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How people learn a second language (L2) is rarely investigated from the perspective of neurobiological memory research. Prominent memory theories claim that neuroanatomically different memory systems are involved in the formation and retention of long-term memories. Together with our team, you will investigate the role of these memory systems in L2 word learning across different learning situations.
We are only slowly beginning to understand the different ways in which memories can be formed and retained in long-term memory. Different memory systems in our brain (e.g. the hippocampus vs neocortical structures) are involved, depending not only on how long ago the information was learned, but probably also on the type of learning material (e.g. whether it matches with our prior experience or not) and learning situation (explicit vs implicit learning).
In four separate experimental studies, you will make use of behavioural, electrophysiological (EEG) and brain imaging techniques (e.g. fMRI) to get to the bottom of how different memory systems are used for L2 word learning in different contexts. You will particularly test the validity of the so-called schema-learning theory, as well as of the fast-mapping account, with respect to L2 word learning.
We expect the results of the project to represent a big step towards a better understanding of situational variability in learning (i.e. not only in terms of language).
This position is part of the ERC Consolidator project 'MultiMemoryL2 - Multiple routes to memory for a second language' recently awarded to Dr Kristin Lemhöfer. You will work with the members of that project in a team. The supervisory team consists of Dr Kristin Lemhöfer, Prof. James McQueen, Dr Gabriele Janzen, and Dr Vitória Piai.
At the Donders Institute, you are required to devote 10% of your time to teaching or other academic activities (e.g., lab management).
Fixed-term contract: You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract).
Houtlaan 4, 6525 XZ, Nijmegen
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