Undergraduate Alumnae

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Ketevan Abesadze

I am a second year student looking to major in Psychology and minor in Italian Studies. Ever since I can remember, I have had a fascination with languages. I am fluent in my native tongue, Georgian and I am currently studying Russian and Italian. I am so excited to be a part of this lab and learn about the capabilities of the brain when it comes to languages. I find it extremely interesting how individuals can speak multiple languages and comprehend specific things from various perspectives. I look forward to expanding my knowledge about Bilingualism and about myself as a bilingual speaker.


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Hellen Abraham

I am a fourth year psychology major and this is my first year as a research assistant. After graduating I plan on pursuing a career in medicine. I’m particularly interested in this lab because language has always interested me because of how useful and unique they all are. Growing up my parents were able to speak 3-4 languages and I always wondered what set them apart from monolinguals and how they were able to switch between languages so easily. I want to learn from this lab how being bilingual affects our cognitive development and gain experience on how to conduct research.


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Farhan Ahmad

I am a second year undergraduate student studying Biology. I speak English and Bengali and can read Arabic. This is my first time working as a research assistant in a lab and as a bilingual myself, I hope to gain a better understanding of how the brain can comprehend multiple languages. I am hoping to gain research experience with this wonderful opportunity and apply the skills I acquire in my future endeavors.


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Tahani Ali

I am a second year, Microbiology major and I am interested in pursuing a career in the health field. This is my first time being a research assistant and I am super excited to be working here. The experience of growing up in a multilingual home gives me a different perspective on this research that I hope will allow me to contribute greatly to this lab.


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Michelle Alva

I am a third year Linguistics Major and this is my first year as a research assistant for this lab. I grew up as a bilingual, and it was during my time at high school that I discovered I had a love for learning new languages. I am really happy that I am able to be a part of this lab, because I will have the opportunity to understand the effects of L2 acquisition as well as see the complexity of language in action.


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Marco Andrade

My name is Marco Andrade. I am a third year poli sci major. I work as a reaserch assistant here in the Bilingualism, Brain, and Mind. I joined this lab because I wanted to learn about the importance of language other than its use of communication. As I learned in this lab, language not only allows us to communicate, but also it encourages healthy cognitive challenges to keep the brain on it feet. I love being part of this reaserch team and I look forward to a great quarter.


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Nisha Bajaj

I am currently a fourth year Neuroscience major, and it is my second year being in the lab. Growing up, I was exposed to three different languages, and thus find it very interesting how the mind and cognitive processing can be affected by exposure to numerous languages. I hope to gain even further insight into the differences between monolinguals and bilinguals, and also would like to learn more about the emotional processing differences between the two as well.


Arlyn Ballesteros

Arlyn Ballesteros

Hello! My name is Arlyn Ballesteros and I’m currently a second-year Neuroscience major at UCR. I am interested in pursuing an MD-PhD degree in Neurobiology. As someone who speaks two languages, I am curious to find out how a bilingual brain differs from a monolingual brain. I have always been passionate about studying the central organ that is composed of billions of neurons. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to be an RA for this lab because I will be given the chance to expand my knowledge in neural connections and memory processes that occur in the brain.


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Blanca Bautista

My name is Blanca Bautista and I’m a third year in the process of becoming a Psychology major. This is my first year as an RA and I’m very thrilled to study bilingualism. As a freshman in Dr. Kroll’s class I became astonished and mesmerized as to how a bilingual mind works, Growing up in an environment speaking English and Spanish I never thought about certain aspects of the brain and how it’s capable of learning multiple languages. I’m also hoping to gain experience and the skills I need as an RA to apply them in my future career.


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Maria Beshay

Hey! I’m a fourth-year sociology major pursuing a career in the dental field, and I have an associate degree in biology. This particular research interest me because I will start three languages before the age of 12 and a fourth one at the age of 14. I’d like to explore and gain a better understanding of how that affects the brain development and cognitive behavior. I look forward to working with a group that shares the same interest.


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Karla Bonilla

I am a sophomore studying political science with a concentration in international affairs. This is my first year working in the lab and I am most excited to test hypotheses and learn more about bilingualism and cognitive processes. My own background as a bilingual inspired my interest in becoming a part of the lab and learning all I can about this study.


Dinh Bui

Hi, my name is Dinh. I am a fourth year undergraduate. My degree is Statistics. I have been a research assistant at this lab for two years.


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Jose Calderon

I am a first year Music and Culture major and this is my first year in the lab. I became interested in learning more about bilingualism because I am bilingual and I live with someone who is monolingual. I’m interested in learning what are the key differences in the cognitive process between the two. Also I hope to gain lots of experience in lab research to help prepare any lab I might work in. I’m also hoping this will help me gain new skills to apply towards my school work.


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Alexander Carrillo-Kashani

I am junior studying Biology. I grew up in a household where three languages were spoken, so I was naturally very interested in doing research in this study. I hope to gain a lot of experience from working in the lab, as well as help find data to prove or disprove certain hypotheses about monolinguals, bilinguals, etc.


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Sierra Cheung

I’m a fourth year transfer student majoring in psychology. I previously attended university in Canada as a microbiology major, but transferred to UCR because of its emphasis on student research opportunities. This is my research assistant position, and I looked into this lab in particular because I’m interested in how language is presented in the brain, especially for people who are multilingual. I’m particularly drawn to cognitive science because it combines my interests in psychology, philosophy, linguistics, and computer science along with many other disciplines, which I find exciting.

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Jasmine Conanan

I am a junior majoring in Psychology and working towards a minor in Korean Literature and Culture. I am bilingual in both English and Tagalog, but have been studying Korean for three years now. Language and linguistics have always been passions of mine, and I hope to attain a better understanding of how neural networks differ in monolingual and bilingual individuals and how we can effectively learn other languages. I plan to pursue speech therapy or a career involving psycholingustics in the future.


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Devani Cordero

I am an upcoming senior at Gordon College and am fortunate enough to work as a Research Assistant for the summer at UCR. I’m a double major, studying English Literature and Psychology and am excited to explore my second major through the bilingualism lab. Though not a bilingual myself, I grew up in a bilingual family and community and am excited to better understand the neurological processes behind our ability to communicate with one another in a variety of forms.


