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You are here: Home / News & Events / Events / All Events Here / CLS Speaker Series - Rafał Jończyk (Penn State University) Keep Calm and Carry On: ERP Evidence for Reduced Perception of Negativity in Bilingualism

CLS Speaker Series - Rafał Jończyk (Penn State University) Keep Calm and Carry On: ERP Evidence for Reduced Perception of Negativity in Bilingualism

When Nov 03, 2017
from 09:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Where 127 Moore
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Keep Calm and Carry On: ERP Evidence for Reduced Perception of Negativity in Bilingualism

I am passionate about the human mind and specifically how it deals with the ubiquitous emotional cues that constitute an intrinsic element of social interaction. As a linguist, I have been particularly fascinated by the interaction between language and emotion. While there is abundant evidence demonstrating facilitatory processing of emotional relative to neutral language in monolingual speakers, we still know relatively little about language-emotion interactions in bilingual speakers. May it be the case that emotional content carries different weight in our second language (henceforth, L2)? In this talk, I will build on recent introspective, decision-making, and neurocognitive research on bilingualism and emotion suggesting that bilinguals may process negative information on a shallower level in their L2. Following a review of studies in the field, I will turn to a detailed discussion of two of my recent experiments that measured electrophysiological responses to emotional sentences (experiment 1) and to upcoming emotional events (experiment 2) in bilingual speakers. Both experiments provide novel neurocognitive evidence pointing to a reduced emotional response to and anticipation of negative information in L2. These findings give insight into the interplay between language and emotion in a bilingual mind and may have important implications for therapy, education, decision making, and everyday life in a bilingual context.