Principal Investigators

Research Interests

  • Investigation of the mechanisms of language production, especially with regard to grammar, lexical structure, and speaker-hearer interactions.
  • Computation and quantitative modeling of cognitive processes, including those involved in lexical access and syntactic production.

Research Interests

  • How do bilinguals maintain such effective control over language selection, and to what extent does language control rely on domain-general executive control? Do older bilinguals have more difficulty juggling two languages, and how does Alzheimer’s disease change a person’s ability to speak two languages?
  • The clinical goals in Dr. Gollan’s research are 1) to determine whether performance differences between bilinguals and monolinguals will interfere with the detection of cognitive impairment in bilinguals, and 2) to develop tests that cater more specifically to assessment of bilinguals.

Post Doctoral Researchers

Research Interests

  • My research interests include phonological processing in language production, and language control in bilinguals. I have been working a series of studies that investigated how speakers in different age periods and/or with different language background retrieve and process phonological information during spoken word production. Currently, my work focuses more on language switching among bilinguals.

Research Interests

  • I am specifically interested in how we assemble sentence structures in speaking and understanding. An overarching question in my research is whether we need two different models for assembling sentence structures for speaking and understanding, or just one single model is sufficient.
  • My research focuses on the interplay between language and (non-linguistic) cognitive functions. My previous studies examined linguistic functions in adults with and without ADHD and currently I am focusing on the effect of bilingualism on linguistic and cognitive processing. As a speech and language pathologist, I am interested in exploring these questions in typically developed as well as in clinical populations (Alzheimer's disease patients and children with and without developmental disabilities).

Graduate Students

Y. Danbi Ahn



Research Interests

  • Broadly speaking, I am interested in sentence processing, bilingualism, and language production. Most topics I have worked on are motivated by cross-linguistic differences and speech errors.
  • Intuitively, learning a grammatical system with exceptions is more challenging than learning one without. Then how does our processing system tolerate exceptions? What are the benefits of having them at all? Using artificial language experiments, I examine how grammatical features (of systems varying in systematicity) are represented in the mind through analyzing production patterns.

Research Interests

  • How do we translate thought to language?
  • Where and how does the brain store abstract syntactic information?
  • Why do all* SVO languages put relative clauses after nouns? Why do all languages that use resumptive pronouns also use gaps? Why are there so many SOV languages? Can general processing mechanisms account for these patterns or could they stem from innate linguistic knowledge?

Research Interests

  • I apply behavioral and neuroimaging methods to examine language production and executive function in young and aging bilinguals (primarily Spanish-English), and bilinguals with Alzheimer’s disease with the goal of informing cognitive theories and improving neuropsychological assessment of the growing number of bilinguals.

Research Interests

  • Language interference in third language learning
  • Input diversity in second language word learning
  • self assessment in bilingual language proficiency
  • accented speech and lexical access
  • the neural understandings of color perception in bilinguals

So Eun Ahn

Research Interests

  • I am generally interested in bilingual lexical representation models and language learning through generalizations and constraints. More specifically, I am interested in exploring the possibility of expanding on preexisting models of language representation in bilinguals to multilingual language representation as well as looking at how different syntactic and semantic elements affect language production behavior.

Senior Research Assistants

Mayra Murillo

Rosa Montoya

Tiffany Ho

undergraduate research assistants

Kimberly Yew

Makenzie Johnson

Emily Wilds

Selen Iskenderoglu

Seyedeh Shariatipour

Aili Hauptmann

Diana Cervantes

Jocelyn Vargas

Jesus Rojas-Venzor

HeeSun Jung

Paulina Becerra

Angie Wang

Jason Ly

Stephanie Ngo

Dana Abusaleh

Ninghong Lyu


Michelle Fung

Connie Kim

Thomas Geoffrey Lim

Madel Penaloza

Mari Kugemoto

Tianyi Wang

Chhing Tiv

Co-advisors of post docs and graduate students

Graduates and Former Post Docs

H. Wind Cowles

Nicholas Gruberg

Claudio Hartmann

Tanya Kraljic

Rachel Ostrand

Liane Wardlow