Methodological Issues in Research on Bilingualism and Mutilingualism, pp.167-180
Authors: Lilian Cristine Scherer, Rochele Paz Fonseca, Ana Inés Ansaldo, Universidade de Santa Cruz do Sul (UNISC), Brazil, and others
Abstract: Research on language processing in the brain has increased and has become prominent in the past decades, fostered mainly by the adoption of neuroimaging techniques. For instance, language studies on the lesion paradigm, with which neuropsychology was born, have considerably improved by the use of refined neuroimaging techniques (Price, Noppeney & Friston, 2006). Some of the techniques mainly used in research on language processing are functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), positron emission topography (PET), magnetoencephalography (MEG), electroencephalography (EEG), and functional nearinfrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), among others, which have allowed researchers to acquire in vivo brain images of the order of seconds or even milliseconds (for a review please see Démonet, Thierry and Cardebat, 2005). The availability of these increasingly refined techniques, allied to the research interest in understanding language processing and its related cognitive components has led to the emergence of a new research field, named Neuropsycholinguistics. In this field, a growing topic of study is bi/multilingualism and its neural correlates. Neuroimaging research on bi/multilingualism has investigated both comprehension and production, by adopting a variety of experimental designs and criteria for participants’ recruitment. This diversity, although informative, has represented a challenge for drawing general conclusions from the data.