NeuroCognitive Imaging Lab at Dalhousie University

Memory Processes in Second Language Learning

This project is investigating adult language learning with electroencephalography (EEG). Learning a new language is challenging for most adults, and research has shown that it can be made more difficult by using one’s mother tongue during the learning process. EEG allows us to measure small voltages generated in the brain in relation to changes in someone’s external or internal environment. Therefore, event related potentials (ERPs) can help inform our understanding of the underlying processes occurring in the brain during language learning.


Using EEG during learning of Welsh words, we plan to explore how speaking English versions of those (newly learned) Welsh words can alter brain activity and disrupt the language learning process. This project looks to further investigate this phenomenon using multivariate analysis (a more powerful analysis tool) in hopes of better characterising the relationship between recall, retention, and the associated brain activity.

Current State of Project and Lab Volunteer Contribution Opportunities

This project is still in the development phase and should be collecting data in the 2022-23 academic year. Once it is running, there will be opportunities for lab volunteers to assist in data collection.

Funding Sources

Funding comes from the NSGS-Doctoral scholarship.