Research Assistants

Kathlyn Canales

I am a senior majoring in Language Science with a minor in Hearing and Speech. I am Bilingual in English and Spanish. I’ve been very interested in Bilingualism and want to continue to learn more. I want to learn more about language acquisition and how it is affected when learning two languages at once.

Jiachen Jin

Hi! I’m a junior majoring in psychology, and recently I plan on minoring in fields like linguistics. Personally, I found it interesting to experience different languages and see the difference between cultures, which is also the main reason why I started self-studying Japanese this summer. One of my research interests is how our brain functions during code switching. Though there’s a saying that our brain is like a computer, I suggest our brain is far more flexible. As someone that is fluent in two languages, I sometimes notice how effortless code switching could be. Hopefully, we will all have a meaningful time here!

Andrew Lei

Hi! I am a third-year majoring in Cognitive Sciences. I am interested in how a human’s brain works and how each individual neurotransmitter collaborates with other neurotransmitters to carry out different actions. Growing up in a Cantonese-speaking household, I always wondered how I acquired Cantonese effortlessly but when I learned a second language, it was much harder. I am so excited to be part of the Bilingualism, Brain, and Mind Lab. 

Kailey Suda

Hi everyone! I am a third-year undergraduate student majoring in Language Science and looking to minor in Japanese Language and Literature. I’m really interested in language acquisition and how multilingualism affects cognitive processes and hope to learn more about these as a research assistant. I look forward to being a part of the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab!

Nicole Wu

Hi! I am a second-year undergraduate student majoring in cognitive science. I am fluent in languages including English, Cantonese, and Mandarin Chinese. As a multilingual, it is fascinating to see that people from different age groups will have different experiences when learning a new language. Through this lab, I am curious to see how brains will relate to our learning in language at different age groups. Also, this research experience will allow me to understand more aspects of multilingual speakers that find it easier to acquire new languages than others.

Michelle Chao

Hello everyone! My name is Michelle and I’m a second-year double majoring in Cognitive Sciences and Language Science, minoring in Spanish. I am multilingual in English, Spanish, and conversational Cantonese. Although Cantonese is my native language, I’m far more proficient in English, having lived in the U.S. for most of my life. I grew up in Hong Kong, so I was surrounded by a Cantonese and English-speaking environment at an early age. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given my experiences as a multilingual, I am primarily interested in bilingual education as well as second language acquisition and I look forward to learning from everyone!

Sandy Matsuda

Hello! My name is Sandy Matsuda and I’m a third-year Cognitive Sciences major, minoring in Linguistics. I am bilingual in Japanese and English which piqued my interest in joining the BMB lab. I am excited to learn about how bilingual brains’ cognition differs from monolinguals.

Jian Meng

I’m a second-year master’s student learning developmental psychology at University of Pennsylvania. I finished my undergraduate major English teaching in China. My background combining language and psychology enables me to take an interdisciplinary view of linguistic phenomenon. Also, as a Chinese speaker with English as my second language, I am very much intrigued by language shifting, second language proficiency and many other relevant bilingual issues. I’m so excited to join BMB lab and having opportunities to explore more on bilingualism! 

Natalie Salgado

Hello everyone! I am a third-year transfer student majoring in psychology and minoring in hearing and speech sciences. I am fluent in both English and Spanish, Spanish being my native language. Some of my research interests include language acquisition in children on the autism spectrum, code-switching, and communication disorders in children who are bilingual. My career goal is to become a Speech-Language Pathologist. I am excited to be part of the lab and learn more about language and the research process!

Faye Lin

Hi! I am a senior pursuing a degree in Psychological Sciences and a minor in Hearing and Speech Sciences. As a bilingual student who is native in Mandarin and Cantonese, fluent in English, I would love to learn more about cognitive neuroscience in bilingualism to further my understanding in the field. The interplay between bilingual language development and cognitive processing in the human brain is fascinating yet still has a lot to be explored. I am so excited to gain amazing insights and experiences with the team in the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab!

Moon Nguyen

Hello! My name is Moon Nguyen. I am a rising 4th-year student at UCI studying Political Science and Economics. I am bilingual in Vietnamese and English, and a first-generation immigrant. I find it very intriguing how bilinguals navigate their different identities between different languages. I’m looking forward to working with everyone in the lab and contributing to the process of knowledge enrichment.

Remie Lou

Hello! My name is Remie Lou, I am a fourth year Language Science student. What sparked my interest in this field is my little brother who was born deaf. Living in a multilingual household that includes Arabic, English, French, and ASL, I was able to observe as well as participate in code switching. I am fascinated by different languages and want to learn as many as I can; challenging the critical period. I am looking forward to learning more while being a part of this team!

Shannon Syracuse

always been interested in language acquisition and how the brain registers sound and forms a response to a stimulus. I grew up speaking English and have experience with American Sign Language. My career goal of becoming an audiologist combined with my interest in sign language led me to pursue research in this lab! Understanding how bilingual speakers interact with the world is incredibly interesting and I could not be happier to participate in the BMB lab.

