Age of Acquisition

Figure from Claussenius‐Kalman, H., Vaughn, K. A., Archila‐Suerte, P., & Hernandez, A. E. (2020). Age of acquisition impacts the brain differently depending on neuroanatomical metric. Human brain mapping, 41(2), 484-502.

A line of research our lab has focused on is the factors that distinguish learning early in life from learning that occurs later in childhood, adolescence and adulthood, termed the age of acquisition (AoA) effect.  This work has sought to uncover the similarities and differences in age of acquisition effects in bilingual, monolingual and nonverbal domains.  Effects in bilinguals has observed that age of acquisition effects are present in the processing of grammar and the perception of speech sounds. Work with monolinguals has found that AoA can be found for the processing of single words in terms of behavior and neural activity. Based on these findings, a theoretical framework was offered in which age of acquisition effects across bilingual, monolingual and nonverbal domains are thought to arise because of changes.

  • Hernandez, A. E., Kotz, S. A., Hofmann, J., Valentin, V. V., Dapretto, M., & Bookheimer, S. Y. (2004). The neural correlates of grammatical gender decisions in Spanish. Neuroreport, 15(5), 863-866.
  • Hernandez, A. E., Hofmann, J., & Kotz, S. A. (2007). Age of acquisition modulates neural activity for both regular and irregular syntactic functions. NeuroImage, 36(3), 912-923.
  • Fiebach, C. J., Friederici, A. D., Müller, K., Von Cramon, D. Y., & Hernandez, A. E. (2003). Distinct brain representations for early and late learned words. NeuroImage, 19(4), 1627-1637.
  • Hernandez, A. E., & Li, P. (2007). Age of acquisition: Its neural and computational mechanisms. Psychological Bulletin, 133(4), 638–650.

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