Biological & Environmental Factors that Impact Multilingualism

This symposium will discuss endogenous and exogenous sources of variability relevant to cross-linguistic and cross-cultural studies of language and literacy. At the endogenous level, we will discuss the impact of cognitive model selection and hierarchical neural oscillations on language processing, and links between music and language. At the exogenous level, we will discuss variability in language exposure and environmental factors (e.g. socioeconomic status [SES], environmental exposures). We also examine the challenges inherent in quantifying and predicting language capacity across diverse groups.

Each keynote talk will be paired with one of our cross-linguistic / multiliteracy experts who will present and lead an integrative discussion of current research directions and how these can inform future studies with the overall goal of developing an agenda for future comparative research on language and literacy development, universality and language disorders that takes these sources of variability into account.


  • Systems - David Poeppel (NYU/MPIAE)
  • Cognitive Models - Michael C. Frank (Stanford)
  • Linguistic Background - Elizabeth Peña (UT Austin)
  • Music and Language - Aniruddh Patel (Tufts)
  • Environment - Brenda Eskenazi (UC Berkeley)
  • Other Speakers & Discussants - Manuel Carreiras (BCBL), Blair Armstrong (U Toronto), Ram Frost (Hebrew U Jerusalem), Ken Pugh (Haskins), Jay Rueckl (U Conn), Nandini Singh (NBRC), Denise Wu (NCU), Nicole Landi (U Conn), Nicola Molinaro (BCBL)

Co-Sponsored by the UC Science-based Innovation in Learning Center (SILC)

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at 8:00am to 5:00pm

Byers Auditorium
600 16th Street, San Francisco, California 94158

Event Type

Conference, Lecture/Seminar


School of Medicine


Students, Postdocs, Faculty, Local Community


Mission Bay


win, neuroscience, Weill Institute for Neurosciences




Department of Psychiatry

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