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Jacqueline Cervantes-Mendoza

I am a fourth year Applied Math and Statistics student. This is my first year working in a research lab and am very excited to apply statistical tools for bilingualism research. As a bilingual myself I am interested in how it is possible to juggle two different languages without even realizing it and hope to gain a better understanding of this process.


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Clarissa Chavez-Moreno

I am a 1st year Biology major and this is my first year as a research assistant. I decided to partake in this lab because I took the class that Dr. Kroll taught my fall quarter and the course just fascinated me. What fascinated me was how the brain and mind work amongst bilinguals and monolinguals. I learned so many advantages and disadvantages that came with being bilingual that I never knew. I cannot wait to gain experience and learn a lot from this lab.


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Mariellis Crain

I am a second-year majoring in linguistics, as well as minoring in mathematics. After receiving my undergraduate degree, I am interested in pursuing a career in the medical field. I am extremely excited to be working in Dr. Kroll’s lab because researchers are continuously looking for new ways to become bilingual quickly, and also, to gain a better understanding on the how the brain functions differently between bilinguals and monolinguals.


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Faredun Dungore

I am currently a second year Neuroscience major (CNAS) at UCR trying to pursue my dream of becoming a doctor. As a first time research assistant, I am really excited to gain experience in a research lab environment. In particular to this lab, I would like to learn how bilingualism may improve memory or cognitive skills of a person compared to being monolingual. As I further advance in my neuroscience courses, I would like to connect the information I attained, to the research lab in the future.


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Rosemin Esparza

I am a senior majoring in Psychology. My research interest is to further expand my knowledge in how the bilingual brain differs from the monolingual brain. This is my first quarter volunteering as an RA and I am looking forward to acquiring new skills.


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Zinet Ezedin

Hi! My name is Zinet (or Zina) Ezedin and I’m a second year Neuroscience major. Growing up in a household where each of my parents spoke 4 languages each, I have always wondered how people are able to oscillate from one language to another with such ease. My interest in this matter helped me to master 3, almost 4 languages. It has been an aspiration of mine to be given the opportunity to research the correlation between cognition and bilingualism. I’m thrilled to be a part of this lab and looking forward to exploring the extraordinary aspects of the mind and language.


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Marissa Fernandez

I am a 4th year psychology student at UCR and this is my first year in the lab as an RA. Although I am monolingual, I know a lot of individuals who are bilingual and I am interested in this lab to discover ways in which these individuals are very unique as compared to monolinguals. I am also excited to gain research experience on campus and see what it’s all about. After I graduate, I hope to have acquired a new skill in conducting psychological research in hopes of attending grad school in the future.


Merisanda Finely

Merisanda Finely

Hi! I am a second year psychology major and this will be my first year as a research assistant. I am bilingual in English and Spanish. Because Spanish is my first language, I find it difficult at times to fluently speak and write English. This is one of the reasons as to why I am intrigued by the correlation between cognition and bilingualism. I am interested in learning the brain functions when speaking and writing in a second language and what factors make it more difficult. My future goal is to earn a master’s degree in clinical psychology. I am very eager to begin this journey as a research assistant and look forward to learning and growing in the lab!


Madeline Finnegan

Madeline Finnegan

Hello! I’m a second year psychology student with an interest in Latin American studies. I’m interested in seeing how being bilingual impacts a person’s brain and other aspects of their health. I hope that with what I learn in the lab will allow me to work better in a Spanish community alongside children who are bilingual. I hope to gain a plethora of skills by working in this lab and I am excited to see where it takes me!


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Evelyn Gamez

I am a fourth year Spanish and Linguistics major interested in Spanish language attitudes and identities inside and outside of the US as well as bilingualism and code-switching. As a member of the lab I look forward to learning more in the field of psycholinguistics to see if that is a possibility of study later in my career.


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Claudia Garcia

Hello! I am a transferred student and currently a Senior at UCR majoring in Psychology. After graduation my plan is to continue studying to become a licensed LMFT Clinical Psychologist, and obtain a Psy D. I became very interested in this research because I am bilingual myself, raising two bilingual children, and find it interesting how our brains process information coming from different languages. Additionally, I am intrigued to finding out under what language information is stored primarily. I look forward to continuing to learn and helping in any possible way.


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Dalia Garcia, PIRE fellow

I am a junior studying Linguistics and Spanish Linguistics with an interest in speech and language pathology. This is my first year as a research assistant, and I am particularly interested in how bilinguals and their language abilities are affected by dementia. By working in this lab, I hope to gain a better understanding for bilingualism and how speech and language disorders affect the bilingual mind.


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Spencer Gray

I am a graduate of UCR in Biology. As a Chinese language learner, I am very much interested in the process of language acquisition, and the effects of bilingualism on cognition. I hope to attain a better understanding of cognition relating to the integration of these multiple languages with varying individuals. and the statistical methods used to describe these findings in a meaningful way.


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Michelle Guerra

I am a fourth year undergraduate student studying Psychology. I have recently chosen to follow my passion to further understand the brain and behavior of people, including how some people learn languages later in life. This lab’s study of bilingualism peaked my interest because of my background of growing up in a trilingual household. Thus, this lab provides the perfect environment to explore the neurological links on why some people have the aptitude to learn two languages easily and why others struggle. I look forward to expanding my knowledge and experience with bilingualism and applying it to my future endeavors in the medical field.


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Jeneane Hamideh

Hi! My name is Jeneane Hamideh and I am a fourth year Neuroscience major. I have been in this lab for about a year and am intrigued by the mechanisms of bilingualism and the brain. In this lab, I am able to translate my passion for neuroscience through various projects I get to create or work on. I am bilingual with reading, writing, and speaking in Arabic. I am interested in understanding how the brain learns and picks up languages, and specifically what can interfere with language learning in the brain over a period of time.


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Brianna Hernandez

I’m a third year undergraduate student majoring in psychology, with a set goal to work with and help those who are mentally disabled or ill, whether that would be in education or in the health field. I am interested in being an RA for this study because I believe bilingualism is an interesting topic to focus on, as seeing the differences or similarities between monolinguals and bilinguals can help to explain how the brain structure differs between them and how cognitive ability comes into play.


