Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

Indian Institute of Technology Ropar


HSS Seminar


" The Enigma of Being a Bilingual: What We Know and  What We Should Know"




Dr. Ramesh Kumar Mishra


August 17, 2016 (Wednesday) at 3:30 PM


Venue: Conference Room 1



Bilinguals have been shown to activate two languages in parallel and also show some advantages on non-linguistic attention tasks. Much has been debated as to their casual or correlational links. Many researchers have recently denied such possibilities because of replication failures. I will present eye tracking data from Indian bilinguals that show both parallel language activation as well as executive control advantage. I ask the question if such things are culture specific. That includes the culture of being a bilingual, the socio-linguistic context and the level of literacy training. I then explore the socio-political question of bilingualism and what one can expect in a given context with regard to interpreting the research results. I will try to explore future possibilities of research in these areas.


..................................Brief Bio-sketch of the speaker


Ramesh Kumar Mishra is  an associate professor of cognitive science and head of the Center for Neural and Cognitive Sciences [CNCS],  at the University of Hyderabad. He has broad interdisciplinary expertise that spans several areas within cognitive sciences.  They involve action control, attention, vision and language and individual differences. His research methods draw heavily from cognitive psychology as well psycholinguistics including cognitive neurosciences. He is especially interested in how different cognitive systems dynamically interact  producing human cognition. For instance, how attention, executive control and visual information influence language processing. He studies how social and unconscious influences on choices lead to action in linguistic and non-linguistic domains. His most recent book "Interaction between language and attention systems in humans" was published by Springer. Dr. Mishra has visited/taught/ been a visiting scientist at NTNU, Norway, Dalhousie University, Canada, Institute for Cognitive Science Studies, Tehran, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, University of Birmingham, UK among others. He has published widely in many international journals in the areas of cognitive science, psycholinguistics and related areas over the years. Dr. Mishra has taught previously at the Center for Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences, University of Allahabad and also at the All India Institute for Speech and Hearing, Mysore. He was a recipient of the Erasmus Mundus  fellowship of European commission. Dr. Mishra is on the editorial board of important journals such as Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, PLOS one and Frontiers in Cognition among others.

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