Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access




Dr. Joel Bish

Committee Member

Dr. Joel Bish

Committee Member

Dr. Jennifer Stevenson

Committee Member

Rev. Charles Rice

Department Chair

Dr. Joel Bish

Project Description

Neurolinguistics is a branch of neuroscience that studies the language processing mechanisms in the brain. These processes can be better understood by analyzing the relationship between the visual processing, executive control and neural correlate changes during the acquisition of a novel language. Hippocampus and prefrontal cortices are known to play an integral part in the memorization and early language acquisition. Using Arabic as the novel language, the acquisition process can be better understood. In previous studies, it has been shown that Arabic letters are processed much like pictures and without the semantic memory, they cannot be named—process that relies concurrently on the visual pathways as well as brain regions for process of memorization. Therefore, during a picture-word interference study, picture naming is often interfered by the word, whereas the picture does not interrupt the word naming. Our research seeks to utilize electroencephalography, eye-tracker, along with computer based tests such as the Stroop test, The Deese–Roediger–McDermott (DRM) paradigm to observe the neural correlates that change while a person is learning a new language that has limited exposure. We wanted to observe if any significant changes took place when we cut down the traditional 6 week Arabic alphabet process into two weeks using passive learning process. Results from the study show that a two-week period of learning can create the same effects as familiarity. Determination of the correlates and visual processing provided a deeper understanding into the importance of executive control pathways and neural correlate changes for language processing.