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Sammi Hua

I am a junior who is majoring in Biology and I hope to one day become a pharmacist. I have had prior research experience before this; however, I am highly interested in exploring different research studies. This particular research has caught my attention because I am a bilingual speaker who is fascinated about the brain’s capabilities and how much cognitive control a person has. From this, I hope to gain more insight about language learning, brain activities, and applying this information to my own personal life.


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Tzu-Ning (Vicky) Hsu

I am a junior majoring in Psychology, and this will be my second year working in this lab. I grew up in Taiwan as a monolingual until sixth grade, and now I am fluent in Mandarin Chinese, English, and Japanese. My main interest are, but not limited to, how bilingualism correlates to the process of learning, memory, and physical changes to the brain. I will be looking forward to continue working with our professors, researchers, and fellow RAs.


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Mariamme Ibrahim

As a 3rd year neuroscience major, I am interested in the developments and connections made in the brain as a result of different cognitive processes. Through this lab, I hope to learn how being bilingual affects the way our minds and brains work together. Growing up in a culture where Arabic is widely used in many settings (religious, at home, etc), I began appreciating the complexity and uniqueness of language and hope to further understand different aspects of the brain.


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Karen Jaranilla, PIRE fellow

Hi! I am a third year neuroscience major considering minors in Spanish and creative writing. This is my first year working as a research assistant, and I’m ecstatic that my first lab studies bilingualism! I’m looking forward to learning about both the linguistic and neural mechanisms of juggling multiple languages.


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Jorge Juarez Lopez

Hi! I am a 4th year psychology major. I want to pursue a master’s degree in clinical psychology. I was born and raised in Mexico, I started to learn English when I was 19th years old. Therefore, my research interest is to learn how we are capable to acquire more than one language to communicate with others and how the brain and speech aspects synchronize to make us bilinguals.


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Samreen Kazi

I am a third year Biology major at UCR and this is my first year working in this lab. I am excited to learn about bilingualism and the cognitive processes that allow bilingual individuals to transition from one language to another. In this lab, I look forward to learning new skills about conducting research and hope to be able to apply them to other research studies in the future.


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Emily Khouw

I am a junior majoring in Cognitive Science, and this is my first year in the lab. Learning languages has always been a passion of mine – English, Spanish, French, Mandarin, and Indonesian. Apart from being fascinated by the variations in grammar, I’ve always wondered why I experience silly frustrations like confusing words in different languages, which led me to an interest in psycholinguistics. I’m curious to learn more about the relationship between multilingualism and cognition, like memory. In addition, I am intrigued by how we learn languages effectively and whether one’s language background affects acquisition of another language. In this lab, I’m looking forward to expanding my perspective, and I hope to learn new skills and gain research experience.


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Julie Kim

Hi! I am a third year undergrad student studying psychology and participating in my first research lab. I am bilingual in English and Korean. I was born and raised in Korea until the age of 6, when I moved to California. I remember at one point in my life, I was not fluent in Korean nor English. I would have difficulty speaking one language over another. As a psych major, this lab stood out to me because it is something I went through growing up. I am looking forward to participating in this lab with other excellent scholars around me!


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Sam King

Hello! I am a third year student studying psychology. I joined the bilingualism research lab for a few reasons, one of them being that I am bilingual with Farsi and English. I hope to acquire research skills and experience that I can use to further my growth as a student. I am intrigued to learn about how bilingualism and the brain work because English was the second language I learned but I find myself not just using it more but also having all my thoughts be in it as well.


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Amy Kobayashi

Hello my name is Amy Kobayashi and I am a second year linguistics major with an interest in speech pathology. I currently know three languages: English, Japanese, and American Sign Language. Japanese was my first language and I remember going through a time when I struggled to learn English, but now it has become so easy for me. I am so excited to be a research assistant for this lab and to learn more about bilingualism and how it affects the brain.


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Amy Kuang

Hello! I am a fourth year Psychology major. I plan to apply to apply for a Masters program in Psychology after I graduate. I’ve always had a great interest in learning new languages because they are helpful in communicating with different people wherever you travel to. Bilingualism has always been an interesting topic for me because I am interested in learning different languages and also because I grew up from a bilingual household. Meeting people who knows more than five languages really fascinates me, therefore I am curious to how they speak them so fluently and how they are able to switch between languages. I am interested in learning more about the Psychological aspect of learning new languages and I am looking forward to learning new things in this lab.


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Charles Lai

Hello there! I am a third year at UCR. My major is Biochemistry in Medical Emphasis. I speak three different languages: English, Taiwanese, and Chinese. I came to this research lab to understand the relationship between bilingualism and the mind. I had taken Spanish classes in my high school life, but I never managed to master it. I am interested the reasons behind this. Perhaps what I learn from the research and the lab techniques can also help me in my future career.


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Cyrus Lai

I am a 2nd year student at UCR studying Linguistics. I am interested in the cognitive processes required to manage two languages, as I am a bilingual myself. I hope to gain research experience from this position that I can extend to my possible career in the field of Linguistics/Psycholinguistics.


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Alba Larraburu

I am a senior pursuing a Neuroscience major. This is my first year working in a lab as a research assistant. I am excited to be working in this lab particularly because as a bilingual and as a neuroscience major it is interesting to me to see how our brain works differently from those of monolinguals. As a part of this lab I hope to learn more about hands on research and the wide variety of techniques used to collect and analyze data.


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Tram Le

I am a third year Biology major student at UCR. I am particular interested in the research on Bilingual Minds and Brains because I am a trilingual speaker who is intrigued by the way the brain works for people who speak multiple languages. I want to gain more insight on bilingual’s cognitive and the brain’s capabilities to switch between languages. Also, I hope to gain experience working in lab setting and conducting different experiments.


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Vanessa Ledesma

I am a second-year student majoring in biology and interested in pursuing a career in medicine. This will be my first year working as a research assistant. I am excited to work in this lab because I would like to find out how and why a bilingual’s brain functions differently than that of a monolingual’s. As a bilingual myself, I would also like to learn what the advantages and disadvantages of being one are. I am looking forward to learning more about the subject.


