The Purple Lab

Lab Members

Lab Director

judith kroll
  • Dr. Judith Kroll (e-mail)
    • Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Linguistics, and Women’s Studies
    • I am a cognitive psychologist interested in language and memory. My particular interest is in the psycholinguistics of bilingualism and my research examines both early stages of second language acquisition and proficient bilingual performance.
    • In the acquisition work, my students and I have been asking why it appears to be easier for some people to acquire a second language than others and what contexts of acquisition facilitate conceptual understanding of words in the second language.
    • In the work on language processing in proficient bilinguals we have been especially interested in how bilinguals juggle the mental competition between the words available in each of their two languages to produce words in the language in which they intend to speak. In many respects this is an extraordinary cognitive feat.
    • My students and I pursue this research in our laboratory at Penn State and also in collaboration with colleagues in The Netherlands, Spain, and the UK.

Graduate Students

cari bogulski
  • Cari Bogulski (e-mail)
    • My research interests include bilingualism, second language acquisition, lexical processing, and codeswitching

rhonda mcclain
  • Rhonda McClain (e-mail)
  • My research interests include bilingual lexical processing and representation, the neural mechanisms underlying bilingual language processing, and the relationship between automaticity and control in skilled language production.
  • One topic that I am particularly interested in is the interface between phonology and semantics. I am currently planning a project with Dr. Kroll that links this concept with some of our combined interests. The goal is to examine the extent to which bilinguals experience interference in producing words due to the presence of phonological competitors across their two languages. On one hand, exploiting similarities between L1 and L2 phonology at the lexical level may facilitate bilingual language processing. Research has shown that bilinguals experience more lexical retrieval failures than their monolingual counterparts (Gollan & Acenas, 2004). Perhaps connections between lexical forms and their semantics are strengthened by exploiting shared phonological features between words in the L1 and the L2. In this case, one might expect that words that overlap in phonological form are produced faster than unrelated words. This is precisely the result when bilinguals produce cognate words. However, cognates also overlap in semantics. The goal of our project is to examine the consequences of producing words that are related in phonology, but lack semantic overlap.
Jason Gullifer

Postdoctoral Scholars

eleonora rossi
  • Dr. Eleonora Rossi (e-mail)
    • Ph.D. University of Groningen, The Netherlands
    • De Vincenzi Postdoctoral Fellow, Dussias/Kroll Lab
    • My research interests include bilingualism, second language acquisition, aphasiology, agrammatism, bilingual aphasia, sentence processing.
    • In the next year the focus of my research will be second language acquisition in adult English learners of Spanish and Italian. Specifically, I will try to understand how a special class of romance pronouns is acquired and processed in adult second language learners. This will be done using two methodologies: ERP and Eye-tracking.

Lab Manager/Research Assistants

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Previous Graduate Students

  • Jared Linck
  • Susan Bobb
  • Noriko Hoshino
  • Natasha Tokowicz
  • Ana Schwartz