas) and directors of 5 research-training components: (1) Psycholinguistics (K. Rayner, V. Ferreiera), including studies of real-time language comprehension and production, using behavioral, eye tracking, and electrophysiological measures;(2) Neuroimaging of Language (E. Halgren, R. Kluender), including ERP, MEG, fMRI, and intracranial recordings applied to normal and abnormal individuals;(3) Computational Modeling of Language (J. Elman, A. Kehler), including a broad class of modeling techniques (e.g., neural networks, statistical analysis of large scale language corpora, Bayesian models);(4) Signed Languages and Gesture (K. Emmorey, S. Coulson) studied via multiple techniques per se and as probes into the neurobiological and cognitive architectures of human language;and (5) Language Acquisition and Decline (M. Kutas, R. Mayberry), multi-method approaches to the language acquisition, learning, and use from infancy to old age. All trainees specialize in (at least) 2 of the 5 areas, with some exposure to all 5 areas through laboratory rotations, coursework, and activities within the UCSD Center for Research in Language, offered by a larger faculty of scientists at UCSD and SDSU. We request 7 pre-doctoral (increase of 1) and 2 post-doctoral (each supported for 2 years) trainees per year. The public health benefits of this training program will be to change the predominant view that language is an abstract symbol processing, rule-generating system instantiated in some brain structure to a more dynamic one in which language is a processing experience that may alter the anatomical (and associated functional) organizations of the brain regions involved in interpreting it. This changing perspective has implications for 1st and 2nd language (bilingual &immigrant) learning and remediation with normal aging and brain damage.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDC1-SRB-Y (53))
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Sklare, Dan
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University of California San Diego
Schools of Arts and Sciences
La Jolla
United States
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Quam, Carolyn; Creel, Sarah C (2017) Tone Attrition in Mandarin Speakers of Varying English Proficiency. J Speech Lang Hear Res 60:293-305
Pajak, Bozena; Creel, Sarah C; Levy, Roger (2016) Difficulty in learning similar-sounding words: A developmental stage or a general property of learning? J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 42:1377-99
Morgan, Emily; Levy, Roger (2016) Abstract knowledge versus direct experience in processing of binomial expressions. Cognition 157:384-402
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Fabiano-Smith, Leah; Oglivie, Trianna; Maiefski, Olivia et al. (2015) Acquisition of the stop-spirant alternation in bilingual Mexican Spanish-English speaking children: theoretical and clinical implications. Clin Linguist Phon 29:1-26
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Polse, Lara R; Reilly, Judy S (2015) Orthographic and semantic processing in young readers. J Res Read 38:47-72

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