Research Program: Speech and Language
I completed my PhD in 2010 at Western Sydney University with Professor Catherine Best, Dr Michael Tyler and Dr Christian Kroos. During 2011-2012 I was a postdoc in Professor Patrick Wong's lab in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Northwestern University.
During 2013-2014, I was Adjunct Assistant Professor in Professor Patrick Wong's lab in the Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
In September 2014, I joined The MARCS Institute as a postdoctoral research fellow. My research encompasses cognitive, neuroscientific, and developmental aspects of language learning and use, including bilingualism.
I am Co-Investigator on two grants that explore the potential benefits of foreign language training in older adults to promote healthy brain function, counteract age-related cognitive decline, and halt the progression of neurodegenerative disease (e.g., dementia).
My collaboration with Professor Anne Cutler seeks to explain the native listening advantage by charting perceptual adaptation across languages. I am also an affiliate member of the ARC Centre of Excellence in the Dynamics of Language.
I hold an ARC Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) that aims to identify the combination of factors that matter most in successful language learning. Ultimately I hope to tailor training proactively to maximise learning outcomes. My work on the effects of language learning has featured on
The New York Times, LiveItChina, and the South China Morning Post Young Post.
- Effects of language learning on the brain
- Role of cognitive systems in language learning
- Individual differences in language learning success
- Language interaction in bilinguals
- Customising language training to improve learning outcomes
Qualifications and Honours
- 2015 - Australian Research Council (ARC), Discovery Early Career Researcher Award, Cracking the code of successful language learning (AU$365,000), Chief Investigator
- 2013 - Health and Medical Research Fund, Hong Kong, Foreign language learning as potential treatment for Mild Cognitive Impairment (HK$950,000), Co-Investigator
- 2013 - Research Grants Council, Hong Kong, Language learning in older adults as preventive therapy for cognitive impairments (HK$1.04 million), Co-Investigator
- 2010 - Ph.D. (Psychology), MARCS Institute, Western Sydney University
- 2005 - B.A. (Psychology), Honours Program, Western Sydney University
- ARC Research Fellow (DECRA)
- Affiliate Member, ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language
- Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
For a full listing of my publications, please see my Western Sydney University profile page.(opens in a new window)