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Daisy Lee

I am a Fourth Year Undergraduate at UCR majoring in Biology. I have a passion for studying anatomy, physiology, and neuroscience, and I aspire to work in a career where I can utilize and deepen my knowledge and skills in these areas. After hearing about this lab, I was interested in joining because—as a bilingual—I want to learn more about the brain, its connection with bilingualism, and the different techniques involved in conducting human research.


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Angela Limeta-Ongkingco

I’m a second year majoring in biology and going through the pre-med route. As someone who was brought up in a bilingual household, I’ve always been interested in how they proficiently switch between two languages. I’m looking forward to working in the lab in order to explore the relationship between cognitive function and linguistics in bilinguals.


Belen Leon Perez

My name is Belen Leon and I am a second year majoring in Psychology. I have always been highly interested in research but my love and curiosity for the mind started in one of my psychology classes. My interest in joining a lab grew as I came across Dr. Kroll’s lab and found that it was the perfect fit for me. I am captivated by the human mind, our cognitive skills, and the ability to learn different languages. Being in this lab has given me the opportunity to be able to explore the psychology field even further. Also, being able to apply the knowledge I have learned in my psychology classes and seeing it come to life is truly fascinating.


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Abdiel Lopez

I am a senior student studying psychology. This will be my first time working on a lab. The topic being researched bilingual learning interest me because I am a bilingual, I speak Spanish and English. Being a first generation college student and having Spanish be the first language has me wondering if bilingual learning is different than those who are monolingual. I want to learn the benefits and disadvantages of being a bilingual and I want to expand my skills.


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Sharon Lopez

Hello! I am a third year Psychology major pursuing a career in the medical field. I was raised in a Spanish speaking household and never understood the importance of being bilingual until I was older. Im interested in learning and understanding the processes the brain goes through and how it all comes together to allow someone to switch from one language to the other. Im looking forward to working in the bilingualism lab and applying what I have learned to contribute to further research.


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Stephanie Lopez

Hi everyone! My name is Stephanie Lopez and I am currently a fourth year Biology major. This is my first year as a research assistant in this lab, but I am very excited to start working and gaining research experience. Since taking my first Psychology classes here at UCR I have become very interested in learning more about the human brain as well as how the mind interacts with other parts in our body and influences the way we think, our behaviors, our memories, and learning processes. As a bilingual speaker, I am very interested in learning more about how bilinguals process and conceptualize things differently from monolinguals and how certain parts of the brain are involved in the processing of words and images. As well as exploring the developmental and cognitive differences learning multiple languages have on an individual.


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Angelica Magaña

My name is Angelica Magaña and I am a 4th year. I am a linguistics and Spanish major. I am super excited to be a part of this research because I know that I will gain an immense amount of knowledge on language and bilingualism. I am very interested in learning more about a child’s development through language, specifically what occurs in the brain when people are learning an L2  at different ages in their lives. I feel that this research lab will give me experience to help be prepared for my future endeavor of becoming a Speech Language Pathologist.


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Ashley Marin

I’m currently a first year student pursuing a B.S in psychology and aspiring a health related career in the future. I am excited to work as an RA and contribute to research throughout my college journey. My interests in studying the brain developed while witnessing my grandfather slowly regain his ability to speak and understand multiple languages with the help of therapy after experiencing several strokes within a short time period. I hope to expand my passion in studying the brain and learn as much as possible from the bilingualism lab.


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Monica Martinez

I am a third year Psychology Law and Society major. After I graduate, I want to either go to law school or a graduate school in Forensic Psychology. I am bilingual, Spanish and English, and have always been grateful for it. I am also interested in the way the mind works, which is why I became interested in working in this lab. I hope that this lab allows me to know more about bilingualism and give me tools that I can use for the rest of my schooling and career.


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Monica Mikhail

I am a second year student majoring in Neuroscience with an interest in minoring in Psychology. This is my first year as a RA in lab and I am really excited to learm more about different research methods and how to conduct different experiments. As a bilingual myself, English and Arabic, I am really interested to learn more about the uniqueness of the brain and its flexibility to acquire a second language even in the early stages of life. It will aslo give me an insight on how acquiring a second language affect the brain’s activities such as in cognitive skills, memory, attention etc. After I grdauate, I am planning to apply to Medical School to become a sport physician.


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Miguel Miramontes

I am a third year undergraduate student majoring in general linguistics, anthropological linguistics, and Spanish linguistics. I was raised in a household where multiple languages were spoken as well as variations of Spanish. Having been exposed to a family that collectively could be called a polyglot household, I have seen how an L1 language can affect an L2 language. These effects can be seen when the user of two languages begins to codeswitch for various functions such as referential, directive, expressive, phatic, and lastly metalinguistic functions. Though, I may have formal training in different branches of linguistics, psycholinguistics is not one of them which is why I am excited to participate in this lab to learn more about the cognitive effects of bilingualism.


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Zoya Mirza

I am currently a fourth year studying Neuroscience at UCR. This major has made me increasingly more aware and in awe of the wide range of cognitive abilities our brains posses- and how much more there is to learn about this spectacular organ and its workings. Furthermore, I grew up in a bilingual household, and learned to speak English as my second language at a very young age. I am currently working on my fluency in a new language, Spanish, and it peaked my interest to see the differences between how the brain picks up different languages at different ages. This is my first quarter being part of this lab and I am very excited to learn more about the effects bilingualism has on the brain.


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Giselle Moreno

I am a second year here at UCR studying Psychology. This is my first year working as a lab research assistant. Through out the course of my college experience, I’ve found research to be something that interests me. As a bilingual myself, I often reflect on my experience acquiring both English and Spanish and the cognitive effects it has. I am excited to be apart of this lab and further expand myself in the researching field.


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Mariam Morkos

Hello! My name is Mariam Morkos. I am a fourth year undergraduate student at UCR studying biology. I grew up speaking Arabic with my parents, and I can’t remember a time where I was unable to speak both Arabic and English. However, I’m constantly told how my Arabic accent has been affected by English. It fascinates me to believe that if I was monolingual, my Arabic would’ve been different. Helping with this research will educate me on the complexity of how languages affect the brain and our cognitive abilities.


