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Naja Ferjan Ramirez, Ph. D., is a Research Scientist working in Dr. Patricia Kuhl's lab. Naja earned her Bachelor's degree in Neuroscience from Brown University and her Ph.D. in Linguistics and Cognitive Science from the University of California, San Diego. Her research broadly focuses on understanding the brain-based mechanisms of language acquisition in populations from various linguistic backgrounds. Currently, Naja is conducting brain (magnetoencephalography) and behavioral studies with babies who are simultaneously acquiring two languages (bilinguals). Naja is also a mother of two young children who are learning three languages (Slovene, Spanish, and English).
Resources on bilingualism:
Bilingual Language Learning in Children
An I-LABS report written by Naja Ferjan Ramírez and Patricia Kuhl showcases the Institute’s latest brain studies demonstrating that the baby brain is fully capable of learning multiple languages at the same time.
Bilingual Language Development
A 20-minute training module on how to promote dual language learning in young children, developed by the I-LABS Outreach team and Naja Ferjan Ramírez.
Why the Baby Brain Can Learn Two Languages at the Same Time
In an expert opinion piece for the popular news site The Conversation, Naja Ferjan Ramírez describes the science behind why early childhood is the best time to learn multiple languages.
Ask I-LABS Outreach: How Do Babies Learn Two Languages at Once?
Naja Ferjan Ramírez gives advice to parents on the science behind raising children to know multiple languages.
Ferjan Ramirez, N., Kuhl, P.K.: The brain science of bilingualism (2017). Young Children, 72(2), 38-44. Click here to receive a reprint
Ferjan Ramirez, N., Ramirez, R.R., Clarke, M., Taulu, S., Kuhl, P.K. (2016). Speech discrimination in 11-month-old bilingual and monolingual infants: A magnetoencephalography study. Developmental Science. Click here to receive a reprint
Ferjan Ramirez, N., Leonard, M.K., Davenport, T., Torres, C., Mayberry, R.I., Halgren, E. (2014) Neural language processing in adolescent first-language learners: Longitudinal case studies in American Sign Language. Cerebral Cortex, pii: bhu273. Click here to receive a reprint
Ferjan Ramirez, N., Leonard, M.K., Torres, C., Hatrak, M., Halgren, E., Mayberry, R.I. (2013) Neural language processing in adolescent first-language learners. Cerebral Cortex doi: 10.1093/cercor/bht137. Click here to receive a reprint
Ferjan Ramirez, N., Leonard, M.K., Halgren, E., Mayberry, R.I. (2013) The neural correlates of childhood linguistic isolation. In S. Baiz, N. Goldman, R. Hawkes (Eds.) Proceedings of the 37th Boston University Conference on Language Development, Volume 1, 110-121. Boston: Cascadilla Press.
Ferjan Ramirez, N., Lieberman, A., Mayberry, R.I. (2013) The initial stages of first-language acquisition begun in adolescence: When late looks early. Journal of Child Language, 40(2), 391-414. Click here to receive a reprint
Leonard, M.K., Ferjan Ramirez, N., Torres, C., Hatrak, M., Mayberry, R.I., Halgren, E.. (2013) Neural stages of spoken, written, and signed word processing in second language learners. Frontiers of Human Neuroscience, doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00322. Click here to receive a reprint
Leonard, M.K., Ferjan Ramirez, N., Torres, C., Travis, K., Hatrak, M., Mayberry, R.I., Halgren, E.. (2012) Signed Words in the Congenitally Deaf Evoke Typical Late Lexicosemantic Responses with No Early Visual Responses in Left Superior Temporal Cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 32(28), 9700-9705. Click here to receive a reprint
Ferjan Ramirez, N., Lieberman, A., Mayberry, R.I. (2011) The first words acquired by adolescent first-language learners: When late looks early. In N. Dannis, K. Mesh, & H. Sung (Eds). Proceedings of the 35th Boston University Conference on Language Development. Boston: Cascadilla Press.