Universität Wien FIND

200225 SE Advanced Seminar: Mind and Brain (2022S)

Bilingualism: Neural bases and Socio-cognitive aspects

4.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 20 - Psychologie
Continuous assessment of course work

Dieses Vertiefungsseminar kann für alle Schwerpunkte absolviert werden.

Vertiefungsseminare können nur für das Pflichtmodul B verwendet werden! Eine Verwendung für das Modul A4 Freie Fächer ist nicht möglich.


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 20 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

The entirely online blocked seminar will take place over six 4-hour sessions, on Tuesday mornings from 9h – 12h15 during the first half of the summer 2022 term. The dates will be: March 01, 08, 15, 29, April 5 and 26th, 2022.

Tuesday 01.03. 09:00 - 13:00 Digital
Tuesday 08.03. 09:00 - 13:00 Digital
Tuesday 15.03. 09:00 - 13:00 Digital
Tuesday 29.03. 09:00 - 13:00 Digital
Tuesday 05.04. 09:00 - 13:00 Digital
Tuesday 26.04. 09:00 - 13:00 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

Learning objectives:
1. To acquire knowledge about the socio-cognitive bases of bilingualism.
2. To develop critical reading skills.
3. To develop debating skills.

Course description:
The seminar, which will take place entirely in English and will be co-taught by Dr Olga Kepinska, will provide an overview of the state of the art regarding the socio-cognitive aspects of bilingualism, regarding its neural bases, and regarding advantages and challenges linked to bi- and multilingualism, this being the norm in many places around the world. Students will learn about different types of bilingualism, about the advantages and challenges that accompany the mastery of two or more languages, as well as contradictory behavioral and brain imaging findings related to executive / cognitive advantages linked to bilingualism. We will also address bilingualism from a social point of view, and discuss bilingualism-related policy issues. Students will also learn about neural differences or changes (i.e. plasticity) arising from learning a second (or more) language(s).

There are no prerequisites for taking this seminar. It will include introductions to brain imaging methods, and to neuroanatomy and to the functional anatomy of language. Solid knowledge of spoken and written English is, however, required.

Assessment and permitted materials

The grade will be based on 1) the oral presentation of a scientific article (30% of grade), 2) one written homework assignment designed to assess integration and understanding of the material presented in the course and of mandatory readings (30% of grade), 3) performance during a debate (20% of the grade) and 4) class participation (20% of grade).

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

To pass, students will be required to present a scientific paper (30%), to do a written assignment (30%), to participate in a debate (20%) and to participate actively in the seminar, asking questions and contributing to discussions (20%). Also, to receive credit for the seminar you cannot miss more than one session, AND you can only deregister within the first 2 days after the first session – by Thursday March 3rd (i.e. after that, de-registrations will result in an insufficient grade).

Examination topics

The content of the lectures, the readings and the discussions that take place during the seminar will be relevant for the homework assignment.

Reading list

The mandatory and optional readings will be made available to students who register for the course. Readings will include research papers and book chapters.

Examples of mandatory readings:
• de Bot, K., 2019. Defining and Assessing Multilingualism, in: The Handbook of the Neuroscience of Multilingualism. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK, pp. 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119387725.ch1
• Kemmerer, Chapter 17: The Bilingual Brain, in: Cognitive Neuroscience of Language: Second Edition (a digital copy of the chapter will be made available to the students).
• Sulpizio, S., Del Maschio, N., Fedeli, D., Abutalebi, J., 2020. Bilingual language processing: A meta-analysis of functional neuroimaging studies. Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.12.014
Examples of recommended readings:
• Morgan-Short, K., Steinhauer, K., Sanz, C., Ullman, M.T., 2012. Explicit and implicit second language training differentially affect the achievement of native-like brain activation patterns. J. Cogn. Neurosci. 24, 933–47. https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_00119
• Ullman, M.T., 2001. The declarative/procedural model of lexicon and grammar. J. Psycholinguist. Res. 30, 37–69.
• Abutalebi, J., Green, D., 2007. Bilingual language production: The neurocognition of language representation and control. J. Neurolinguistics 20, 242–275. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneuroling.2006.10.003

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Th 11.05.2023 11:27