Class Year

2016

Date

4-25-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department or Program

Neuroscience

First Advisor

Naomi Wentworth

Second Advisor

Douglas Light

Third Advisor

Nicholas Wallin

Abstract

Previous research has shown that multilinguals are more adept at learning new languages than monolinguals. Previous research also suggests that those who learn languages faster, especially when learning Chinese characters, may employ different learning strategies than slower learners. The current study examines how both factors -- language experience and learning strategies -- relate to students’ success at mastering a set of Japanese kanji characters and their English translations. In contrast to previous studies, analysis of the N170 and N400 event-related brain potentials and the patterns of saccadic eye-tracking did not reveal differences between faster versus slower learners and monolinguals versus multilinguals. However, those who maintained the same learning strategy throughout the initial learning task performed better than those who did not.


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