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Language Learning Project

We are conducting a study examining the brain mechanisms adults use when they are learning a new language!

Want to see if you qualify? Fill out this survey!

After completing the survey, we will contact you within a few days!

Project Description:

In this study we are examining how the brain functions when learning a second language! This study utilizes MRI to measure brain structure and activity while completing language based tasks. MRI is a safe and non-invasive research tool and does NOT use ionizing radiation like an X-ray.

Why participate:

  • Taking part in this study may help scientists better understand how adults learn second languages, and the mechanisms that support this learning, as well as which teaching methods best facilitate the learning of new words in a second language.
  • Participants will receive a picture of their brain to take home with them.
  • Participants who enroll in this study will receive payment to compensate them for their participation.

Who is invited:

Native English Speakers aged 18-35 years who have studied a second language in a classroom setting

Individuals CANNOT participate if they:

  • Use a second language at home
  • Have studied a second language in an immersive setting
  • Are proficient in any language other than English
  • Have any metal in the body (braces, implants, etc.)
  • Have a history of premature birth, uncorrected visual impairment, psychiatric disorders, or neurological disease
  • Are left handed
  • Are claustrophobic

What to expect:

Participants will be asked to participate in five separate days of testing. Each visit is 1.5-3 hours for up to 10-11 hours of participation. Sessions 2-5 must be scheduled 2-3 days apart.

  • First session includes: standardized academic testing and MRI practice session where we will teach what it is like to do an MRI using an MRI simulator
  • Second and Fifth sessions include: computer tasks involving a novel language and real MRI scan
  • Third and Fourth sessions include: computer tasks involving a novel language

All visits can be scheduled during the day, after work/classes, or on weekends. All data collected will remain confidential. No individual will be identified by name in any reports of this study.

If you are interested in enrolling or would like more information, please contact us via email at or by phone at 615-875-1667!