DOI: 10.14704/nq.2019.17.2.1928

The Determination of Brain Localization in Adult Second Language Learning Process

Zeynep Zeliha BAYAZIT


The aim of current study takes an interdisciplinear perspective to address the investigation of brain localization in adult second language learning process. This study was conducted on 10 native speakers of English who were trained on intensive Turkish as a second language at Indiana University Programme of Turkish Flagship, from initial exposure to high proficiency during 6 months. Participants were recorded by using fMRI while performing picture matching nd production tasks. Brain activation was found in areas associated with first language processing and parietal cortex, suggesting that adult second language learners have access to first language regions. Additional areas were engaged, suggesting that first language mechanisms are not sufficient for second language learning and processing. At early stages of learning, hippocampal activation was found for both vocabulary and grammar. At later stages, basal ganglia activation was observed for grammar, particularly in the caudate nucleus. The findings reccomend that early word and grammar learning relies on declarative memory, but that grammar later relies on procedural memory. These results highlight the importance of integrating neural and behavioral methods in second language research.


Adult second language lerning, Turkish as a second language , Brain localization, fMRI, Neurolinguistics

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