Amir Emadian Naeini

My name is Amir Emadian Naeini. I am a 4th year Psychology major student. After graduation I am planing on pursuing a graduate degree in clinical psychology. As a bilingual, I am interested in gaining some valuable experience in the field of bilingualism through different experiments that are conducted in this lab. I am looking forward to learning new research findings about the biological and psychological effects of bilingualism.


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Mindy Nguyen

Hello! I am a third year Psychology major pursuing a career in the medical field. I find the human brain to be fascinating and as a bilingual myself, I am interested to see what effects languages have on the brain and cognitive development overall. I hope to gain a better understanding as to why it is harder to acquire a new language in adulthood versus childhood and what makes some adults more successful at doing so than others.


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Edgar Ortuno

My name is Edgar Ortuño a third-year pursuing a double-major in Media and Cultural Studies, and Sustainability Studies. I am interested in learning how bilingual minds are wired, and where and how the two or more languages intersect in the brain. As a research assistant in this lab, I will be able to develop even further my research skills and apply them to pursue a PhD in Ethnic Studies.


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Gold Osita-Ogbonnaya

I am a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in Biology and this will be my first year working as a research assistant. I have always held a great interest in languages as a result of my experience growing up in a bilingual household and am looking forward to furthering my knowledge through this lab. I am interested in how language is processed in the brain, the acquisition of multiple languages, and the cognitive effects this has on the brain.


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Eufrocina Palaganas

​I’m a 4th year Neuroscience major aspiring to be a neurosurgeon to satiate my love for brains and the nervous system. Hence how I became a participant-turned-research assistant after I saw my brain waves in the EEG portion of Emily’s LEC study. I now work with Emily to explore how bilinguals’ second language experience affects new learning and hope to further my knowledge on bilingualism and cognitive neuroscience methodology.


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Si Yeon Park

Hello, I am SiYeon Park, but I go by Lani. I am a third year psychology major and am interested in pursuing my career as a clinical psychologist. I am currently taking a psychology class on bilingualism and decided to participate in this lab as an R.A. because the topic was so intereting. As a bilingual, I would love to further expand my knowledge on the true benefits of bilingualism.


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Nilam Patel

I am a fourth year undergraduate student studying Neuroscience. I speak Gujarati and English. I am currently a caregiver who work with many bilingual patients ranging from all ages. Based on my professional and personal experience, I am very grateful to be able to grasp a better understanding of how our brain learns more than one language. I am hoping to expand my knowledge at this lab and be able to use it greater understand the brain and potentially benefit other individuals from this research.


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Josseline Pineda

I am a Junior studying both Spanish Literature and Psychology. I am interested in exploring more the cognitive aspect of Psychology. By working in this lab, I want to interconnect and further explore both my passion for language and Psychology. I am intrigued by the cognitive aspect of the lab and I am hoping to get more exposure to research studies to prepare me for my post graduation plans.


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Mark Pishay

I am a fourth-year Religious Studies major pursuing a career in the field of medicine, who is interested in the brain and its complex functions. I have a passion for the field of linguistics, as well, and seek to broaden my understanding of how the brains of bilingual speakers manage the different languages which those individuals speak. I hope to gain invaluable experience while doing this research, and learn exciting new concepts which will motivate me to continue along the career path I have chosen.


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Valeriya Ragozina

I am a second year pre-med Psychology major and this is my first year working in the lab. I am planning to matriculate into medical school immediately after graduating from UCR and to go on to pursue psychiatry. I am excited to gain experience working with participants and to learn more about bilingualism and research methods.


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Aztli Ramirez

I am a fourth year undergraduate student majoring in Psychology. This will be my first year in the lab. I myself am bilingual and enjoy seeing how this ability affects people’s everyday lives, and now I am interested to delve deeper as to what goes on in the brain when it comes to bilingualism. I love to see the many features and effects that languages have and I hope that by being a part of this lab I can further narrow what my particular interests are in the field of psychology and what direction I may want to go in later on.


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Melissa Ramos

My name is Melissa and I am a sophomore studying Psychology. I am intrigued in this research because I grew up in a Spanish-speaking household making Spanish my first language but English my dominant language soon after; I have always wondered about our brains capability on acquiring more than one language. I am interested in learning more about bilingualism, the correlation of psychology and language, and the skills needed for conducting psychological research. Thus, being bilingual has driven me to want to be more involved in this research lab.


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Bilal Rana

Hello everyone, my name is Bilal Rana and I am a first year biochemistry major with a medical sciences emphasis. I plan on combining my interests in science along with my passion for humanitarian services to become a successful neurosurgeon. Through this laboratory, I wish to apply and understand science in a more hands-on method as well as learn about the differences between a multilingual mind as compared to a monolingual mind. Since I also have interest in linguistics, I am even more enthusiastic about participating in this particular lab.


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Mildred Rangel, PIRE fellow

I am a third year Psychology with Law and Society major with an interest in minoring in Spanish. This is my first year working in a research lab, and I look forward to learning more about the research methods and how to conduct an experiment. In this lab specifically, I look forward to learning more about how bilingual’s cognitive processes differ from those of monolinguals. After I graduate, I plan on applying to graduate school for a master’s degree in the field of social psychology.


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Pilar Raygoza

I am a 4th year majoring in Psychology. I am a bilingual speaker myself, and I have always found it fascinating how we are able to switch languages automatically. I am mostly interested in learning about the benefits that bilinguals have in cognitive aging; and the undergoing changes of brain plasticity. I am excited, and hoping to gain a lot of experience working as an RA. In the future, I plan to pursue a career in the health field or in education.


Melissa Rico Romero

Melissa Rico Romero

I am a fourth-year psychology major. I speak both Spanish and English, and throughout the years I have picked up a bit of Korean and Japanese. As a person who is fascinated by languages I am curious to learn more about the brain and how people who speak more than one language are able to switch between the languages they speak. I hope to learn more about bilingualism during my time in this lab and about research in general that I could later use in the future.


