XSL Content

Multilingualism, cognition and neuroscience

General details of the subject

Face-to-face degree course

Description and contextualization of the subject

Monolinguals vs. Bilinguals; The bilingual lexicon; The bilingual brain; Models of bilingual word processing; Models of bilingual speech production; Bilingual math representations and processing;

From bilinguals to multilinguals

Teaching staff

NameInstitutionCategoryDoctorTeaching profileAreaE-mail
CESPON GONZALEZ, JESUSBCBL- Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and
PINET XXX, SVETLANABCBL- Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and LanguageOtrosDoctor


CE1. Advanced knowledge of bilingual language processing.25.0 %
CE2. Main research techniques in the neuroscientific study of bilingualism25.0 %
CE3. Applying knowledge creatively to identify research questions and plan experimental designs for topics discussed during the course.25.0 %
CE4. Identifying systems and processes in bilinguals25.0 %

Study types

TypeFace-to-face hoursNon face-to-face hoursTotal hours
Applied classroom-based groups101020
Applied computer-based groups102535

Assessment systems

NameMinimum weightingMaximum weighting
Practical tasks50.0 % 50.0 %
Presentations50.0 % 50.0 %


Part I

i. Cognitive neuroscience approaches to learning and memory

ii. Plasticity and brain function (review)

iii. Studies of language learners and bilinguals

iv. Age-conditioned proficiency

v. EEG and MEG studies of speech comprehension, production, and learning

vi. fMRI and PET studies of speech comprehension, production, and learning

Part II

i. The bilingual advantage: myth or reality?

ii. Language control and attention: same or different resources?

iii. Dementia and bilingualism: A review of the evidence

Part III

i. Defining and measuring bilingualism.

ii. Translating words: Separated lexicons or a single integrated lexicon?

iii. The Bilingual Mental Lexicon(s): Vocabulary Differences.

iv. Language switching

v. Bilingual education methods and systems


Compulsory materials

There is no textbook for this class, a list of readings selected from scholarly articles and book chapters will be provided at the beginning of the course.

Basic bibliography

Bialystok (2009). Bilingualism: the good, the bad and the indiferent. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition (2009), 12:3-11.

Campbell, J.I., & Epp, L.J. (2004). An encoding-complex approach to numerical cognition in Chinese-English bilinguals. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 58(4): 229-244.

Dijkstra, A. (2007). The multilingual lexicon. In Gaskell, G. (Ed.), Handbook of Psycholinguistics (pp. 251-265). Oxford University Press.

Duñabeitia, J.A., Perea, M., & Carreiras, M. (2010). Masked translation priming effects with highly proficient simultaneous bilinguals. Experimental Psychology, 57(2):98-107.

French, R.M., & Jacquet, M. (2004). Understanding bilingual memory: models and data. Trends in Cognitive Science, 8, 87-93.

Hernandez, A., Li, P., & MacWhinney, B. (2005). The emergence of competing modules in bilingualism. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9 (5), 220-225.

Kroll, J.F., & De Groot, A.M.B. (2005). Handbook of Bilingualism: Psycholinguistic Approaches Oxford: Oxford UniversityPress.

Mechelli A, Crinion JT, Noppeney U, O¿Doherty J, Ashburner J, Frackowiak RS, Price CJ. (2004). Neurolinguistics: structural plasticity in the bilingual brain. Nature, 14, 431:757.

Price CJ, Green DW, von Studnitz R. A functional imaging study of translation and language switching. Brain 1999; 122: 2221¿35.

In-depth bibliography

Cenoz, J., & Valencia, J. F. (1994). Additive trilingualism: Evidence from Basque Country. Applied Psycholinguistics, 15, 195-207.

Costa, A., Miozzo, M., & Caramazza, A. (1999). Lexical selection in bilinguals: Do words in the bilingual's two lexicons compete for selection? Journal of Memory and Language, 41, 365-397.

Dijkstra, A. & Van Heuven, W.J.B. (2002). The architecture of the bilingual word recognition system: From identification to decision. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 5, 175-197.

Green, D.W. (1998). Mental control of the bilingual lexico-semantic system. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 1, 67-81.


Bilingualism: Language and Cognition (Cambridge Journals Online) is an international peer-reviewed journal focusing on bilingualism from a cognitive science perspective. Areas covered include: bilingual language competence, perception and production, bilingual language acquisition in children and adults, neurolinguistics of bilingualism in normal and brain-damaged subjects, and non-linguistic cognitive processes in bilinguals.


XSL Content

Suggestions and requests