Age of Acquisition: Its Neural and Computational Mechanisms

A.E. Hernandez, Ping Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

195 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The acquisition of new skills over a life span is a remarkable human ability. This ability, however, is constrained by age of acquisition (AoA); that is, the age at which learning occurs significantly affects the outcome. This is most clearly reflected in domains such as language, music, and athletics. This article provides a perspective on the neural and computational mechanisms underlying AoA in language acquisition. The authors show how AoA modulates both monolingual lexical processing and bilingual language acquisition. They consider the conditions under which syntactic processing and semantic processing may be differentially sensitive to AoA effects in second-language acquisition. The authors conclude that AoA effects are pervasive and that the neural and computational mechanisms underlying learning and sensorimotor integration provide a general account of these effects. © 2007 American Psychological Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)638-650
Number of pages13
JournalPsychological Bulletin
Volume133
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • age of acquisition
  • bilingualism
  • computational modeling
  • second language acquisition
  • sensorimotor learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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