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Monday, November 29 at 3:30pm to 5:00pmVirtual Event
Abstract: Learning a second language as an adult is notoriously challenging. In particular, learning to distinguish sounds that do not exist in your first language can be very difficult. Studies in humans have provided great insights into variables that influence learning these new sounds, yet reduced experimental access in humans limits our understanding of the brain processes that make this type of learning possible. Neuroscience work using animal models allows for a detailed investigation of the neural signals and changes in neural connections that underlie learning to distinguish novel sounds. In this talk, we present the first steps of our interdisciplinary work looking at what mouse brains can tell us about language learning. This work is designed to use insights from human behavioral work to investigate neural processes in mice, which in turn will provide hypotheses to be tested in additional human behavioral experiments.
Melissa Baese-Berk is an Associate Professor of Linguistics and the David M. and Nancy L. Petrone Faculty Scholar. Her work focuses on how people understand and produce language, and how people learn languages later in life.
Santiago Jaramillo is an Associate Professor of Biology in the Institute of Neuroscience. His research uses mice to investigate the neural mechanisms responsible for how the brain interprets the acoustic world.