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Andrea Rios

I am a 4th year Biology student at UCR who plans to go to grad school after graduation for a masters in pharmacology. This is my 1st time doing research and I am monolingual even though most of my family is bilingual in Spanish because no matter how long I study Spanish I’m unable to speak it fluently. I joined to better understand the difference in our brain between bilinguals and monolinguals hoping some day I could finally unlock the secret to learning and speaking Spanish to become bilingual.


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Matthew Rios

I am a fourth year neuroscience major. When I took my first class with Dr. Kroll, I was not interested in language at all. Dr. Kroll made me excited about how language affects the brain, especially the effects of L2 acquisition. I look forward to working in the lab to further see how a L2 affects the brain.


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Esperanza Rodriguez

Hi everyone! My name is Esperanza Rodriguez I am currently a third-year pursuing a degree in Psychology. I am really looking forward to researching the interrelationship of bilingual speakers and the cognitive process. This will be my first year in a lab and I look forward to contributing as a research assistant. In the near future, I plan to further pursue my education after completing my degree at the University of California of Riverside. I hope that working in this lab will provide me with opportunity to develop my research skills as well as expose me to other research opportunities in the future.


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John Rodriguez

Hi. I am a third year linguistics major. I read some articles about how bilingualism affects an individual’s language processing and cognitive control and became curious about the possible outcomes for my future children (I do hope they will exist (this is a joke by the way (laugh))). Through this lab, I will be able to understand more about an aspect of the world that affects many in the field for which I hold in high regards and have an unwavering love. It is my duty to understand things that I do not understand in order to pass on the information to the future generations that succeed mine.


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Tania Rodriguez

I am a fourth year undergraduate student majoring in psychology. My goal is to become a clinical psychologist and help out those who are mentally ill. I am interested in this lab because I am bilingual and would love to learn more about how bilingual cognition is interpreted in a research setting, and how it may differ in the cognition of a monolingual.


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Brianda Rodriguez-Verdin

Hi all! I am a fourth year Linguistics and Political Science/International Affairs major at UCR. I speak Spanish, English, French and am currently studying Arabic. I have always had a passion for learning languages. I am fascinated by our ability to use languages interchangeably in conversation through code-switching and borrowing. In this lab, I look forward to learning more about bilingualism and exploring the field of psycholinguistics. More importantly, I hope to gain some of the necessary skills needed to go into the field of language learning research


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Natalia Rzeslawski-Gamboa

I’m a senior studying Psychology and I hope to gain an advanced degree in Clinical Psychology. This is my second year working as a research assistant at UCR, and my first year working in the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain lab. I am bilingual, myself, and I am interested in understanding how L1 and L2 affect cognitive function—particularly on the topic of lexical predictions. I look forward to gaining knowledge and experience as this research progresses.


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Wesley Sanchez

My name is Wesley Sanchez, a recent college graduate from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez. My degree is in English Linguistics with a certification in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) for Secondary Education. Growing up in a fully bilingual context inspired me to study linguistics, and continue the amazing research that many have started on the topic of bilingualism. Therefore, my research interests are related to: neural processes that happen in the brain while codeswitching in different instances, as well as studying the influence of two languages towards cognitive tasks.


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Navsukhmani Sandhu

Hello! My name is Navsukhmani Sandhu and I am sophomore majoring in both English and Psychology. My first language is Punjabi, but I also speak Urdu, Hindi and English as well. The concept of language acquisition and how it intersects with our psychological development through the mechanisms of society has always interested me as someone who is multilingual myself. I am so excited to be able to take part in research that explores the brains capacity for language. This is my first year being an RA and I’m eager to learn new skills that I can apply to my future career and academic prospects.


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Melissa Saidak

My name is Melissa Saidak and I’m a third year here at UCR. My major is Psychology with a minor in Russian Studies. I have been studying Russian for three years and even studied abroad there over the summer. Though I am still hesitant to call myself a Russian-English bilingual, I find the literature on interference interesting as I have found my own languages changing since learning Russian. It was this language learning journey that drew me to explore the relationship between Psychology and Language. I am very interested in studying how L2 and L1 effect each other, and the relationship between clinical psychology and bilingualism.


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Julianna Salama

Hello! I am a first-year undergraduate psychology student here at UCR. This is my first year experiencing and working in a research lab. I chose to work specifically in a Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain lab because I myself am bilingual, learning more about bilinguals and why learning/knowing a second language is so unique and important is what interests me the most. I am looking forward to acquiring new outlooks from this lab.


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Rebeea Shaikh

I am a first year majoring in Neuroscience and am very excited to begin studying bilingualism. Growing up in a household in which multiple languages are spoken has sparked an interest in me to enhance my knowledge regarding the processes occurring in the brain when switching among different languages. I look forward to conducting research in this lab through my first year as an RA.


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Samah Shaikh

I am a junior studying Neuroscience. This is my first year as a research assistant in the lab. After taking particular courses related to the brain, I have gained an interest in expanding my knowledge about how factors such as language affect cognitive development. I look forward to acquiring experience in this field with my fellow research assistants.


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Neha Sheik

Hi! My name is Neha Sheik and I am a second year Biology major. This is my first year working as a RA and I am very excited to study bilingualism. I’ve always had a fascination with psychology and language and this is the perfect opportunity to do both.


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Yasmeen Sheikh

I am a fourth year psychology student. My interest in language stems from my upbringing. I grew up in a household with the constant trill of three languages spoken around me, my two bilingual parents found their common language in English. Yet I have zero affinity for languages! I am an overhearer. I am enthusiastic about the research we will be doing and I look forward to working as an RA.


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Juliana Shenouda

I am a sophomore studying biology with a minor in Spanish. I took Spanish for all four years of high school and grew up in an Arabic setting. With this experience, I was always curious to understand neural connections in depth and how different language factors were systematically sent to different places in the brain. I am eager to learn and am excited about being part of research in the field of neuroanatomy and the diverse function both of the sides of the brain. And I think the ability to actively participate in and analyze new research is an essential component to the successful practice of medic


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Supanat Sritapan

I am currently a second year Biology major at UCR. As a person who speaks two languages, I would love to learn more about how the brain of a bilingual functions differently than that of a monolingual. Also, with my recent interests in Neuroscience, I am determined to apply what I learned in classrooms and to obtain more research experience from working in this lab.


