Doctor Mark Antoniou

Doctor Mark Antoniou

Senior Arc Research Fellow (decra),
Marcs Institute For Brain, Behaviour & Development


I am the Research Program Leader for Speech & Language within The MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development. My research encompasses cognitive, neuroscientific, and developmental aspects of language learning and use, including bilingualism. I am insterested in 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).

I completed my PhD in 2010 at Western Sydney University with Professor Catherine Best before completing postdocs in Professor Patrick Wong's lab in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Northwestern University and in the Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

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, The Conversation, Lifehacker, Quartz, SBS News, Essential Baby, ABC Australia Plus, ABC Radio Australia, Early Childhood Australia, Early Learning Review, SBS World News, Radio, South China Morning Post Young Post, and Bottom Line Personal.

This information has been contributed by Doctor Antoniou.


  • PhD University of Western Sydney
  • BAP University of Western Sydney
  • BSOCS University of Western Sydney

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Marcs Institute For Brain, Behaviour & Development


Phone: (02) 9772 6673
Mobile: 0403924086
Location: 3.G.65

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Chapters in Books

  • Antoniou, M. (2018), 'Speech perception', The Listening Bilingual: Speech Perception, Comprehension, and Bilingualism, Wiley-Blackwell 9781118835777.

Journal Articles

  • Antoniou, M. (2019), 'The advantages of bilingualism debate', Annual Review of Linguistics, vol 5 , pp 395 - 415.
  • Wong, P., Ou, J., Pang, C., Zhang, L., Tse, C., Lam, L. and Antoniou, M. (2019), 'Language training leads to global cognitive improvement in older adults : a preliminary study', Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, vol 62, no 7 , pp 2411 - 2424.
  • Zeng, Z., Kalashnikova, M. and Antoniou, M. (2019), '[In Press] Integrating bilingualism, verbal fluency, and executive functioning across the lifespan', Journal of Cognition and Development, .
  • Antoniou, M. and Chin, J. (2018), 'What can lexical tone training studies in adults tell us about tone processing in children?', Frontiers in Psychology, vol 9 .
  • Maggu, A., Wong, P., Antoniou, M., Bones, O., Liu, H. and Wong, F. (2018), 'Effects of combination of linguistic and musical pitch experience on subcortical pitch encoding', Journal of Neurolinguistics, vol 47 , pp 145 - 155.
  • Antoniou, M. and Wright, S. (2017), 'Uncovering the mechanisms responsible for why language learning may promote healthy cognitive aging', Frontiers in Psychology, vol 8 .
  • Antoniou, M. and Wong, P. (2016), 'Varying irrelevant phonetic features hinders learning of the feature being trained', Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol 139, no 1 , pp 271 - 278.
  • Antoniou, M., Ettlinger, M. and Wong, P. (2016), 'Complexity, training paradigm design, and the contribution of memory subsystems to grammar learning', PLoS One, vol 11, no 7 .
  • Maggu, A., Liu, F., Antoniou, M. and Wong, P. (2016), 'Neural correlates of indicators of sound change in Cantonese : evidence from cortical and subcortical processes', Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, vol 10 .
  • Antoniou, M., Wong, P. and Wang, S. (2015), 'The effect of intensified language exposure on accommodating talker variability', Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, vol 58, no 3 , pp 722 - 727.
  • Antoniou, M. and Wong, P. (2015), 'Poor phonetic perceivers are affected by cognitive load when resolving talker variability (L)', Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol 138, no 2 , pp 571 - 574.
  • Antoniou, M., Liang, E., Ettlinger, M. and Wong, P. (2015), 'The bilingual advantage in phonetic learning', Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, vol 18, no 4 , pp 683 - 695.
  • Antoniou, M., To, C. and Wong, P. (2015), 'Auditory cues that drive language development are language specific : evidence from Cantonese', Applied Psycholinguistics, vol 36, no 6 , pp 1493 - 1507.
  • Tyler, M., Best, C., Goldstein, L. and Antoniou, M. (2014), 'Investigating the role of articulatory organs and perceptual assimilation of native and non-native fricative place contrasts', Developmental Psychobiology, vol 56 , pp 210 - 227.
  • Antoniou, M., Best, C. and Tyler, M. (2013), 'Focusing the lens of language experience : perception of Ma'di stops by Greek and English bilinguals and monolinguals', Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol 133, no 4 , pp 2397 - 2411.
  • Antoniou, M., Gunasekera, G. and Wong, P. (2013), 'Foreign language training as cognitive therapy for age-related cognitive decline : a hypothesis for future research', Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, vol 37, no 10 , pp 2689 - 2698.
  • Antoniou, M., Tyler, M. and Best, C. (2012), 'Two ways to listen : do L2-dominant bilinguals perceive stop voicing according to language mode?', Journal of Phonetics, vol 40, no 4 , pp 582 - 594.
  • Antoniou, M., Best, C., Tyler, M. and Kroos, C. (2011), 'Inter-language interference in VOT production by L2-dominant bilinguals : asymmetries in phonetic code-switching', Journal of Phonetics, vol 39, no 4 , pp 558 - 570.
  • Antoniou, M., Best, C., Tyler, M. and Kroos, C. (2010), 'Language context elicits native-like stop voicing in early bilinguals' productions in both L1 and L2', Journal of Phonetics, vol 38, no 4 , pp 640 - 653.