Yiqun Zhang

Hello! My name is Yiqun Zhang, and I’m a fourth-year majoring in B.A. Psychology and minoring in Digital Information Systems at UC Irvine. Since I am bilingual in English and Mandarin myself, I have always been curious about the scientific mechanisms of bilingualism. I am interested in the functional differences between the brains of bilinguals and monolinguals when processing linguistic information and the cognitive process of bilinguals for their L1 and L2. I look forward to being a part of the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab and exploring bilingualism!

Ali Chak

Hi there! I’m Ali Chak, currently a third year English major looking to branch out into Criminology, Law and Society and seeking a minor in Creative Writing. I’ve taken an interest in this lab as my background makes me very curious about language, bilingualism, and how it affects us. As a child, I was surrounded by Cantonese speakers, my parents included. It was always interesting to see the shift as some of them swapped between the two fluidly. I hope that, through the lab, I can learn about such topics and explore bilingualism and how it affects the mind, as it hits so close to home!

Makeda Telahun

Hello, I’m Makeda Telahun! I am a junior majoring in Language Science. Growing up, I spoke Amharic and English with my family. Coming from a bilingual environment piqued my interest in speech production and language processing. I have gained some proficiency in Spanish and Swedish, which has also interested me in bilingual acquisition at all ages.  I very excited to be joining the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab.

Daniel Yeung

Hi, I’m Daniel Yeung! I am a first year majoring in Linguistics with an Emphasis in Japanese.

In high school I studied American Sign Language for 4 years, and Japanese in community college through dual enrollment and self study. Learning these different languages has made me interested in language acquisition and how being multilingual affects our cognition, and the ways in which language connects us!

I’m looking forward to learning more about such things and answering some of the questions I have regarding them in this lab!

Paola Canseco Ruiz

Hi! I’m a first-year Education Sciences major at UC Irvine. I’m looking to minor either in public health, or psychology. I don’t have much experience in research but I’ve always been interested in bilingualism, as a Spanish and English speaker myself I’ve wondered how both languages have affected my learning and skills. I’m excited to gain a greater understanding of how knowing more than one language can benefit cognition.

Xiangqian Yu

Hi! I am a second-year majoring in Education Science. I am interested in how speaking a second language can help people with their cognitive development. I am from China, we speak Mandarin in our home. I didn’t learn to speak English until I was 13 years old. I want to know what makes the difference between people who learn a second language when they were young and people who learn a second language after their minds are fully developed. I hope to learn how learning
language and cognitive development interact with each other through this Lab.

Mandolin Cai

I am a freshman and undecided student now, but I am really interested in Education and I am going to transfer to this major. I am bilingual in Mandarins and English. I grew up in China. Because I learned English from a young age, I want to learn more about the bilingual study for an international student who will use two different languages usually.

Yuto Aki

Hi there! I’m a junior majoring in language science. As a Japanese-English bilingual, I have always been infatuated with the world of language, especially second language acquisition
and bilingualism. My current research interests are emotional expression in second language learning and affective neuroscience of language! I am super excited to be a part of
the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab and to grow up both intellectually and mentally! I love learning languages, watching the NBA (huge Warriors fan), and traveling around the world!

Joey Ye

Hello everyone! My name is Joey and I am a 3rd year Business Administration and International Studies double major. I love learning languages and because of that, I am very interested in bilingualism and language acquisition. I grew up speaking Cantonese at home and it is so interesting to me how being bilingual can affect the way I think and how I perceive things. Aside from English and Cantonese, I have also dabbled in other languages such as Mandarin, Spanish, Korean, French, and Italian. I am very excited to be part of this lab and I hope to learn more about bilingualism and language acquisition!

Elina Dern

Hello! My name is Elina, and I am a second year International Studies student minoring in Spanish/English Bilingual Education at UCI. I am fluent in English and highly proficient in Spanish though it is my goal to become completely fluent in Spanish as well. Bilingualism has always been important to me because I come from a multilingual multicultural family with various language learning backgrounds while my mom is a teacher who has spent most of her career teaching English and Spanish as second languages. For these reasons, it has been exciting for me to be able to take classes on bilingualism in college and to start participating in research on bilingualism myself. My research group within the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain lab is currently focusing on the interactions between language and gender perception which has been really fascinating. Other areas of research on bilingualism that I am especially interested in include research on second language acquisition among late bilinguals and research on bilingual education.

Sabrina Chiu

Hello! My name is Sabrina and I am a third-year majoring in Social Policy and Public Service. I grew up speaking Cantonese and English and definitely took for granted how easy it was to communicate in both languages after realizing the difficulty of acquiring proficient use of Mandarin at the age of fifteen. Being bilingual has influenced my inner thinking which can occur in one or both languages, and shaped how I communicate with family as our conversations consist of both Chinese and English vocabulary. All of these experiences have contributed to my research interests in studying how the cognitive processes of bilingual brains differ from monolingual brains and how bilingualism changes with age. Working in the Bilingualism Mind and Brain Lab is meaningful to me because despite Cantonese being a dialect that is widely spoken in my hometown, I know it is slowly becoming less spoken in China, so I am excited for the opportunity to meet other Cantonese-speaking bilinguals and to work alongside people who also share a passion for language acquisition and bilingualism.