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Adnan Syed

Hey! I’m a 3rd year Neuroscience major pursuing a career in the health field. This is my first year as an RA in the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab. Being a bilingual myself, I am hoping to gain more knowledge about what kind of an effect language has on the human brain and how we process and comprehend different languages. I’m hoping to gain more research experience and hone essential skills for future endeavors in the field of healthcare!


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Shayaan Syed

Hi! I am a second year student majoring in Biology. I only spoke Urdu for 10 years , and learned to speak English when I moved to U.S. Now that I can speak these two languages fluently, I am curious to find out how does a bilingual brain works, and how it differs from that of monolingual. This is my first year as a research assistant, and I am very excited to be researching on the Language Experience and Verbal Fluency project.


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Tida Thaipejr

I am a recent UC San Diego graduate with a double major in General Biology and Literatures of the World. My interests include studying receptive bilingualism in children and identifying how neural connections are formed during acquisition of a new language. In addition to this, I would be interested in further studies on identifying if foreign languages foster greater empathy in bilingual students.


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Nelson Tian

I am a fourth year Statistics major and this is my first year working in a research lab. As someone who learned English early on and lost their first language, I was interested in this lab because I am curious about how bilinguals balance their thoughts in two languages. Because I have never worked in a lab before, I hope to both learn what it’s like to be a part of a lab and contribute with my statistics perspective.


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Toby Tsai

I am a fourth year Psychology student and interested in language because I grew up in a bilingual home but can only speak one language. I am curious as to why some people are able to develop a language easier than others. I look forward to working in this lab and hope to learn more about language and cognitive function.


Tramanh Truong

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I am currently beginning my 3rd year as an undergraduate Psychology major and this will be my first year in the lab. Growing up fluent in both English and Vietnamese, I have always been curious about how the way I process information may differ from my monolingual peers. After having Emily as a TA and learning about language from her, I became very interested in learning more about what she studied. Therefore, I am very excited to learn more about bilingualism and how it affects the brain. After graduating, I would like to continue on to graduate school and one day receive my PhD.


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Mayur Upparapalli

Hello! I’m a second year Biology Major and this is my first year being an research assistant in this lab. After taking multiple psych courses, I developed an interest in cognitive function and how it affects various areas such as bilingualism. Having learned multiple languages growing up, I am interested in how knowing different languages can affect each other and learning a new language. I am looking forward to learning new skills as well as information which I can apply to a career in the health sciences or related field.


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Tammy Van

Hi! My name is Tammy Van and I’m a second year Neuroscience major, interested in pursuing pediatrics. I currently speak two languages, that being English and Vietnamese, but I’m hoping to expand on that with Spanish and Sign Language! As a bilingual, I’ve always been intrigued by languages and even more captivated by how the mind works, now in relation to languages. Given this lab bridges the two, I can’t express how excited I am to be a part of this lab. I can’t wait to dive into the world of bilingual minds and learn more about their neurological processes!


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Paulina Vasquez-Rocha

I’m a 2nd year studying Linguistics and Spanish Linguistics. and I’m excited to learn more about the cognitive development of bilinguals. I am also interested in how and under what circumstances bilinguals decide to code switch. I look forward to developing an understanding on psycholinguistics and being involved and learning about the research process!


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Kelly Vazquez

I am a third year psychology major and business minor with an interest in relieving psychological dysfunction and to promoting subjective well-being and personal development. My goal as a lab assistant is the not only have the experience of conducting research therefore knowing how to interpret results. As a multilingual individual, it is interesting to learn how the brain processes information given that two or more languages are at work. I am excited to learn from this experience and apply these teachings after graduation as well as in my own practice as a professional.


Berenice Velazquez

Berenice Velazquez

I am currently a third-year undergraduate student working towards a Psychology degree and a minor in Spanish. I am particularly interested in working in the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab because as a bilingual myself, I hope to better understand the differences in the way the brain functions in regards to bilinguals and monolinguals. I also look forward to acquiring new research skills and experience as a research assistant.


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Jacquelyne Vergara

Hello my name is Jaky, I’m a fourth year Psychology Law and Society major. This is my second year working in a Research Lab and my third quarter here in the Bilingualism Mind Brain Lab. I hope to someday go to grad school after a bit of time off.The reason I was intrigued by the Bilingualism Mind Brain Lab was because I wanted to learn how the brain functioned differently in bilinguals. I grew up in a Spanish speaking home, being a part of a lab that works on understanding the impact a second language may have on an individual is fascinating!


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Erik Villalpando

I am a senior studying sociology and I plan to start my Master of Social Work degree next fall. Learning about bilingualism in a research setting is interesting to me because I am bilingual, myself, and I am eager to learn about the different effects it has on the bilingual’s cognition. I’m also excited to be a research assistant for the time.


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Jenny Vu

Hi there! I am a 4th year psychology major here at UCR. My main interests are in behavioral processes, social psychology, and clinical psychology. I’m so grateful to be granted the opportunity to work in this lab, and find it relatable and interesting, as I am a bilingual myself (Vietnamese and English speaker). I’m excited to be further educated on the cognitive processes of language-learning from this lab.


Jason Wong

Jason Wong

My name is Jason Wong, and I’m a third year Linguistics major. I’ve been passion about linguistics for as long as I can remember so I’m excited to be able to work at the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain lab as a research assistant. I grew up in a Cantonese speaking household but was never taught the language so I’m interested in how bilingual environments could affect language acquisition at various stages in life. I hope to learn as much as possible about both the research process as well as the bilingual mind.


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Dennis Wu

Hello! My name is Dennis Wu. I’m a third year Psychology major who’s interested in
being an RA for the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab. This is my first year as being an RA. I’m very excited to have this opportunity to be part of an awesome team. As a bilingual individual, myself, I hope to learn more about the interaction between bilingualism and cognition.


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Fiona Yan

I am a 4th year majoring in Linguistics and psychology and this is my first year with the lab as an RA. I have tried to pick up a few languages in my life as a student because I enjoy being able to learn other country’s language and culture. This particular lab made me interested about how bilinguals and monolinguals are similar and different when they try to learn or pick up a language. After I graduate I intend to continue into grad school for clinical psychology.