Conference Papers

  • Chen, J., Best, C. and Antoniou, M. (2019), 'Cognitive factors in Thai-naive Mandarin speakers' imitation of Thai lexical tones', INTERSPEECH (Conference), Graz, Austria.
  • Chen, J., Best, C., Antoniou, M. and Kasisopa, B. (2018), 'Cross-language categorisation of monosyllabic Thai tones by Mandarin and Vietnamese speakers : L1 phonological and phonetic influences', Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology, Coogee, N.S.W..
  • Chin, J. and Antoniou, M. (2018), 'Tone training for native speakers of tonal and nontonal languages', Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology, Coogee, N.S.W..
  • Burchfield, L., Luk, S., Antoniou, M. and Cutler, A. (2017), 'Lexically guided perceptual learning in Mandarin Chinese', INTERSPEECH (Conference), Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Tyler, M., Kawase, S. and Antoniou, M. (2014), 'Does immersion experience reduce /r/-/l/ category overlap for Japanese learners of English?', Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology, Christchurch, N.Z..
  • Tyler, M., Best, C., Goldstein, L., Antoniou, M. and Krebs-Lazendic, L. (2008), 'Six and twelve-month-olds' discrimination of native versus non-native between- and within-organ fracative plast contrasts', Interspeech 2008, Brisbane Australia.
  • Antoniou, M., Best, C. and Tyler, M. (2008), 'Perceptual evidence of Modern Greek voiced stops as phonological categories', Interspeech 2008, Brisbane Australia.
  • Antoniou, M., Best, C., Tyler, M. and Kroos, C. (2008), 'Effects of linguistic context on Greek-English bilingual production of voice onset time', Laboratory Phonology 11, Victoria University: Wellington, New Zealand.

Previous Projects

Title: Cracking the code of successful language learning
  • Australian Research Council (ACRG)
Western Researchers: Mark Antoniou
Years: 2015-01-05 - 2018-06-30
ID: P00022166


Current Supervision

Thesis Title: Constraints on Adaptability in Bilingual Speech Perception
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Development of L2 English Morphology among Hong Kong Deaf Children
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: A Comparative Study on the Factors that Affect Bilinguals' Interpreting Competence -Taking Compound Bilinguals as Subjects
Field of Research:

Previous Supervision

Thesis Title: What Does Lexical Retrieval Performance in Children and Young Adults Say About Developmental Bilingualism?
Field of Research: Speech Pathology


Title: Living a culture How learning Chinese makes life easier
Description: Blog post citing my work concerning the advantages of bilingualism
Title: The benefits of failing French
Description: New York Times op-ed citing my work on the effects of language learning on the older adult brain
Title: UWS impresses research council
Description: News article covering my ARC DECRA success

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