Linguistics Circle Talk: Bilingualism and Neuroplasticity: Taking Stock and Moving Forward
Linguistics Circle Event
Dr Christos Pliatsikas, University of Reading
Cognitively demanding experiences have been shown to cause neuroplastic effects to the brain. Bilingualism, with the additional processing and controlling demands it imposes, can be safely considered such an experience. Notably, the direction and intensity of these effects appear to depend on the quality and quantity of the bilingual experience. In this talk, I will firstly review the available evidence on structural effects from the perspective of experience-based neuroplasticity, showcase how they mirror neuroplastic patterns reported in other (non-linguistic) domains of learning, and demonstrate how they have contributed to a new a theoretical suggestion, the Dynamic Restructuring Model. This will be followed up by some newer evidence from my lab which corroborates this model. The second part of the talk will provide an overview of evidence on the effects of bilingualism on brain function at rest, including some newer evidence from an ongoing project which uses resting-state EEG.