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Bethlehem Yohannes

I am a Third Year Neuroscience major. I am interested in this research because I have always wondered how people were able to switch from one language to another and how that could impact their memory and/or cognitive skills. My first language was Amharic. My parents had to teach me English because it was impacting my school life. As they were teaching me English, my dominant language switched from Amharic to English. Through this research opportunity, I want to learn and understand how learning a second language can benefit the brain’s cognition.


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Gabriela Young

My name is Gabriela Young and I am an undergraduate research assistant. My field of study is Neuroscience and I am interested in studying the effects of brain structures on multiple facets of cognitive function.


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Leila Yousefi-Rizi

I am a fourth year biology major and I am extremely excited to work in this lab! Coming from a biracial family, I grew up listening to my parents speak two completely different languages. The quick switch from English to Tagalog to Farsi has always fascinated me. This lab allows me to delve into the neural function behind bilingualism, as well as learn how individuals benefit from this skill.


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Arianna Zimmer

My name is Arianna Zimmer I am a first year Spanish major with a focus in linguistics. This will be my first year participating in research and I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to research something as interesting as the bilingual brain ! As a fluent Spanish speaker it is very fascinating to me how the bilingual brain works. My ultimate goal is to go to medical school and hopefully one day be able to conduct my own research on nutrition. I hope to primarily attend to the underserved Spanish speaking community here in Southern California. I believe that participating in research will provide me with a great idea of what conducting research is like and will motivate me to keep pursuing my ultimate goal.


Undergraduate Alumnae at Penn State

Olivia Cielser

Olivia Cieslar

I am a junior studying Biobehavioral Health with an interest in the Psychology field. I am Polish bilingual student which led me to gain an interest in this particular field of research. This is my first year as a research assistant and I am excited to learn about language processing in bilinguals and monolinguals and comparing data. I have an interest in working with participants, analyzing collected data in order to see how both monolingual and bilinguals differ, and using fMRI.


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Sam Cummins

Sam Cummins is a sophomore studying French Literature and Economics. This is his first year in the lab as a research assistant. He is particularly interested in semantics and syntax in the French language, as well as in other Romance and Germanic languages. As a member of the lab, Sam hopes to gain a better understanding of bilingualism and its impacts on the brain.


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Heather Gardner

I am a sophomore pursuing Chinese and International Politics majors. I have always had an interest in language and am so excited to be working and learning with this research team.


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Rebecca Gilligan

I am a senior studying Communication Sciences and Disorders. This is my first year working in the lab as a research assistant. I am very interested in language processing and working more with ERPs. Research on bilingualism is something I hope to continue during my graduate studies.


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Steven Hopkins

Steve is a senior pursuing a History major with minors in Biology, Jewish Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies. This is his first year working in the lab as a research assistant. Steve is particularly interested in the development of inhibitory feedback in the language center of the brain during the acquisition of a second language, as well as the overall effect of bilingualism on brain function.


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Amy Kinsey, PIRE Fellow

I’m a junior majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders. This is my first year working in the lab as a research assistant. Some of my interests include bilingual cognitive control, language acquisition, and how second language learning affects the native language in bilinguals. I’m excited to learn more about ERPs and eye-tracking throughout the year as well!


YeoJin Lee

YeoJin Lee

I am a Junior majoring in Psychology. This is my first year working in the lab as a research assistant. I am very interested in language processing and how bilinguals differ from monolinguals since I am a bilingual. I am hoping to continue to be a research assistant throughout the year or two, and continue being interested in language and cognition lab afterward leading to Graduate School.


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Akeena Lofters, PIRE Fellow

I am a senior majoring in Asian Studies with minors in Korean and Linguistics. This is my second year working in the lab as a research assistant. I am interested in whether or not the usage of identical cognates interferes with or aids in language learning.


Nick Pollio

Nick Pollio

I am a senior dual majoring in psychology and communication science disorders, and my focus of study is the psycho and neuro-linguistics of language processing. My expertise lies in data analysis and neuro-imaging procedures such as ERP, and behavioral measures of working memory. I hope to use my background in psychology as a clinician by using effective psycholinguistic techniques when working as a speech and language pathologist.


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Min Sung Seo

I am a sophomore pursuing a major in Psychology and a minor in Economics. This is my first semester in the lab as a research assistant. As a bilingual I am interested in how bilingualism affects the brain’s cognitive abilities. I am excited to be a part of the lab and hope to gain experience in and learn more about the research setting.


Katherine Sims

Katherine Sims

Katherine Sims is a sophomore studying Economics and International Politics. This is her first year in the lab as a Research Assistant. Her research interests include cognitive development and language processing (especially the role of working memory in sentence comprehension and production).


Ashley Wagner

Ashley Wagner

I am a senior studying Psychology and Labor and Employment Relations. This is my first year as a research assistant in the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab.  As a member of the lab, I hope to explore the ins and outs of conducting research while learning how language processing impacts the brain.


Jennie Walter

Jennie Walter

I am a sophomore studying Psychology and Spanish here at Penn State. This is my first year in the lab as a research assistant. I am very interested in language and hope to someday be fluent in five or more languages. From being a part of this lab I hope to learn more not just about language, but also about research and participant testing in general.


Zhiyue Wang

Zhiyue (Joanna) Wang

I am a junior studying Psychology. This is my first year working in the lab as a research assistant. I’m particularly interested in how experiences with a second language interact with the native language and how the brain functions during the language switching process. By joining the lab, I wish to gain more experience with ERPs and learn how to conduct research.


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Ryan Winthrop

I am a sophomore majoring in Psychology and minoring in Spanish and Business. This is my first year working in the lab as a research assistant. I am interested in the usage of language and how people process this information in their brains. I hope to continue with research for the rest of my undergraduate years. I also believe that my background in Psychology and Spanish helps me in my research.


Yixiao Xu

I am a junior who major in Economics and minor in Business. As a Chinese bilingual student, I am curious about how learning English makes me different to monolinguals. I really enjoy the time with everyone in the lab and I am really grateful for having this chance to learn something beyond my major and some research skills.