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Graduate Students

Fatemeh Abdollahi

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Fatemeh is a sixth year Cognitive Psychology graduate student, pursuing a dual-title degree in Cognitive Psychology and Language Science, and a Specialization in Cognitive Neuroscience. She is interested in all aspects of language and cognition, and has worked on a variety of projects in these domains. The focus of her masters project was on the behavioral and neurocognitive correlates of early second language learning in adults and children. For her dissertation she is investigating how exposure to foreign accented speech, as well as individual differences in cognitive and affective measures, may influence subsequent neurocognitive processing of foreign accented speech in younger and older adults.

Carla Fernandez

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Carla is a fifth year cognitive psychology grad student in the BiLD lab and Center for Language Science at Penn State. She is pursuing a dual-title degree in Cognitive Psychology and Language Science. Her research interests include the relationship between bilingualism and cognitive control and creativity. In her free time she enjoys playing and watching tennis, she also loves to travel and experiencing new cultures.

Daisy Lei

daisylei at

I am a first year psychology graduate student in the cognitive area. I graduated from UC Berkeley with a double major in Cognitive Science and Computer Science. My research interests are in bilingualism, second language learning, and language processing.


Yushuang Liu

yliu.psu at

Yushuang comes from Taiwan and she is a second-year graduate student in developmental psychology. She received her BA degree in psychology from Wuhan University in China and MA degree at San Diego State University. She is generally interested in child second language learning. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, video-chatting with her 12-year-old little sister, and playing with her roommate's kitties!

Holly Zaharchuk

hzaharchuk at

I am a first year PhD student in cognitive psychology and language science with a specialization in cognitive and affective neuroscience. My research interests lie at the intersection of cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and sociolinguistics. I study the neurocognitive bases of language production and comprehension, particularly in bilingual speakers. I am especially interested in code-switching and its relationship to language change, language shift, and the emergence of mixed languages.

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