Language and Cognitive Development of Children in Brazil: Salvador and Natal


Thursday, March 1, 2018, 12:00pm to 2:00pm


CGIS South, S050, 1730 Cambridge Street

Speakers: Gigi Luk, Associate Professor of Education, Harvard University and Nadine Gaab, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard University

The study of child development in Brazil offers an opportunity to broaden our understanding on cultural variations. In this talk, we will share our past and ongoing projects conducted in Brazil on language, cognition, and literacy. Their work has focused on using behavioral and neuroimaging methods to examine language and literacy in children.

Nadine Gaab received a PhD in Psychology from the University of Zurich in Switzerland. She did postdoctoral training with John Gabrieli, Gary Glover and Paula Tallal at Stanford University and MIT. Nadine's lab focuses on the identification of possible pre-markers of developmental dyslexia in the pre-reading and infant brain, the identification of the underlying neural mechanism of comorbidity of developmental dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, brain plasticity following sound and music based remediation programs for reading and language impaired children, the influence of musical training on cognitive and academic abilities and the neural correlates of language and reading development across the life-span.

Gigi Luk received her PhD in Psychology from York University in Toronto, Canada. She completed her postdoctoral training at the Rotman Research Institute at the Baycrest Center, which is a geriatric hospital. Gigi's lab focuses on understanding how diverse language experiences influence language and literacy development in school age children. In particular, she studies how bilingualism is associated with reading comprehension through executive functions. Her team also examines the neural network underlying learning in the first language changes as an individual learns a second language. Her team also engages in applied work with schools investigating ways to collect home language in a culturally-responsive way as well as how diverse language experiences modulate the identification rates for special education.