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UTSC psychologist’s research on biological bases of language featured in media

LANGUAGE AND THE BRAIN: The research of Laura-Ann Petitto has been featured recently in the Toronto Star. (Photo by Ken Jones.)

Laura Ann Petitto, professor of cognitive neuroscience in the psychology department at UTSC, was recently acknowledged in the Toronto Star for her groundbreaking studies on bilingualism and childhood language development.

Petitto’s work was featured in the print version of Canada’s largest circulation daily newspaper and in its online Parent Central education section on July 16. Petitto is researching how children’s brains develop linguistic, syntax and phonetics capabilities. By examining the brain in infants from their first breaths of oxygen, through to the age of 30 months, Petitto has uncovered new clues about the physiological processes of language acquisition.

From a child’s first “ba-ba-ba’s” to its first full sentences, Petitto is revealing the variety of ways that the brain learns the intricacies of languages through her “pioneering” use of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS).

Petitto is a Fellow of the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Association for Psychological Science (APS), and Director of the Genes, Mind & fNIRS Brain Imaging Laboratory for Language, Bilingualism, and Child Development at UTSC.

For the link to the article highlighting Petitto’s research, click here.


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